We have a new member in our Children’s Sunday programming. Her name is Haley. She is as sweet as can be; all the children love her; she has beautiful brown eyes, a great attitude and her coat is soft and golden! Haley is an Autism Service Dog and she accompanies one of our young students to class.
This is my first exposure to an Autism Service Dog and I must tell you I am in awe of her. Let me briefly explain what Haley does:
• She provides a physical and emotional anchor for her child
• She provides deep pressure to reduce behavioral or emotional outbursts
• She helps reduce the stress and anxiety of her child and everyone around her
• She facilitates and encourages communication
• She is a calming presence and helps her child focus and transition through activities
Haley is amazing. As I reflected on Haley’s purpose for her child, it dawned on me that this is exactly what we have done by redesigning our space and programming for your child on a Sunday morning. At the Summit, we want your children to find the Way to God by experiencing His love. We want them to understand the Truth’s of God’s Word. And, as they grow in their relationship with God, we want to help them learn to use their God-given gifts and talents to share this Life.
The changes we made this past summer are instrumental in accomplishing these goals. We designed very intentional worship spaces (in what was formerly known as Rainbowland or the Old Sanctuary) for kindergarten thru 6th grade and in former classroom space on the upper level of the Education Building. Additionally, Soxman Hall was divided into creative small group space. These spaces, in conjunction with our large group/small group programming, are designed to help bring God into focus for our children in a way that is relevant to their lives.
By being very intentional about what we do we want children to know that God is their Haley and can be the anchor in their lives. We are deliberate about being relevant to facilitate and encourage children to communicate with God. We select our curriculum so that children can best experience God and learn His truths. We want children to feel God’s deep love in their hearts to help keep them calm and focused in those difficult transitions of life.
If you and your children have not yet experienced The Summit Children’s Programming I invite you to do so. While I don’t know for sure that God has beautiful brown eyes or a shiny golden coat, I can promise that your child will be introduced to a God that loves them deeply and can be their anchor for life.
“I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6