Guest post written by Gaye Swan

Wonderful things are happening in our nursery, as our now permanent director Pam Hudsmith and nursery coordinator Amanda McCleskey find fresh ways to nurture the faith of our little ones.

In February, the children learned about sharing love – with families, Jesus, and our community. As part of our “Love Your Neighbor” campaign, the four and five year olds participated in a special project to put what they’d learned into practice. All during the month they gathered items for the homeless. On the final Sunday in February, Amanda led them in a short discussion of how they can be the hands of Jesus for people who need food, and then she and the nursery volunteers helped them assemble “blessing bags” to hand out to people who need to know that Jesus loves them. In the classrooms the children colored pictures to put in with the crackers, water, small bandages, soap, socks, and toothbrushes.

On the way home from church that day, Amanda had an amazing moment when she saw a man on the side of the street, holding one of the bags from the Christ Church children! Later she got a text from the family of the child confirming that yes, God moved the heart of a four-year-old boy to share Jesus’ love with a stranger.

The main goals of the nursery ministry are to provide the most loving, tender care for babies, toddlers, and small children through age 5, and to support the foundation of Christ Church families. Age appropriate activities are provided at every level.

And as Pastor Shane said last year, we’ve had a “baby explosion!” More and more young parents are choosing Christ Church and bringing their wee ones to our infant, crawler, and one-year-old rooms. Our average weekly attendance is 121. To provide the love, we have 6-7 staff members and 14-17 volunteers each Sunday over three services. While it has been so much fun and God has always provided enough hearts and hands, we are actively seeking new volunteers due to our growth. We offer a great compensation package: Our volunteers get baby snuggles, toddler hugs, and the joy of sharing Jesus with young hearts.

Too often, the church nursery is thought of as “only childcare.” At Christ Church, it is something more. We want today’s cuddly sweet toddler to be tomorrow’s Christ-centered, hope-filled adult – and we believe that a ministry in the nursery has a big role in that transformation! To volunteer to serve, please contact Pam Hudsmith at Nursery@ChristChurchMemphis.org.

 

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