GenOn's bimonthly newsletter featuring insights, ideas, events, resources and announcements.
March/April 2015

Shoeless friends taught me a life-long lesson

Beth Fratzke, Peace Presbyterian Church, Elkhorn, Neb.

Karen Lea Kirschhoffer had a gift. She could make an instant connection with a child or youth of any age.


We all have what it takes to connect with kids -- it just takes some of us a little longer or requires a bit more effort.


Karen could make friends with kids in a heartbeat. Years ago, when my daughter was not yet 3, she and I went to church. The moment we sat down in the pew, Julia kicked off her patent leather Mary Janes and tossed them under the pew in front of her. She hated those shoes.


I sighed and started to reach for the shoes to return them to their proper place, when out of nowhere, Karen appeared next to Julia and asked to join us for worship.


Without missing a beat, she smiled at Julia and promptly removed her own shoes. Julia beamed. They became instant friends, and together they enjoyed that morning's worship experience.


That was an epiphany for me. Then and there, I realized that worshiping God as the Body of Christ has less to do with simply showing up on Sunday and wearing your finest. It has everything to do with building relationships with one another -- genuine, intergenerational relationships.


That's what LOGOS is all about. That's what Karen knew in her heart. And that's the lesson I carry with me whenever I make friends with a young person.

Do you have a similar story? If so, please share via GenOn's Facebook page or website.

Road trip: Making connections in the car
Liz Perraud, Executive Director, GenOn Ministries

Each Wednesday, I pick up Mary and Neera for LOGOS and then take them home afterward. Their mother doesn't drive, and their father's work schedule prevents him from taking them to or from LOGOS.


The girls really wanted to come to LOGOS, and so a bit reluctantly I agreed to drive them each week.


In the car, we chat about their day at school (kindergarten and first grade) -- what they're reading and what they played at recess. We also talk about the night's theme and menu for LOGOS (I'm in charge of the meals!).


I don't see them during LOGOS. So on the way home, we talk about what they sang in choir, what they did in Recreation and what they thought of dinner. They're polite enough to always tell me dinner was delicious! 


Recently Mary told me that every morning they come into their parents' room before breakfast. Their mom prays and they read their children's Bible. Their little brother and sister (18-month-old twins) sit quietly. I found myself wishing I did any of those things every morning.


It's never just a one-way conversation though, with me asking all the questions and hearing their sweet answers. They want to know what my favorite book was when I was young, where I went to school, and even about my favorite thing in LOGOS on a particular night. In nearly 25 years, I don't think anyone's ever asked me that before!


Though I love nearly everything about my LOGOS evening -- the camaraderie of the kitchen, the rambunctiousness of my middle-school Bible class (most nights), and our all-group closing song and prayer time -- I think my 10-minute road trips with Mary and Neera are my favorite part. And they may even agree. Or at least they'll be polite enough to say they do!


How do you connect with children in your church? Send us an email or contact us on Facebook to share you story. We're looking forward to connecting with you in 2015!


In Christ,


Liz Perraud

Executive Director

GenOn Ministries

cell: 443-255-8492

Toll-free: 877-937-2572


Parents Corner: How to make Lenten connections
Shirley Carlson, La Crescenta Presbyterian Church, California

cross2.jpg Parents help their children learn the give-and-take of building strong relationships with others. What better time than Lent to help them focus on the most important relationship of all -- building a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ?

By doing this, we honor God by our actions. We learn about true sacrifice when we give up something of value. But God also needs us to minister to others through sacrificial acts of service. 

This Lenten season, introduce your children to the practices of Lent. Our church recently passed out Valentines-like greetings from Jesus, asking us to be His. The message on the envelope read, "Do You Love Me? Be Mine! Love, Jesus." Inside the envelope were suggestions for ways to give up something or commit to a positive act of time and effort.  

As a family, make a list of things to give up or take on during the remainder of Lent. Make sure your children understand the special gift that God gave to us when he sacrificed His son. Also, help them compare our small Lenten sacrifices to the suffering Jesus went through for us.  

Consider these helpful resources for other family-oriented Lenten ideas to help your children draw closer to Jesus:

In This Issue
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