Soccer games. Laundry. Lost keys. Swim lessons. Dog park. Leaky faucet. Empty milk carton in the fridge. Piano lessons. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe our lives!
We know that it can be so hard to do it all – but here’s a secret – you don’t have to! Community. Connection. With these two simple words, families can transform from harried and frazzled to peaceful and intentional.
At Salem First UMC, we want to help you face the struggles of modern day life in a loving and Christ-like manner. We believe a family connected to others and in community together will thrive no matter what challenges they face.
Our priorities are:
Invitation and Outreach
Many families are still struggling with isolation as they try to juggle all the needs of kids, work, and life. We offer opportunities to connect with a community of support. These aren’t always “church-y” activities – just a way to reach out and develop connections with other families dealing with the same life stuff. As you become comfortable here, we invite you to continue into deeper connections with some of the activities listed in “Connecting New Families.”
- Friday morning “Parent-Tot” playgroup – this once a month group gathers for social play time in the nursery, the 4th Friday of each month.
Connecting New Families
We are excited you have found some connection to our church, whether it’s through worship, Sunday school or Saturdays of Service. This first connection likely meets a spiritual need – but it’s time to take that relationship deeper. Families need to connect with each other in a relaxed and open way.
- Family Ministries Fun night – each month the date and the activity will be decided and information sent out or posted around the buildings and on the website. This group is parent organized and run.
- Parents’ Night Out – the second Friday of each Month (moved to the first Friday in December), families enjoy a bit of time away from the kids while they are cared for and enjoy age appropriate activities with a group of loving volunteers.
Sustained Care and Connection
So what if you’ve been here for a while and developed a circle of friends? That doesn’t mean that you don’t need continued care. After all, our families grow and change and challenge us all through the years! We encourage these families to reach out and offer hospitality to those who are still dipping a toe in the water – after all, they’ve been there before. But we also encourage them to ‘go deeper’ in their faith and commitments through:
- Church retreat or camping opportunities – Our next ‘official’ family retreat will be Fall 2015, but there are other informal camping opportunities throughout the year.
- Advent Adventures and other seasonal offerings around Thanksgiving and Lent offer a chance for families to come together at critical times in the church year to focus on the season ahead.
In addition, we also offer for our families:
Quality childcare during class times and worship times – open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for infants to 3 in our Nursery (room 208) and for children 3 through Kindergarten in Activity Time (room 206).
Sunday Education for all ages! In addition to fabulous adult classes, we have activities and classes for children ages nursery through 5th grades; and for youth in a 6th through 12th grades. Children 5 through 5th grade are also welcome to sing with the Rejoice! Kids’ Choir.
Saturdays of Service – held on one Saturday a quarter, Saturdays of Service provides an outreach experience with mission activities for all ages. Children have been invited to join their families in helping at the community gardens, to make toys for the Humane society, and pack lunch bags for children who regularly have no food during the school day.
Holiday and Annual events such as a Fall Harvest Celebration, packing of Thanksgiving food boxes, Children’s Christmas Eve and Palm Sunday worship events, Vacation Bible School and our All Church picnic in August.
Family Council for those who want to help plan and host any of our family events and activities!
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Leta Brewster, the Director Volunteer Ministries at Letabrewster@yahoo.com; or call the church office and leave a message for Leta.