Children and Youth Ministry Update from The Rev. Francesca Fortunato

May 8th,2020 Categories: Latest News
Dear Park People,
On Sunday, May 3rd, the Park Sunday school children began reading the story of the Prophet, Nehemiah, and talked about feelings around praying for God’s help, asking people for help, and giving help to others (all of which are done by Nehemiah, in the story.) With guidance from the children (including the marker colors that I used) I made the diagram that you see here, as a visual representation of the “circles of helping” that we see at work in our own lives.

On Sunday May 10th, we will continue reading Nehemiah’s story, as he makes his way to Jerusalem, and observes the devastation of his beloved city. At the conclusion of this chapter, Nehemiah prays for guidance, and then goes to the city’s leaders, to urge them to help him do the work of rebuilding. For our response activity, we will brainstorm together, about the ways that we can express, to the leaders in our own time and place,  the needs of our communities.

The challenges to our children – like the challenges to all of us, in these hard days – are intensifying, rather than abating. Two months are a very long time in the life of a child, and it can be a real struggle to stay patient, as they long for normal, outdoor play, time with their friends, and the stimulation of going to school in the classroom, rather than online. During our check-in time, and in our times of intercessory prayer, I am learning some of the ways that the children in this community are being challenged; the people and activities that they miss, the sadness that they feel, about the suffering of others, and their worries for loved-ones (some of the children have told me about people in their personal circles, who have tested positive for Covid-19).

With all of this in mind, I want to request that everyone reading this report, take a moment to pray for the physical and emotional well-being of our church’s youngest members. Then,  if it feels right to do so, take a moment to check-in with your own “inner child.” What does that little one, inside of you, need right now? Can you find your own way to “play,” just a little bit? Perhaps there’s a favorite children’s book that you’d like to re-read (I will admit that I have been doing some of that, for the comfort that it brings). Hopefully, our child-like resilience and creativity can emerge, for solace and healing, as we keep on keeping on.

Blessings and well wishes as always,
Rev. Francesca Maria (Miriam) Fortunato: Children’s Minister