June 28, 2015

The Gospel and Groundlings

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. -Mark 10:13-16 (NRSV)

Groundlings Summer Day Camp is just a few weeks away, and we couldn’t be more excited. Every day of Groundlings, we are given the opportunity to be a blessing to children. I’m writing today to offer ways we will share the gospel and make disciples at Groundlings this year.

One of the best things about camp is that it gives us an opportunity to do intergenerational ministry. I’m thankful for those of you who were involved with leading—from those in middle school that served as Junior Counselors, to the retired folks who led story time, to parents who led crafts. Each year the children have the opportunity to get to know many members of our church family during camp. One of my greatest memories from Groundlings last summer is observing how excited the children were for lesson time. At many camps and vacation bible schools, some would say that compared to games, craft, or music, lesson time ends up being the least exciting for the children. Not so at Groundlings Camp! Deb Berzajs does a wonderful job of writing engaging lessons for every day of camp. I remember seeing the children the week that Joe Gargaro and Christie Kahler led last year and how they loved every minute of the story. I kept thinking that THIS is how Jesus would want us to share the gospel, and this is one of the many ways we can be a blessing to children.

This summer, middle school, high school, and college students will lead as directors, interns, and counselors at Groundlings. I’m excited to announce that Becca Swartz and Mariah Lefler will each be directing two weeks of camp this summer. They both worked as Interns at camp last summer and were the perfect candidates to take on more responsibilities this year. This is how we “make disciples” at Groundlings— by mentoring young people in leadership. We want young people to be strong in their ministry— strong leaders who can share the gospel and in turn, make disciples. Our directors, interns, and counselors learn how to teach and lead from members of the congregation who they see leading craft, lesson, and music. I’m looking forward to watching this discipling cycle again this summer— to watch children, youth, and adults grow in their love for Christ, their love of the Gospel, and their love for each other and the community.

If you feel called to be involved in sharing the Gospel at Groundings this summer— whether it’s through helping lead craft, music, lesson, or coming to share skills or interests you have with the children, please contact Liz. Help us to be a blessing to our community and to all who attend Groundlings Summer Day Camp this summer.

Liz Hinz, Family Ministries Associate