Supporting children and their families is an essential piece of GPUMC.

There is a season in every person’s life when they are most open to learning what it means to trust God. At GPUMC, we are intentional about ensuring our children get the right impression. Jesus loves and values children. We are so blessed to have these children to minister to, through our various programs, here at GPUMC.

Bibles for 3rd graders

Studying Scripture is one of the most important ways to learn about God. GPUMC presents a Bible to each 3rd grader to honor their growing faith development and to recognize that they are old enough to study Scripture on their own.

We believe that this gift is a starting point for a deeper relationship with God and this church.

The Bibles are presented to each child by a Bible Buddy from the congregation. Bible Buddies are encouraged to pray for their student and send cards of thoughtfulness and encouragement throughout the year. 

For three weeks after receiving their Bible, students attend a get-to-know-your-Bible class along with their parents. This class is intended to help both the child and parent become familiar with how to use their Bible and what is found where.  

We typically present the Bibles to children during November. If you would like your child receive a Bible, contact Emily Bianchi.

Chancel chat        

Children of all ages are welcome to join their parents when worship begins each Sunday morning. They are present for the welcome, the opening hymn, the pastoral prayer, and the first Scripture reading. Those pieces of the service usually take about 15 minutes.

Christian education director Emily Bianchi — herself the mother of two young children — then invites all of the children to join her at the front of the church for Chancel Chat. Emily shares a brief story or lesson that ties in with the scripture or the day’s upcoming sermon.

Sometimes, children have “fished” for Christians; sometimes, they have listened to a brief description of using the Beatitudes as a recipe for life – all while making granola in front of the congregation!

Following Chancel Chat, Emily escorts the children upstairs for Bible studies, crafts, activities, and fun, although children also are welcome to remain in the sanctuary with their parents.

Children’s choir                  

The Children’s Choir incorporates fun and fellowship into singing praise to God. 

During the school year, children are dismissed from Sunday School to participate in Children’s Choir.

Children sing faith-based songs as part of the Sunday morning worship service once a month, led by Chancel Choir member Tamara Baubie. They are typically rewarded with a hearty round of applause from the congregation!

The Children’s Choir also leads GPUMC’s 5 pm Christmas Eve Family Service, which incorporates a skit, musical performances, congregational hymns, and Scripture. 

The Children’s Choir also sings occasionally with the Chancel Choir.

If you wonder whether your child would benefit from a church choir experience, we recommend reading this article.

Children’s garden

The GPUMC Sunday School established a children’s garden in the lawn at the west end of the church property about 20 years ago. The garden was intended to teach children that:

Men and women (or boys and girls) can plant the seeds, but God gives the increase;

There is joy in spending time in God’s creation (of course, they already know that it’s fun to play in the dirt, don’t they?);

Food comes from the sweat of someone’s brow, not from the supermarket; and

Others need food more than we do and helping them by providing food that comes from the sweat of our brows is joyous work.

Donald Crawford, who is known to the kids as “farmer Don,” oversees the project.

The garden has grown in both the number of gardeners, exceeding 20 one year, as well as in size.  The most bountiful crops have been tomatoes (many sizes and colors), cucumbers (sometimes very large), zucchini (sometimes gigantic), peppers, cabbage, pumpkins, and onions. In 2014, the garden produced an excellent crop of celery and some purple potatoes from Michigan State University’s potato research program.

Each year has presented challenges, including rabbits, squirrels, and possibly a raccoon which have fed on seeds, tender plants, and ripening vegetables. However, each year, the garden has produced a plentiful supply of vegetables that has been shared with the congregation.

Nursery         

At Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church, we want your worship experience to be as fulfilling as possible.

If you have young children, we provide nursery care for infants and children up to three years of age. Nursery care is available from 9 am until 11 am each Sunday and for special events at the church.

Ask one of the greeters or ushers for directions to the nursery if you are planning to worship with us.

Please be prepared to complete a registration form to ensure that the nursery staff know the child’s name, the parents’ names and who is able to receive the child at the end of the service. The registration form also collects information about allergies and any medical needs.

Sunday morning opportunities  

Children are important members of Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church long before they “officially” join the church.

Children frequently join their parents to serve as greeters before the Sunday service. Children as young as 6 years old may serve as acolytes. Children may take communion whenever their parents believe they are ready for that experience. They may join the Children’s Choir led by Tamara Baubie (herself the mother of a young child), which sings once a month during our Sunday worship service. 

Older children can serve as communion helpers, liturgists, join the Chancel Choir, or serve as nursery attendants.

Sunday School: Preschool to 5th grade   

Following Chancel Chat in our morning service, children are escorted upstairs for weekly guided Bible studies, crafts, activities, and fun led by volunteer church members.

Our Nurture Committee personally chooses or creates curriculum that will strengthen our children’s relationships with Christ in fun and engaging ways.

The leaders of our Nurture Committee — Merrilee Day and Katie Anderson — are mothers and professional educators who bring a passion for working with children to all of their decisions about what curriculum is appropriate for each grade level. They work alongside Emily Bianchi, who is also a mother and has a degree in elementary education.

During the school year, children are dismissed from Sunday School to participate in Children’s Choir.

During Sunday School in the summer, our children spend time in the garden with Farmer Don learning to care for and yield crops they can take home, share, and enjoy.  

If you’d like to register your child for our Sunday School program, please contact Emily Bianchi

Vacation Bible School                    

During the summer, GPUMC offers four days of fun for children grades preschool – 5th grade to learn about Jesus through stories, songs, games, and crafts. VBS is open to any children who are interested in attending. You do not need to a member or attend Grosse Pointe UMC to join us! 

The 2021 Vacation Bible School will run from 9 am to noon Monday, Aug. 2 to Friday, Aug. 6, with a closing celebration planned for noon to 1:30 pm Friday, Aug. 6. Register now to participate in this exciting week of learning!