Dolls for Nzige
Earlier this week Lydia Monroe, our P4K director, alerted me to yet another amazing way members in our congregation are being a blessing to our friends in Nzige. She informed me that Nancy Carden (who previously led a project to make clothes for the preschoolers in Nzige) and her granddaughter, Rachel Daningburg, committed to making dolls. I reached out to Sue Smout, who is a part of the Pearce team going to Nzige at the end of July, to learn more about this great project. This is Sue’s email response to me that I wanted to share with you:
As the Summer Nzige team prepares to leave next month, we have been packing our bags of materials in preparation. We will be bringing items to create play and learning centers in the classrooms, and demonstrate how children learn through play and exploration. Traditional Rwandan education has the teacher lecturing while the students listen and copy from the chalkboard.
The team explored the nursery school room at Pearce and developed centers and learning materials that are familiar to our preschool students. Wooden blocks and cars, art materials, dress up clothes, sand and water toys, and games. We wanted to bring dolls for the classroom centers too, but wanted a doll that was cute and cuddly and reflected a simpler, home made look instead of a hard plastic doll. We approached Nancy Carden with a pattern, and she graciously offered to make the 25 dolls we wanted to bring. When the dolls were finished, Nancy and her granddaughter, Rachel Daningburg, added adorable faces to personalize the dolls. The baby dolls will be a wonderful addition as we set up a “homemaking” center in each classroom.
The dolls are lightweight and can be washed, and the loving care that went into making them makes them even more special.”
How cool is that! I am sure the children in Nzige will be absolutely delighted by this warm gift. Thank you to Nancy Carden, Rachel Daningburg, Sue Smout, and all who are participating in this fantastic project! You truly are a blessing!
Common Grounds Café Upgrade
Have you ever accidentally walked into a sliding glass door because it was so clean you didn’t notice it was there? I have and it isn’t funny! Okay, maybe it’s a little funny; but it is also embarrassing (if others are around to witness it); and it can be dangerous.
The reason I ask, is because we just had new windows and glass doors installed at our Common Grounds Café entrance and they look beautiful! “Why did you do such a thing?” you might ask. Well first of all, in addition to serving delicious coffee and a tasty menu that includes Jim Heeks’s Famous Chili, it also offers a warm and welcoming environment for special ministries like Lifetree Café and events like Discovery Seminar. One of the challenges we faced was that when the church was filled with other fun events, like our Pearce 4 Kids graduation, the traffic and noise in the atrium could be disturbing to activities in the Café. Now, we have the convenient option of keeping the sliding windows and doors open or choosing to close them.
Secondly, we value security and good stewardship at Pearce. We are blessed to have this spot for our congregation and for RWC students to use during the school year. As you may have noticed, we have added certain items (like a new TV) to help create a cozy atmosphere and to accommodate certain ministries. Also, the Café is a state certified kitchen that needs to be kept clean and the product we utilize for the Café needs to be kept safe. Our desire is to be good stewards of God’s blessings at Pearce; so we want to insure that the Café is secure when not in use.
I hope you get the chance to take a peek at this new upgrade to our Café—just don’t run into the glass! I am looking forward to the many ministry opportunities and fellowship connections that will continue to happen in that wonderful space.
A Summer in The Book of Acts
In his book Gift and Giver: The Holy Spirit for Today, Bible scholar Craig S. Keener says, “As Elijah’s mantle fell on Elisha and as other prophetic disciples sought to emulate their mentors, so the ascending Jesus empowered His church with the Spirit to carry on His mission to the ends of the earth.” Don’t you love that image of the Holy Spirit coming upon His Church like a mantle to empower and embolden the disciples of Jesus to faithfully share the Good News?
Well, I am excited to announce that this summer, we will have the privilege of walking through the book of Acts together at Pearce in a sermon series entitled, “Encounters Along the Way!” With the guidance of incredible preachers like Rev. Jonathan Bratt, Dr. Matt Hill, Dr. Doug Cullum, and Bishop David Kendall, we will explore what happens when the Spirit-led, Gospel-bearing disciples of Jesus come in contact with the various dynamics of evangelism. For instance, how did the early disciples navigate their encounters with a world that did not know Jesus and was often hostile to His followers? In what ways did the Holy Spirit empower them to preach in the face of intimidating hierarchy and dominating people like King Agrippa? Is that courage and conviction available for us today as Christ-followers, and will the Holy Spirit guide us like He did the early church in the first century?
As the early church father John Chrysostom said in the late 4th century AD about the Book of Acts, “It will profit us no less than the Gospels themselves, so replete is it with Christian wisdom and sound doctrine, especially in what is said concerning the Holy Spirit. Let us then not pass by it hastily but examine it closely.” I hope you can join us throughout the summer as together we closely examine these important questions and encounters found in the book of Acts!