The Beginning…

Well, here we go…Miss Jessica is starting a blog! Why? The idea came a little bit ago as sort of a challenge to me to attract younger people to our church. Being the youngest staff member (until next week!!), I am often looked to for suggestions. How can we attract younger people? How can we get information out that families will find useful in their daily lives?

So begins my challenge. Many of you, I am sure, are going to wonder how on earth I will write a blog. I am one that wants bullet points and texts. (Don’t worry, I am wondering too, how will I possibly have enough to say to fill a blog each week.) Then came the title…what I will chat about each week. Each part of the title speaks to a part of my life that I am passionate about.

Faith…this part of the articles will include the life of the Church of the Covenant. This is the church that I grew up in, the center of our home search, and where I am currently working. This huge building and it’s members have been family for most of my life. I have incredible memories of growing up here and want the same for my children and the children and young people who join us for church.

Family…this part will be funny stories, where to find resources, and fun ideas for your family. We just finished May, which in our house is the most chaotic time of the year with all activities being crammed in to either begin or finish. We rarely had a moment to breathe, let alone time to be a faith filled family reading or praying together. How can we get through these tight times and come out the other end stronger as families, stronger as believers?

The farm…how can I possibly have a blog and not talk about all the zany things that happen on Hilltop Acre Farm, our little slice of God’s creation. Perched on top of a hill with beautiful views, we are both amazed and amused by what is brought to us each day. I hope this part will have you chuckling along and nodding in understanding! Right now we are full of 4-H animals that all exhibit such fun personalities! More to follow about them.

So, with that being said, why would you want to read this blog? I am hoping to best use your few minutes each week to connect you to faith formation in some way. Maybe it inspires you to grab your Bible and dive in a few minutes each day. Maybe it tugs at your heart to insure blessing/grace is said before your family meal each day. Maybe you just need a good laugh and through my stories you find that relief for a moment. Do you need to be a member of the church to read…absolutely not! I hope you find enough material that you want to pass along to friends. I get it…I have 3 children, ages 13, almost 9, and 5. We are busy and most nights dinner is in the vehicle running to the next thing. But, one thing I find, is that I crave the quiet time with them. Time for them to ask questions and explore life as a child and as a child of God. Do I have all the answers…NO! But, I am willing to find those answers for them and I am hoping that I can answer some of your questions as well. I hope I can make the time in the vehicle on to the next activity or the few moments before bed more productive family time.

 

pile of books
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Study and summer don’t usually go together. This summer for the Hickman kids and myself it will. We have literacy skills to improve, a “like” for reading to develop (I’ll push for a “love” of reading later!),  and a fire for reading to redevelop. 
In our church, we currently ‘take a break’ from study for the summer with no Sunday school being offered. But, that doesn’t mean that you and your family have to do the same thing. Now, what can you do with your family? I often wonder the same thing. In my family growing up we did several ‘learning’ day trips over the summer with my mom. She was a teacher and had the summers a little more freed up. That certainly didn’t mean summers off! These are some of the best memories of growing up and I hope that I am able to offer the same to my children. On the schedule this summer is a day trip per week. I’d love to show them the cross at Jumonville Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center in Hopwood. PA, rafting on the Yough (the less adventurous section), and seeing local parks and what they have to offer. 
I recently read a good article on 10 Summer-Friendly Ways to Experience God Through Creation that was published from childrensministry.com. It includes crafts, exploration and talking points about experiencing God in everyday activities. I will keep you posted on those as we work through the list.
(Children’s Ministry Magazine is full of neat articles for family and faith. You can subscribe and have it delivered electronically or you can stay tuned and I am certain to share more from here!)
silhouette of people walking on seashore during sunset
Photo by Delcho Dichev on Pexels.com

Last night I had the chance to visit with my parents and my sister. We aren’t at the beach yet, but what a fun evening! My parents were being recognized for all of their hard work to promote their community and agriculture. As an added bonus of being able to celebrate by parents, my sister drove in from Kentucky. It was a quick visit but very soul refreshing for sure!

I had a chance to talk to them about my blog and what I could include. Along with ideas on how to add in quality time with our family and God, my mom suggested even smaller Acts of Kindness. What a fabulous idea! I know my children love taking part and so did the youth members of our Club 56 at church (we usually had our highest numbers when we had a service type project for them…hmmm, interesting!). There are bunches of places to find quick acts of kindness online and of course Pinterest. A couple of our favorites…creating and hiding the kindness rocks and either leaving our cart with the quarter in it at Aldi or taping a kindness card to several carts with a quarter attached.

Here is a list of 100 Random Acts of Kindness  from Coffee Cups & Crayons (https://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/100-acts-kindness-kids/)  . Let’s start a little challenge…summer break is about 10 weeks long (more like 11 or 12, but I am rounding 🙂 ). Let’s try to complete 5 acts of kindness per week. Report back on what acts you have completed to give ideas to everyone else. I’m excited to start!! My girls have been getting a list of things to do while I’m at work…I think I’ll have to add a few of these to their lists!

My mom said a really interesting thing in her “acceptance speech” last night. She said for her and my dad the theme they live by is to ‘leave it better then when we came’. I love that and it is true for them! They have remodeled almost every house they have lived in, they become active members of the churches they belong to and in the communities in which they live. I guess we saw that growing up, just didn’t have it put into words. Something to strive for always!

So, as I close this first blog, I want to thank you for taking time to read this. I hope that it has piqued your interest in reading the next one. I hope you feel comfortable to leave a message as to how your kindness activities went or questions that you have that I may be able to answer in another article.

background image beautiful blur bright
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Happenings around the church…
***Donations will be accepted at the church for VBS-We are in need of 12oz or 16oz empty water bottles. A box will be set up in the Commons. Thank you!
Sunday, June 10th-We will be thanking Dave and Kayla for their assistance with our youth programs this last year (at all 3 services) and commissioning our WV Mission Team (at the 9:43 service)
Sunday, June 17th-We will honor fathers and men of the church on Father’s Day and recognize all of our graduates. Two youth members of the church will be a part of this service. One will be providing and interpretive dance and one will be giving the sermon…you don’t want to miss this!
Vacation Bible School is July 16-20. Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. We have many opportunities to help make the week possible for 100+ children. Let me know if you’d like to help or if you have children that you would like to register. You certainly don’t want to miss Pastor Kay take the stage each day!
Sunday, July 15th will be a VBS volunteer meeting and a decorating party. Join us!
Sunday, July 22nd, will be VBS Sunday
You can find a full calendar and other activities on the Church of the Covenant website: http://www.churchofthecov.org

I think that’s all for now! On my list before the next blog, is to learn how to add my own pictures and not have to use the stock ones!

Thank you again for taking time to read this!

Have a blessed week!

Jessica

7 thoughts on “The Beginning…”

  1. Jessica, This is absolutely amazing and WONDERFUL. I feel honored to know you and, of course, I grew up with your parents. I look forward to helping with Bible School and enjoying your weekly blog! Keep them coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You never know where God’s journey will take you. Jessica this is an exciting trip you have decided to embark. Congratulations – spreading the word of thanksgiving.

    Like

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