At Lighthouse UMC, we serve the spiritual needs and guidance of every member of our congregation as well as every family unit, regardless of their makeup. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and often encompass several generations. It is our mission to fill each and every one of the spiritual “buckets” that come through our doors with love and nurturing.
The bible addresses the importance of parents being spiritual leaders for their children and serving as faithful examples in their upbringing. We are here to support mothers, fathers, steps, adoptive parents, grandparents, and other extended family members in this most important mission. How can parents reinforce the scriptures introduced during Sunday School? How can parents relay the messages of the week’s sermon? How can parents lead their children to follow the life that God has set forth for them? Our doors are always open for conversation, discussion, suggestions, resources, and more. It indeed takes a village, and the church is at the very center.
The Family Ministry department at Lighthouse UMC is committed to guiding families in the path of Christ’s light of the world. The Good Shepherd calls us to let the children come to him, to share his love with all the world, and to focus our sights on life everlasting. We are here to support you and your family as you travel your spiritual journey.
Sunday Morning Sunday School
Our nursery is open and available for parents to use during Sunday services, bible studies, meetings, and church events. We keep the space clean, sanitized, and well-stocked with Christian-based toys to begin to introduce our littlest members to Jesus and his love for us. On Sunday mornings, our Nursery Attendant is on hand to welcome your infants and toddlers with snuggles and a smile; they will dote on your little one to ensure their first experiences at church are happy ones.
During the winter season, our Sunday School classes are held during the 8:45 and 10:00 Sunday morning worship services and are open to children age 5-12. Sunday School classes are held during the 10:00 service throughout the rest of the calendar year.
Our teachers are well trained and background checked to insure a positive, safe experience while offering solid bible-based lessons and activities to engage your children in a multitude of bible stories. Sunday School teachers use crafts, games, music, and activities to bring home the bible verse of the day and reinforce the message that God has for us in His Word.
Because of the pandemic in 2019, church families received Experience Kits to explore Moses and the Ten Commandments at home. Mid-week Zoom meetings were held with the Family Ministry Coordinator to delve further into what they mean and share their conversations with each other. Closing out the year, as we began to again gather in person, children explored Faces Around the Manger and learned more of what each person contributed to the Christmas Story.
Several of our Sunday School children played a large role in the virtual Christmas Eve Family Service with readings and singing in the Angel Choir.
We will begin the 2021 year with a 10-week series, Oh, What a Feeling! God Gave Us Emotions … Happy, Sad, Laughing, Angry, Afraid, Loving, Tired, Wacky and more. What are we supposed to do with them? How do we control them? What does the Bible tell us about using our emotions to glorify Him?
Special Events and Outreach
The Family Ministry team hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, both in-house and in the community to share the light of Jesus.
As families finished up their at-home Experience Kits about Moses and the Ten Commandments, Family Ministries hosted a celebration party in Fellowship Hall. Participating families created train cars to illustrate individual commandments, played a coin-toss game to put the Commandment train cars in order, enjoyed refreshments, and played several rounds of Commandments Wheel of Fortune.
World Communion Day was celebrated with the children presenting the flags of the countries served by the churches Missions Committee. The eight flags displayed represented Nicaragua, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Rwanda, Haiti, Canada, and the United States.
The annual Boca Grande Christmas Walk was much smaller than normal due to the pandemic and the recommendation to limit social gatherings. However, the Family Ministries was on hand, socially distanced and properly masked, to offer Dove of Peace cards and lapel pins.
As the youngest members of our church family continue to grow up, we will be creating special events and activities to keep our tweens and teens engaged with the church family and take their faith to the next level.
Opportunities frequently arise for the Family Ministries team to be active participants in our community. We are eager to gather with our church families in fellowship and celebration of annual Christian events to deepen our faith and strengthen our church family bonds.
On the third Thursday of each month, children of all ages are invited to join a Zoom event and enjoy a story of the month. In October, we highlighted Spooky Stories of the Bible by reading about Ezekiel and the Valley of the Dry Bones. God Gave Us Thankful Hearts by Lisa Tawn Bergren was our November story. In December, we shared Little Tree Found by Troy Schmidt.
Families from across the area have joined in our Story Time and have enjoyed the stories we have read. Plans are in place to continue offering Story Time on Zoom into 2021. Check back here each month for the title of each month’s book and the Zoom link to join us.
The book of Matthew shares Jesus’ words, “when you did it for the least of these, you did it for me.” Teaching our children their responsibility as followers of Christ to serve is an important part of their spiritual development. Our official project as a Sunday School is the continued adoption of a Zoe Group Fund. We have sold t-shirts, hosted pancake breakfasts, and offered prayer journals to raise funds. During the months that have a fifth Sunday, we celebrate “Joyful Noise Sunday” and collect coffee cans of change to contribute to our fund.