Milton Church “Unites 4 Kids”
The Sabbath program was focused on students, teachers, school staff and volunteers as well as club leaders and Sabbath school teachers as they all prepared for the new school year.
“I think one of the values of a prayer initiative like this, is that it made all the participants a part of the youth ministry team,” said Richie Brower, UCC club, youth and young adult ministries associate director. “It’s also an opportunity for church members to let teachers and volunteers know that we appreciate what they do and that we support them.”
The Milton Church held a special back-to-school church service aligned with the mission of Unite 4 Kids and invited local teachers and staff to attend the service. This year, the focus broadened to include families with children.
While the service was also streamed online, there was high in-person attendance. “We all agreed that this was the biggest in-person service we have had since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Nancy Canwell, associate pastor.
Many children were involved in the service, including a second-grade girl who assisted Canwell by introducing teachers, staff and board members from the local school. “I involved kids of all ages to take over parts of the service. Many proud parents showed up with their kids,” shared Canwell.
Lloyd Perrin, senior pastor, had a prayer of dedication for the teachers and staff. He prayed for God’s guidance in the new school year. “Our principal told me after church that introducing and praying for the teachers and staff made them feel loved and supported,” added Canwell.
The children also felt the encouragement from the church and enjoyed being a part of the service. “I think that the kids also felt support, a lot of love and appreciation,” said Canwell. “When they're the focus of a church service like this and [get to be] active participants, the church feels like it’s their church. They all really enjoyed taking part and did an amazing job!”
“Our kids are in the enemy’s cross hairs and we need to direct focused prayer toward heaven on their behalf,” said Brower. “Now, more than ever, they need the community and support that we offer in Sabbath School, clubs and the classroom.”