March 3, 2020
Caleigh Alessi | Elementary & Volunteer Coordinator
"I am very excited to oversee the Elementary Ministry with the hope of instilling in each child the desire to reflect Christ's love everyday.
I have three passions in life - the Lord, children, and the performing arts. I grew up in Nashville, TN and moved to NYC after graduating from Belmont University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. From there, I had the privilege of spending several years traveling the world as an actor/singer/dancer. While performing in a show in New Orleans, I met my wonderful husband, Robert. Together we uprooted back to New York City and I began auditioning, nannying and teaching the performing arts to children in afterschool programs across Manhattan. Which, now, brings me here. I cannot wait to get to know everyone here at Redeemer!"
The Redeemer family of churches and ministries exist to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice, and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, the world.
Last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday as it happened to be, I sat at the dinner table encouraging my 4 year old for the tenth time to eat her spaghetti. She does not like spaghetti, and so after 15 minutes of repeated reminders, she finally looked at me with the proud realization that she had won the dinner battle, and said, “But mom, I can’t eat my spaghetti. I am fasting from spaghetti for Lent!” I could only laugh and allowed her to be excused, all the while reminding myself that a moment would come later in the evening, when hunger hit, to clarify what it really means to fast.
Fasting is a difficult concept for children, especially young children, to understand. It not a natural part of our NYC culture or our sinful nature to deny ourselves anything that we desire. Technologies allow for almost instant gratification of most things we seek, and waiting even 10 extra minutes for dinner to be delivered seems to be a burden too great to bear in our fast paced city.
But fasting during the Lenten season has been a traditional way of expressing our dependence on God. Our complete reliance on him as provider and savior. It can be an opportunity to turn away from something good that we cling to day to day, and turn toward our sacrificial King. As we loosen the grip of food, or tv, or social media, and reflect on our lives and sins, we are bombarded with our need of a savior. We look into the darkness in our hearts and desperately seek His light.
As we observe Lent together as a family and prepare our hearts for the joyful celebration of the resurrection on Easter, check out one of the resources below to help your children understand a little more deeply the path to the cross. Try one small faithful thing with your family to guide your children to a greater understanding of their need for Christ.
- Lenten Candles: Lenten Candles Lent is a season of waiting. In that sense it is like Advent. But while Advent waits eagerly for the appearance of the Savior, Lent waits, with heavy responsibility, for his death. The light of the Advent candles grows brighter as we approach the Savior’s arrival. In Lent all grows darker as we draw nearer to the unthinkable—the death of God. To symbolize this, we can begin Lent with seven lighted candles. On the first Sunday, one is snuffed out. On the second Sunday, the second candle is extinguished, and so on until Good Friday, when the last one is darkened. It is as if we have seen sin growing in power and finally crucifying the Light of the World, leaving us in darkness. (Excerpt taken from Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper)
- Holy Week: An emotions primer (nursery aged kids)
- Jesus Storybook Bible Lent Guide (preschool and early elementary)
- Mission Accomplished- Scott James; a 2 week family devotional leading up to Easter morning (elementary)
- Why Easter- Barbara Reaoch: a 4 week daily family devotional (elementary)
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Children's Ministry Director
Important Sunday Changes
Sunday, March 8th
Only 1 morning service at 11:30 a.m.- normal programming for Infants- Pre-K children; Sunday school for K-5th grade; Dive Deep for 1st-5th grade, and Communicants class are all still taking place.
Also, don't forget Daylight Savings begins on the 8th, so spring forward your clocks.
Sunday, March 15th
The Children and Youth Ministry staff will be away with families from the East Side. There will be no Dive Deep, Discover, or Elementary classes at 11:30 a.m.
Holy Week Schedule:
Sunday, April 5th | Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday Children's Processional at 9:30 a.m. service. Details to follow.
Friday, April 10th | Good Friday Service
East Side, 5:30 p.m. Temple Israel
Childcare through age four is available. RSVP required.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with age of your child(ren).
Sunday, April 12th | Easter Sunday Services: 9:30am 11:30am 5:00pm
There will be Easter programming for children through 5th grade at the 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. services. No Dive Deep or Discover classes. No children’s programs at the 5:00 p.m. service.
11:30 a.m. Parent Classes
Sundays, March 22nd-April 5th | Neighborhood & Justice Conversations
This class will connect current events and modern themes with the gospel story. We will explore God’s call to live as faithful citizens and neighbors, how power blinds us, making spaces into places, and more. Click here to sign up.
Sundays, April 22nd, May 3rd, & May 17th | Marriage Renewal
Come refresh as a couple and with others in the Redeemer ES community as we learn about the purpose of marriage, building intimacy and overcoming barriers to a thriving marriage. Led by one of our counselors from Redeemer Counseling Services. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, March 26th | Leader Appreciation & Training 6:30 p.m.
Our children's ministry leaders are invited to attend an appreciation dinner and training at our main offices in midtown. Invite to follow.
Sunday, April 19th | Soon-To-Be Parents' Luncheon: 1:15 p.m.
All Soon-to-be Parents are invited to attend a luncheon on April 19 at 1:15 p.m. for fellowship, and an opportunity to be introduced to our children's ministry. Click here to sign up.
Sunday, May 10th | Mother's Day Reception: 11:30 a.m.
Join us to celebrate mothers of all ages with a tea reception at 11:30 a.m. More details to come.
Sunday, May 24th | Memorial Day Weekend
No Dive Deep, Discover, or Elementary classes
Sunday, May 31 | Dive Deep End of Year Pizza Party
Vacation Bible School: July 6th-10th, 2020, 9:30am-12:30pm
Invite your friends and neighbors to Rocky Railway VBS 2020! This summer, the East Side will host our 3rd annual VBS. We hope this will be an opportunity for our east side families, neighbors and friends to experience Jesus in new and exciting ways. All children 4 years old to rising 5th graders are invited to attend! (Must turn 4 years old by December 31, 2020, no exceptions) Middle schoolers are invited to serve on the work crew during the week. Registration opens at 1:00 p.m. on April 21st for ES families.. You will receive an email with a personalized link to register. Friends and neighbors may register beginning on April 22nd at noon.
We are thrilled to welcome our new elementary coordinator, Caleigh Alessi, to the Children's ministry team. Caleigh looks forward to getting to know each of you and your children. Please introduce yourself to her on Sundays.
Just a reminder:
- 3/8: No 9:30 a.m. adult worship service or children's ministry. Regular Dive Deep and children's classes at 11:30am. service.
- 3/15: No 11:30 a.m. elementary programming or Dive Deep. Regular children's ministry at the 9:30 a.m. service.
As we enter the Lenten season, our K-3rd graders will continue through the book of Exodus. We will focus on the character of God as a holy, good and loving provider. We’ll briefly break for 4 weeks to celebrate Jesus' path to the cross and the resurrection, but will continue after Easter in Exodus through Deuteronomy.
March 1- March 15 2020 Unit: Towards the Promised Land
- Big Picture Question: What is God like? God is holy, good, and loving.
- Memory Verse: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
March 22- April 12 2020 Unit: Easter
- Big Picture Question: Why did Jesus die on the cross?
Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and came back to life to show we are forgiven
- Memory Verse: “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'" (Luke 4:8)
April & May 2020 Unit: Worship and Wandering in the Wilderness
- Big Picture Question:What does it mean to sin?
To sin is to think, speak, or behave in any way that goes against God and His commands.
- Memory Verse: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Our ID 4/5 class is worshiping together, studying and growing through their FLYTE (Faith. Life. Together) curriculum, and spending valuable time in their small group discussions to apply their faith in personal ways. Over the past couple of months, they have been studying God’s Word, themselves and the world and are discussing difficult topics like poverty, terrosism and conservation.
Beginning on Palm Sunday (4/5) they will start a unit on what it means to be a Christian and will ask the question, "Am I a Christian?" while peering into the death and resurrection of Christ. I encourage you to converse with your fourth or fifth grader about what they learned in class each week and see if they have any questions. This is a crucial time in their spiritual formation and a great opportunity for you to walk with them as they personalize their faith.
Our first ID 4/5 Hangout was such a fun success that we’re planning another two! We have tentative dates of Friday, April 24 and June 19. Mark your calendars and save the dates!
K-5th Grade Parent Volunteer Commitments
We are extremely grateful for all of the parents who have served and supported us thus far this year! At this point, all parents who have not picked their two required volunteer dates have been assigned dates in our Volunteer Calendar. Please click here to view which dates you are scheduled to serve. This is a great way to connect with other parents, to experience what your child is learning, and to engage with our regular Elementary Leaders who are committed to partnering with you in the discipleship of the East Side Children. You will always receive the curriculum before the Sunday you serve so that you can be prepared to help serve in any ways you are needed. It is so encouraging to see our classes grow and we are incredibly grateful for all who are serving with us.
Can you believe how quickly the months are flying by? In the hustle and bustle of daily work life, it is often hard to slow down and appreciate the little things. The other day, as I was passing by the trees in my neighborhood, I looked up and noticed the little flower buds starting to appear on the branches, which tell me that spring is coming back. This brought to mind God’s promise to save us from sin, reconcile our broken relationship with Him and to never abandon us. In Exodus, I can imagine that for the Israelites, who had been held captive for 400 years in Egypt, felt such joy when God sent Moses to deliver them. God had heard their plea and remembered his promise to Israel. In our preschool classes, the children are witnessing how God was with the Israelites from their flight from Egypt, through the crossing of the Red Sea, and to his feeding them in the wilderness. They will explore big questions such as: What is God like?, What is worship?, What does it mean to sin?.
As your children explore these big picture questions, please do continue to review with your child the activity sheet they get from class. This sheet reviews the lesson for that day and can help you in your conversations about how the story, like Exodus, points to Jesus.
Big Picture Questions & Memory Verses
- What is God like? God is holy, good and loving. “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with your mind.”Matthew 23:27
- What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God. “The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Exodus 15:2a
- What does it mean to sin? To sin is to go against God and His commands. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
If you have not done so already, please log in to your Redeemer account to make sure all of your information is up to date! Please add in any new phone numbers for you and or your spouse. In the event your child needs you during Sunday school, I will be sending you a text message. Please make sure this information is correct. Also, if your child has any allergies, please add this to their profile.
Parent Volunteer Sign-Up
A special shout out to the families who have volunteered in our Nursery and Preschool! It is very much appreciated! There is now a combined Nursery & Preschool volunteer calendar with a new link. Please do SIGN UP here if you have not volunteered as of yet! Or you will be receiving an email from me :) . Thank you all so much and Happy Spring!
Preschool Program Coordinator
This Spring we will be starting our curriculum, Jesus is Our Savior, and our little ones will learn about who Jesus is and what he did while he was on Earth. We will be looking at different miracles Jesus performed, how he loves God and us, and will go through his death and resurrection. We hope that this will lay the foundations for kids to start knowing and loving Jesus and recognizing him as their Savior.
Spring Memory Verses:
March: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son John 3:16
April: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. Psalm 56:3
May: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
If you have not done so already, please log on to your Redeemer account to make sure all of your information is up to date. Please add in any new phone numbers for you/or your spouse. In the event your child needs you during our Sunday School, I will be sending you a text message! So please make sure this information is correct. Also, if your child has any allergies, please add this to their profile as well.
Parent Volunteer Sign Up
A special shout out to the families who have volunteered in our Nursery and Preschool! It is very much appreciated! There is now a combined Nursery & Preschool volunteer calendar with a new link. Please do SIGN UP here if you have not volunteered as of yet! Or you will be receiving an email from me :). Thank you all so much and Happy Spring!