By Alison Zeller
First Presbyterian Church of Napa, California, is like many other churches on Christmas - the worship service is packed! This uptick in attendance is especially significant when it comes to children. The church sees an average of 10 children on a regular Sunday, but on Christmas, there are more than 30 children in the pews.
Jane Roscoe, the church’s children’s ministry director, saw this as a wonderful outreach opportunity. And, she turned to CTA to help her make the most of it!
Jane started planning her children’s message for Christmas Eve and she found all of the resources she needed in CTA’s theme God’s Promise Came True. As Jane browsed through the theme, her ideas started to come together. She assembled masks representing several characters in the nativity scene - Wise Men, angels, camels, stars, and the like. As children entered the sanctuary on Christmas Eve, Jane invited them to pick a mask and take it with them to their seat.
Then, during worship, it came time for the children’s message. Jane invited the children to the front by calling out each nativity character. The children gathered around a manger that Jane had set in the middle of the sanctuary. Then, she read CTA’s book When Jesus was Born . . . and played the downloadable PowerPoint version of the book on the worship screen for everyone to see.
“The PowerPoint was visually enticing and made it so all the children could see,” said Jane. “I wanted to make sure all the children knew that God always keeps his promises and that each one of them is a part of God’s promise.”
After reading the book, Jane wrapped up the children’s time by inviting the worshippers to sing CTA’s original song for God’s Promise Came True, with the choir leading the chorus.
When worship was over, Jane gave each child a goodie bag that included a copy of When Jesus was Born . . ., a Dove chocolate promise, a candy cane, and a postcard inviting the children to Sunday school. The goodie bags were such a hit that grandparents came back to grab extras for their grandchildren who couldn’t attend on Christmas!
“I’m very grateful for the resources from CTA,” Jane said. “It’s easy to take them in any direction and make them your own. Thank you, CTA, for making our Christmas Eve service one to cherish and remember for so many families!”
How will you use CTA resources this Christmas?
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