“All the days planned for me were written in your book before I was born.” Psalms 139:16
Welcome to the Children’s Ministry page! At Oak Dale Church, it is our desire to create and maintain a fun, respectful, nurturing and safe environment as we come alongside and support parents in the task of raising and teaching the next generation in the ways of God. Our goal is for children to learn about God’s love, grace and forgiveness for them, in hopes that they will desire a personal relationship with Him. This is accomplished in several ways, on Sunday mornings and with a variety of other activities occurring during the week or throughout the year.
On Sunday mornings, during both the 9:30am and 11:00am gatherings, we always welcome children to be in the auditorium as families worship and listen to God’s Word together. Other options include the nursery, childcare and Growing Oaks classes.
The Children’s Ministry coordinator for each service is:
- 1st Service – Jessica Yoder
- 2nd Service – Dianne Maust
Nursery: There is an unstaffed nursery available for parent’s use during gatherings. It is located to the left as you enter the front doors; situated just outside the nursery door are two rocking chairs. Within the nursery, it is equipped with another rocking chair, a changing table, and 4 sleeping areas.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Childcare: When you enter the church building, please look to your left and proceed to the children’s check-in area. A children’s ministry volunteer will greet you and assist you with signing your child in. Children, infant up to age 4, are required to be checked in and out of our childcare/children’s ministry area by a responsible adult. Check in begins at 9:15am and 10:45am for those respective services. In the Child-Care room the children will be supervised while they play, color, sing Bible songs, and be shown and told how much Jesus loves them!
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” Isaiah 61:3
Growing Oaks or GO Ministry: Children ages 2-10 years old are using The Gospel Project curriculum. (www.gospelproject.com) The Gospel Project is a chronological study through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with a Christ connection in every lesson. Your child will discover how God’s plan of redemption unfolds throughout Scripture and still today, compelling them to join the mission of God. Learning the major stories in the Bible along with essential doctrines of the Christian faith is done using storytelling, hands-on activities, games, and videos. Our prayer is that God’s word would move in each heart and lead them to heart-felt worship and repentance.
Classes offered are:
- Ages 2-4 (located within the Childcare Area, your child will need to be checked in/out by a children’s ministry worker). The current teachers are:
- 1st Service – Stephanie Hummel;
- 2nd Service – Jan Lais
- Ages 5-7 (located within the Childcare Area, your child will need to be checked in/out by a children’s ministry worker). The current teachers are:
- 1st Service – Maria Yoder;
- 2nd Service – Jaime Curtis
- Ages 8-10 (Located in the multi-purpose room in the back of the fellowship hall; your child does not need to be checked-in/out of this area.) The current teachers are:
- 1st service – Nohemi Beitzel;
- 2nd service – Joel Curtis
An important part of the Sunday morning Growing Oaks class time is a 20-minute assembly where ages 2-10 gather together for a story, (We are currently reading from A Hive of Busy Bees, stories that help build character for children, by Effie Williams) songs and prayer time. The children are encouraged to share both praise reports and prayer needs and as we worship and pray with them, we aim to teach the wonders of God in spirit and truth.
As teachers and children’s ministry volunteers, as we interact with the children, we want to live and show the following: love for each other and for God, respect for adults (John 15:12), for others (Matthew 7:12) and for self (Galatians 5:22-23) as well as a respect for the House of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:26). In doing so, we want to be a living example of the transformation that occurs as we worship God, and how we can learn to serve each other.
Security and Safety at Oak Dale
Your child’s security and safety is important to us, so we ask that every child ages infant through age 7 be checked-in and checked-out at the childcare desk by a responsible adult or someone the parent has designated. A childcare ministry volunteer will be there to assist you. Check-in and out times should be 15 minutes prior to the service and up to 15 minutes after the service has ended.
If, while in childcare, a child should need a parent, the parent will be notified using a number system that has been assigned to that child. This number would show on the screen in the auditorium or if the parent is in Sunday School, a volunteer worker would notify the parent.
All children ministry worker’s (age 18 and older) are required by Oak Dale to complete child abuse clearances from the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services, and a Federal Criminal History report from the FBI which includes submission of fingerprints to the PA State Police.
EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Oak Dale invites parents to participate in a ceremony dedicating their children back to God. The child dedication ceremonies are held each spring and fall as part of our Sunday morning worship gatherings. Please contact the church office if you wish to dedicate your infant or child to the Lord.
What about infant baptism?
While some Christian faith traditions baptize infants as a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, Oak Dale reserves baptism for believers who choose to publicly mark their commitment to Christ and His church.
Kids Club for all kids ages 5-Grade 5. Join us for food, fun, and fellowship with different activities scheduled once a month, led by Joanna Vaughn.
Vacation Bible School: Joining with other community churches, (SalisburyVBS.com) is held for one fun-filled, action-packed week in the summer where kids ages 3-12 engage in crafts, games, and songs along with the drama team as they learn Bible stories. This year the dates are: Sunday-Thursday, July 16-20, 2017, and will be held at the Salisbury Faith Factory, 153 Union Street, Salisbury.
The Pumpkin Patch: Held each October, on the same evening as Salisbury Trick-or-Treat at the Salisbury Elk-Lick High School gymnasium, and hosted by the Oak Dale Junior and Senior Youth Groups, this is a fun evening with a carnival-like feel to it with games, face-painting, candy and refreshments. While the kids have a great time, it is also a family event in which the whole community can participate.
Candyland: What better time to play a life-size game of Candyland than in February? Hosted by the Junior and Senior Youth Groups, the Oak Dale church auditorium is transformed into a virtual Candyland complete with the multi-colored block pathway, vibrant characters and way too much fun!
The Road to Redemption: New to Oak Dale this year, this was held in conjunction with the Easter season and hosted by the Oak Dale Kids Club and geared for ages 5-Grade 5. At a variety of stations, the children were walked through the journey that Jesus took and heard the Easter story in a creative way. They could make several crafts and bake an Easter snack! (A coffee bar was available for the parents as well! Win-win!)
Worship: We give praise and thanks to God, spending time in prayer and singing of songs, surrendering ourselves to Him.
Transform: We grow to be more like Jesus as we hear and memorize the Scripture, listen to Bible stories and interact with adult believers.
Serve: sharing His love with others by praying for each other and showing love in practical ways.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the children’s ministry. We are excited about your interest in our children’s ministry and look forward to seeing you and your children this Sunday at worship.
We love children! We love bringing them to Jesus!