Core Values - Event Descriptions - Intergenerational Relationships Events - Spiritual Experiences Events - Growth in Biblical Knowledge Events -Participation in God's Redemptive Mission Events - Attention to Parents' Growth Events
Kidside is our ministry to help grow Christ-followers from birth - 6th grade.
We want kids to grow in knowledge and spiritual wisdom, and to develop a personal relationship with Jesus. We also want to help our parents take responsibility for being the primary trainers of their own children.
- Intergenerational Relationships
- Spiritual Experiences
- Growth in Biblical Knowledge
- Participation in God's Redemptive Mission
- Attention to Parents' growth
Our events are categorized below by the core value to which they most directly relate.
Our bonfire night is a great fellowship opportunity hosted by Teenside & Kidside but really for all ages. Mike & Susan Hall have hosted this for years. Enjoy a fall night around the fire with hotdogs and marshmallows roasting. A hayride (sometimes haunted) is a highlight. Basketballs, footballs and frisbees are flying until it gets too dark, then hide and seek begins. This is a great environment to invite friends and build relationships. We always have a devotional moment around the campfire, reminding us that it is God's hand that made this beautiful world.
Christmas Devo & Caroling:
On the 2nd Sunday in December, we gather at 5:00 for an evening service led by our students focused on God coming into the world as an innocent, defenseless infant in a manger. After the assembly we break up into groups of 15-20 and take our caroling assignments. Each group visits 2-4 homes singing carols at each one. This is my favorite Christmas moment. It is hard to measure the impact we have on one another on this amazing night.
On the first Sunday of each year we celebrate the new births with which God has blessed us under the previous calendar. During the service families come up on stage. Parents and then the congregation dedicate themselves to bring up these children in the love of the Lord. During class the families gather in the GAP for brunch. Extended family often participates. This is a time for families to connect and prepare for the new journey they are beginning together.
Munches are about bringing people together. Our typical focus is breaking age division. On MLK Day, we extend our mission to address color lines as well. We are always joined for lunch that day by our brothers and sisters from McClellan Avenue. The past few years have been so racially divisive in our country. This luncheon reminds us that as God's people we are not segregated by race or ethnicity.
Valentine Munch and Student Led Service:
The 2nd Sunday in February we focus our devotional thought on love in the 5:00 pm assembly. After the assembly we gather in the gym for a meal and Munch program. People from various ages gather together around the table for a meal. We will have interactive crafts, games and activities that help build relationships across the generations.
Easter Egg Hunt:
The Easter Egg hunt takes place on Sunday afternoon a week before Easter. Bryan and Ginny Henson have hosted this event at Campbellball Yard for many years. It is a great time to enjoy a spring Sunday afternoon together as the children run around in the newly green grass.
Celebration of Learning:
May is a time that marks our progress. Some students are graduating from college or high school, but even more are finishing another grade along the way. On this Sunday morning, we especially recognize those completing 6th grade and moving up to the Teenside ministry by announcing them in the service and hosting a brunch for them during class time. We also recognize those who are completing Mighty Oaks Mother's Day Out. It is a day that we showcase our children and the things they have learned.
Family Book Club:
The Family book club exists to encourage families to read together at home, and then gather with an intergenerational group for a meal and conversations about our relationship with God, ourselves, our neighbors and creation. This year we are reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book addresses the experience of a child dealing with physical deformities and the bullying that ensues.
We are blessed to live in a beautiful place. Several waterfalls and other natural wonders surround us. We have a great bike path from Algood to Cookeville. Our hike day is a time to go outside and walk together. It is a Sunday afternoon to enjoy fellowship and the beauty of God's creation.
Imaginative Prayer Class (March 20 - May 1) in the GAP:
On Wednesday nights this spring we will have an intergenerational class in the GAP. This will be the only option for Club 56 students, and younger students are invited with a parent. Any teen, college student or adult is welcome to attend. Imaginative Prayer is a way of entering into Bible stories or introducing theological ideas through a guided meditation. The theme for this series of imaginative prayers will be "Jesus is King".
Typically celebrated on the 4th Sunday in July, this is a day of praying for and challenging our newest students. Children are challenged (charged) with the task of pursuing God through seeking knowledge and wisdom. We give them a children's Bible and encourage them to grow as readers, so they can read God's word. During class time families meet together for brunch.
This Munch takes place on the 2nd Sunday of September, Grandparents Day on the calendar. Many Grandparents come in from out of town. A special Munch time in the gym precedes a student led evening assembly.
On Friday night, a week before Easter, we celebrate a Messianic Passover. This is a powerful intergenerational experience that connects us with 3,500 years of God's people. We learn a lot about Moses and the Exodus, which in turn enlightens us about the significance of the Last Supper, the Lord's Supper and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
The Resurrection Trail is an experience of Jesus' last week in Jerusalem. The trail begins in the gym, passes through the UCSC, Teenside, and much of the Collegeside building. Along the way you are greeted by live animals, costumed characters, light hearted moments, and gut wrenching experiences. If you haven't walked this trail, it is impossible to understand the journey that it is.
Wednesday Evening Classes
C3 (Clyde Christian Camp):
We partner with the Smyrna (Rutherford County) congregation for camp each summer. Camp is from Sunday afternoon through Friday morning at Clyde York 4-H Camp in Crossville, TN. Camp is designed for rising 3rd graders through high school seniors. Younger children can come as long as a parent is in the cabin with them. Lots of parents are needed to be cabin counselors and help with teaching and various activities.
Sycamore hosts one of the largest Bible Bowls in the world at the Hooper Eblen Center on the Saturday after Labor Day every September. The study texts are now released in January. Typically 3rd-6th grade classes study these texts during the summer. Special study groups are organized as well; recently this has happened on Wednesday afternoons.
Bread for Life Thanksgiving Meal:
For families this is a great opportunity to serve and be hospitable. Children can serve by picking up empty plates or delivering drinks. The best thing you can do with young children is go through line and sit with someone you don't know to build relationship over a meal. Over a Thanksgiving dinner you can give the blessing of community to a neighbor.
Christmas in the Park:
This is actually a community event in which we participate. This is a chance to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas surrounded by several thousand of our neighbors. It is a time of Christians coming together from across our town to sing carols and to hear the true Christmas story read aloud at Dogwood Park.
Spring/Fall Break Service Project:
On Wednesday nights during Fall and Spring Break we break from our regular classes and do service projects in the gym for ages 2 years and up. Our primary goal is to find ways that our children can make meaningful contributions to our congregational ministries and missions. We often to projects that support Bread for Life, Celebrate Recovery, Habitat, other age groups, etc.
We Are Missionaries (WAM):
WAM us our summer Wednesday night ministry for 3rd - 6th grade. Every year we expose our kids to foreign, domestic and local mission efforts in which our congregation is involved. Our goal is to help kids see themselves as participants in God's mission today and to plant seeds that will flower into future Missional involvement.
Valentine Date Night:
The UCSC provides babysitting on a Saturday night close to Valentine's Day to bless our parents with a date night. If you don't recognize the importance of this night I recommend marriage counseling. 🙂
Outside Movie Night:
In late September, as night comes earlier, we have a family movie night on the playground. The movie is selected with a Kindergarten, preschool target. When the weather cooperates, this is a great relaxing night for children to play and enjoy a movie while parents have time to visit and build relationships.