What’s up? A preview for Fall, 2012

Hey everyone!
I hope you are all having a great start to the school year/program year! For me, September really marks the true “New Year,” and I love the fresh start it gives all of us…it’s really a great time to set new goals for learning and growth, as students, parents and families.

Of course, I’ll be right here to teach and learn along with you! This week, I’ll be giving you some snippets of what our team at Key Ministry is up to!

The Group KidMin Conference in Chicago, Illinois, September 28-October 1

I’m so excited to teach at this conference…we’ll be examining in-depth some of the ways disabilities can affect faith development, church attendance, and family dynamics. We’ll also talk about ways to understand and manage these issues at church. We’ll be going beyond sticker charts, fidget toys and visual schedules to help get at the root of what really makes inclusion work. Finally, we’ll tackle the bullying issue head-on, and discuss ways to “bully-proof” our programs.

I’ll also be leading a Special Needs Ministry Connect Group in the afternoons…we’ll be learning from each other as we talk about YOUR questions and concerns, ideas and successes. And…I hope we’ll get to know each other and laugh a lot, too!

Please click here for more information about the Group KidMin Conference…and do let me know if you are coming! I’d love to meet you!

Have a great day~

“Be the story:” Attend a Bevy Retreat {and nourish your soul}

Stop cheating the world of who you were created to be…
It’s time to start living your story.

I’m so excited to tell you about an opportunity for you to grow in faith, nourish your soul, and learn more about the truth of God’s plans for your life.

Please meet my new friend, Adrienne Graves.

I have been following Adrienne’s blog for several years now, and she’ll be guest-posting for me in May (you won’t want to miss it.) She is a devoted wife and mom who has experienced the joy of welcoming her children into the world, and the pain of holding one of them in her arms as he died. She shares this poignantly in her blog, with honesty, abundant love and even humor as she describes her little boy who has touched people all over the world.

In addition to her writing, Adrienne has worked as a Women’s Pastor and a radio show host. She attended Oral Roberts University with a major in Missions and Theology. Adrienne founded Bevy, Inc in 2003 as a vehicle for encouraging women to appreciate their uniqueness, and realize their place in what she calls God’s “True Love Story.”

To accomplish this, Adrienne and her team of leaders are planning an amazing three-day retreat this summer in Minneapolis. You will listen to some amazing speakers and delve into topics such as “singleness, abstinence, divorce, addiction, body image, grief, loss, hope, new beginnings, and disappointment with God and a radical new perspective.” You’ll also spend time delving into your OWN story, and learn to tell it in a way that will build the Kingdom and encourage those around you. Finally, there will be plenty of FUN!

As I’ve learned more about this project, I couldn’t wait to share it with you! I encourage you to consider treating yourself through this retreat…take a group from your church or neighborhood. Or…make plans with some far-flung friends to meet in Minneapolis and enjoy this time together. I am certain you will be enriched! Many of you are mothers who are raising children with disabilities…I can assure you that you will be with women who understand the intricacies of this experience as you enjoy a bit of a breather.

If you have questions, or if you need more information, email Adrienne and her team at info@bevygirls.com  of visit the website at www.bevygirls.com

Be the story!

Easter M&M Story: “The Sweet Truth of Easter”

It’s Holy Week, so for those of you who are working or volunteering with children in churches, it’s a busy and exciting time. I love when I come across something fresh and fun that conveys the Gospel, and today’s post shares just that! You might remember this post about the M&M Christmas Story….Well…Bethany Tapp, a children’s Ministry Director in Dubai, India, has created an M&M Easter Story! Here is the poem she wrote:

Poem: The SWEET Truth of Easter

These candies tell a story~
the best news you’ll ever hear.
~It’s about Jesus dying on the cross
so that we could be brought near.

So hold them and turn them and you will see…
the “M” become a “W”an “E” and then a “3″

The “E” stands for… Easter….
God’s everlasting love and His eternal plan.

It reminds us of the cross
and the way God rescued sinful man

The “3″ represent the 3 days Jesus spent in the grave….
By His death, His children He did save

The “M” reminds us of the mercy the Messiah showed
as He died in our place.
and the miracle of the resurrection
so we can see Him face to face.

The “W” reminds us… that He alone
is worthy of our worship and praise
and calls us to be His witnesses
around the world for all of our days.
~By Bethany Tapp

{As always, be aware of food allergies and sensitivities before distributing any food to the students in your care.}

Bethany has also created a printable that you can distribute…you can download it here at Ministry To Children. (and, if you’re not yet familiar with this website, please take some time to click through it…wonderful, helpful resources! Tony Kummer is the site’s administrator.)

Thanks, Bethany, for this great resource!

Savoring the story…

Tomorrow: Five Facts for Friday
Next week: More amazing people I know {who happen to have autism}