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Mrs. Crispin's favorite time of the year!

Editor's Note: ZPC Children's Ministry Director Amy Crispin writes about what's been going on down in her area of the building. This year's Third Grade Bible Dedication will take place Sunday, February 24.

It’s that time of year again! Actually, it’s my favorite time of year! Third Grade Bible Dedication time! I love this event for so many reasons. The first being, third graders are some of my favorite people in the whole wide world! They are still young and silly, but they understand my humor and can be quite introspective and wise.

Third Grade Bible Dedication is our young ZPCer’s first rite of passage as Christian children in the church. This event provides their parents the chance to give them the most important tool they will need as they transition from primary to secondary learners. This precious tool, for most, will be their very first Bible or perhaps their very first “grown up” Bible. Within its pages parents will write letters of encouragement and include letters and verses from loved ones. Each child will also be given special Bible highlighters and page-tabs as an encouragement to highlight important verses. My prayer for these children is that they will write their thoughts and questions in their new Bibles, and look back at the words they wrote as nine- and ten-year-olds when they’re older and see how far they have come in their walk with Christ.

Rites of passage are important. Bibles are important. But in the eyes of a third grader, fun is more important! Third graders who participate in our dedication class meet with me and two fantastic volunteers every Sunday afternoon for six weeks to play games and make crafts. Oh! And learn what is actually in the Bible and where to find answers to questions. But it’s the games and the crafts that makes this class really fun! We get to run around and get sweaty playing Noah’s Ark tag. We sit on the floor making Bible covers, or fancy books-of-the-Bible flashcards and talk about school and friends and sports and whatever pours from our mouths. This special time creates a bond between our third graders (and us adults) that will hopefully carry them through high school and beyond. I spend most of this time laughing with these goofy kids! It’s so much fun.

Anyone is welcome to come and visit during our class. You’ll laugh, you’ll get sweaty, and you might even learn something you never knew before!

Please pray for these children as they cross the bridge from dependent to independent learners. Pray that they find time each day to spend in the word learning about Jesus. Pray that their Bible gives them the answers they seek and that the words and love of our Lord and Savior penetrate their souls.

Posted by Amy Crispin with

It's ok to not be ok

Editor's note: Jenna Bezold has served as our student ministries intern since July 2017. She will be leaving us at the end of February. She and her husband Jake are jetting off to Kenya, where Jake will do a stint for medical school. Please be praying for Jenna and Jake as they begin this new adventure.

A few months back, as Elia and I were planning for the upcoming year, we wanted to do a series on mental health. It is obvious that mental health is a “hot topic” these days, and not at all unfamiliar to middle and high school students. It doesn’t take long to see that many students are struggling with anxiety, depression, or thoughts of suicide; or they know someone who has. In fact, in Indiana, suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens ages 15-25. Elia and I knew it was an important, prevalent matter, and we wanted to address it. We decided to do a 2 week series, the first week focusing on anxiety and depression, and the second week focusing on suicide. Knowing that we are not equipped or educated in these areas, we wanted to bring in someone who was. We got connected to Mandy Baldwin through a member here at ZPC. Mandy was a pastor at a local church for over 15 years, and spent 12 of those working with youth ministry. After realizing that counseling and teaching were what she loved most about her role in youth ministry, she went back to school to get her master’s degree in counseling.

According to Mandy, it’s important to address the issues of mental health and suicide because “it is something that influences everyone, and also the most difficult thing to talk about, especially for people of faith.” She explains that in the faith community, struggling with depression and anxiety can look like a lack of trust in God, so people affected by anxiety and depression often struggle talking about it. But, as she continues, “we have a God who loves us, is for us, is fighting for us and desires good things for us. He is with us, not against us. That means he stands with us in our struggles and hurts; depressions and anxieties; griefs and wounds.”

Mandy talked to our middle school students (7th and 8th graders) and our high school students this past Sunday. She talked about depression, suicide, and her own journey, all the while encouraging students that they are not alone. She had students repeat this mantra:  “it’s okay to not be okay, and you don’t have to stay that way.”

We’d love for you to watch one or both videos and hear her messages, and hopefully, have some engaging conversations with your family.

Please leave comments below or feel free to reach out directly to with any questions or comments.

Middle School Video

   

 

 

 

High School Video

Posted by Jenna Bezold with

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