t-com:vml" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40"> Sunday School
North Port Community
United Church
of Christ

Church Kids Page

 

 

 

Beginning in September 2005, North Port Community United Church of Christ will began using the exciting new curriculum Seasons of the Spirit.  According to its creators "the vision of Season of the Spirit is to provide God's people with resources that empower all ages to be transformed in Christ as they:

  • Explore meaning and mystery in the Bible;

  • Celebrate in worship, sacraments, education and service;

  • Engage in ministries of love, justice and witness;

  • Live in inclusive communities of faith shaped and led by the Holy Spirit.

Children and adults alike participate in and benefit from the vibrant lessons and activities offered by Seasons of the Spirit because, more than a curriculum, Seasons of the Spirit is a resource for the entire congregation.

As its very spiritual and forward thinking publishers tell us "the lectionary passages of the Bible and rhythms of the church year provide the basis for learning, worship and service.  The theme of the day resounds in music, visuals, sermon, banners, vestments story, liturgy and ritual, as well as content.


Pictures of vacation bible school week taken by Dave are now posted on it own page since there are so many of them. Click here to see them.  And if you like you may copy and save these pictures to your computer just by right clicking on the picture and then click on save picture as.

Check out the bottom of this page for your own chat room where you can get together after school or on week end and chat. Want you friends to know about this, then tell them to check out this page and they can join you in chat.


Greetings from VBS 2005 at North Port Community UCC! 

This is our Second Annual VBS and 25 kids are attending.  Some highlights include:

  • kids having a blast and inviting other friends to come with them!

  • awesome worship time led by Laurie Colton (song leader) and Sharon Miller (teacher).  What an inspiring duo! 

  • Amazing youth leaders who guide VBS groups.  We are so blessed to have great kids sharing their time, gifts, and leadership skills with us.

  • A budding acting career by Donny Banks who crowned his performances today with an appearance as Jesus.  Considering Donny also helped preach on Sunday ( a first for him!) he has had quite a week.

  • Great snacks, made by the kids, and coordinated by Esther Sanborn and others.

  • Fantastic photos by Dave DeRonde (look for some on the website soon!).

  • The usual essential "behind the scenes" work by Patti Bourque.  This is just another ministry program we literally could not have accomplished without her.

  • Great teaching by Pastor Jane Potter in the drama room with Donny Banks and Mary Thoroman.

  • Joe Williams leading "Chadder Theater" where kids watch a video and discuss lessons about God and the bible.  This has been a favorite station because of Joe's leadership and teaching.

  • Raising money for UCC missionaries Scott and Susan Couper who are in South Africa.  Scott and Susan have even answered questions our VBS participants asked about life in South Africa via e-mail!

  • A completely transformed building that looks, feels, and sounds like Africa's Serengeti.  The theme for the week is "kids wild about God."

  • A building completely alive with kids and adults working and sharing together.  We are literally using every nook and cranny of our buildings in an intergenerational way.

  • And more!  Look for more reports in the Navigator but this gives you some idea what is happening here.  God is with us!

 

 

Now that VBS is almost over and you would like to learn more about Africa and what  UCC and our Missionaries are doing in Africa and how they are serving there, then check out some the links and stories below.

 

 

Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette and their kids with Pastor Evan when they visit us last year

 

 

 

 

Scott Couper

Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa. Scott serves with the UCCSA as pastor at a UCCSA congregation in Durban. Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary in Durban, South Africa as chaplain.

 

Susan Valiquette

Want to learn a couple Zulu words, try these

  Sawubona-hello
Unjani-How are you?
Ngisaphila-I am fine
Yebo-Yes
Woza-Come
Ikati-Cat
Hamba Kahle-Good bye
Sizobonana-See you later
Ngiyabonga-Thank you

If you like you can send them e-mail click here
 scandsv@intekom.co.za

Who do you say Jesus is TODAY?

May 2004

I serve as Chaplain of Inanda Seminary near Durban, South Africa. Inanda Seminary is a church school of our partner church, the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA). Inanda Seminary was established in 1869 by American missionaries as the first school for African females.

 

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Inanda Seminary

I would like to share with you the school�s motto and how it relates to my ministry and who Jesus is at Inanda Seminary. Inanda Seminary�s motto is �Shine Where You Are.� The motto is based on the scripture reading from Philippians where it reads, �shine like stars in the midst of a crooked and perverse world.� At Inanda Seminary we strive to empower over 300 teenagers to shine like stars in the midst of a crooked and perverse world. Inanda Seminary is a safe haven from the evils of the world in which the students live. This is best understood by the reasons that parents send their daughters to school at Inanda Seminary. Parents make tremendous sacrifices to afford the school fees so that their daughters are safe from crime, violence, rape, and abuse and are nurtured in a school with Christian values and morals. Inanda Seminary has also maintained high standards in education throughout its 135 years of existence. Parents realize that sending their daughters to Inanda Seminary will best prepare them for their futures.

Although Inanda Seminary is an oasis from the problems of the world, the students bring their worries and pains with them to school. Therefore the main focus of my ministry is pastoral care and counseling. Without the support of Global Ministries, Inanda Seminary would not be able to afford a Pastor for the students. As Chaplain I am able to offer support and guidance and refer the students to a psychologist if necessary. When parents and friends and the world fail them and my pastoral presence falls short, it is only the love of Jesus the Christ that truly fulfills and will never disappoint. This is Jesus at Inanda Seminary


Missioner observes that outreach is key to relevance in Connecticut Conference

June 2004

When the itinerate preacher, "wayfaring witness," and missionary evangelist to the then New World, George Whitefield (1714-1770) visited churches in New England, he caused quite a stir and 'awakened' many. I must confide that as I visited churches throughout Connecticut, folks did not froth at the mouth, hoot, holler, faint, and tremble in ecstatic frenzies as so many of our ancestors in faith did during Whitefield's revivals. Instead, and thankfully, I received gracious hospitality, interested and curious enthusiasm, and assurances to recommit our churches to the wider mission of the Church. Whitefield's visit to Yale in 1740 inspired David Brainerd to a life of outreach, a life immortalized in a book by Jonathan Edwards. As I traveled in Connecticut, I encountered many 'Brainerds'; some were retired nurses and some were budding ministers. Some were even outreach committee chairs! I am no George Whitefield, however I did strive, by communicating my experience as a missionary in South Africa, to revitalize our congregations' involvement in partnerships with other brothers and sisters in faith around the world so that the good news of Jesus Christ may be seen and heard.

Woodstock, Killingworth, Saugatuck, Brookfield, New Haven, Cornwall, and many other churches I visited within the Connecticut Conference justifiably wallow in their proud histories printed on plaques, brochures, and memorials - histories that have always emphasized God's call to strike out into the world to endow it with education, health, justice, and faith. Therefore, many churches expressed heartfelt dismay at my revelation that due to lower giving and recent budget cuts our denomination's mission board (Global Ministries), in partnership with the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church), has implemented a freeze - a moratorium - of new missioners sent into the world. For a conference such as Connecticut's that has been at the forefront of missionary initiatives for three hundred years the news of such a moratorium was deeply regretted.

As Whitefield traveled, especially to Yale, he "opposed the rigid forms into which religion had fallen [and had] spoken against the spiritual paralysis that had gradually come over New England." Contrary to Whitefield's evaluation, I observed much flexibility and growth. I encountered churches with strong ministers, faithful parishioners, and much hope for the future. However, I also encountered churches that strive to hold on to the glorious past at the expense of an even more glorious future. Many churches in their efforts to preserve the past, end up sacrificing relevance, growth, and strength for the future. Congregationalism in New England held and still holds certain truths and values as primary. Since the 1700s, these truths have been expressed in a timeless fashion. Our objective in the twenty-first century is not necessarily to change those truths and values, but rather to change the means by which those truths and values are expressed so that they are relevant and appropriate for the time in which we live rather than appropriate for the time in which our ancestors in faith lived.

Mission is the key to this relevance. No body of water that stagnant can support abundant life. Any life-giving water must 'flow'; fresh water must come and that same water must eventually go. Mission provides us with new relationships, new environments, new theologies, new opportunities, and renewed faith. The Jerusalem Church, though a faithful church, valued tradition, intimacy, and therefore parochialism at the expense of relevance rendering it insular and essentially extinct. The Gentile Church was a mission church.

I discerned in my travels that many churches in the Connecticut Conference are proud inheritors of that same mission oriented Gentile Church. May our collective past continue to guide, and not limit, our future as a faithful church reaching out to the world.

Revs Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette

Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa. Scott serves with the UCCSA as pastor at a UCCSA congregation in Durban. Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary in Durban, South Africa as chaplain.

 

 

 

 

African partners and Global Ministries
share a historic remembrance

Scott Couper

Susan Valiquette

November 2004

Chief Albert Luthuli. Does the name ring a bell? Probably not. Neither did I recognize the name, though a student of Africa and a life-long member of the United Church of Christ, whose roots lie within the congregational tradition. Only when requested to serve the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa as minister of the Groutville Congregational Church did I learn about one of our faith�s greatest heroes. Chief Albert Luthuli is now a name that I will teach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the rest of my ministry. Chief Albert Luthuli is a name that should be known by every confirmation student and minister in our denomination as he was the first African to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the only Congregationalist to receive the Prize, and is arguably our denominations� greatest ancestor in faith.

On August 21, 2004, Chief Albert Luthuli�s name was remembered by millions in South Africa and around the world at an event whereby his legacy was honored. On this day, the General Secretary of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (U.C.C.S.A.), Reverend Steve Titus, and the Africa Executive for Global Ministries, Rev. Dr. Bonganjalo Goba, together hosted the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, at the Groutville Congregational Church. The event celebrated the restoration, renovation, and expansion of the Groutville Church, where Chief Luthuli served as a deacon, and the cemetery, where the Chief is laid to rest, and celebrated the South African government�s declaration of the church as a National Heritage Site. Also celebrated was the opening of a house museum, the unveiling of a public sculpture and bust, and the opening of an interpretive center whereby thousands of people a year are able to learn about a great Christian and human rights leader whose legacy has been silenced and neglected for many decades.

The erasing of Luthuli from the world�s consciousness began in 1953 when Luthuli was first silenced by the racist South African Apartheid regime that declared it illegal for him to speak publicly, for anyone to publish his image, or for his speeches or writings to be printed. The silencing for many decades of Luthuli�s contribution to the furtherance of human rights in South Africa, particularly for people of color, has allowed his legacy to be neglected and almost forgotten. Yet history is now revealing how Luthuli paved the way for Biko, Tutu, and Mandela and ought to be studied along side some of the most well known Nobel Peace Prize-winners such as Gandhi, King, Carter, and Anan.

We should not only be proud of Luthuli for what he did in his own right, but we ought to be especially proud as Luthuli is one of our own! Luthuli was bred and educated in the bosom of American Congregationalism in what was known as the Umvoti Mission Station (Groutville) established in 1847 by Reverend Aldin Grout of the American Board for Foreign Missions. Luthuli attended and taught at Adams College and his wife, Nokukhanya, studied at Inanda Seminary � all American Congregationalist founded educational institutions. In 1952 Luthuli became the President-General of the African National Congress and led the liberation movement in South Africa for seventeen years.

Luthuli was first and foremost a Christian. In a statement entitled, �The Road To Freedom is via the Cross,� Luthuli prayed, �What the future has in store for me I do not know. It might be ridicule, imprisonment, concentration camp, flogging, banishment, and even death. I only pray to the Almighty to strengthen my resolve so that none of these grim possibilities may deter me from striving�� His speeches and reports are peppered with theological rationale for the political struggle that he waged. Luthuli, like his American contemporary Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King with whom he cooperated, advocated fiercely for a militant non-violent active struggle against oppression and racism. Like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Luthuli was a church leader and an ambassador of the �rainbow nation� to the world, even visiting the United States with the sponsorship of the American Board in 1948. Luthuli, like Mandela, was seen by many in South Africa and the world as the one statesman that could keep South Africa from self-destruction. Like Nelson Mandela following his release from prison, Luthuli�s keen intellect and powerful personality held together in solidarity against incredible odds Indians, Whites, Blacks, Communists, Liberals, Christians, Muslims, modernists and traditionalists within the African National Congress thus enabling the survival and future growth of the anti-Apartheid struggle and the creation of the present day democratic South Africa. Perhaps most importantly, despite rising to the heights of political power, like the Mahatma Gandhi, Luthuli remained in public and private a humble man. He lived in a humble home and died as a simple farmer, a father of seven, and a member of his Congregational church. Luthuli never sought after positions, but was always democratically thrust into them by others.

On August 21, 2004, thanks to the efforts of Rev. Dr. Bonganjalo Goba of Global Ministries who gave the inspirational message to the President of South Africa and all others present and thanks to Rev. Steve Titus of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa who closed the service in prayer, our church celebrated one of its own. We began where Chief Luthuli began: at church, in prayer, with Scripture, and together in partnership. Thanks be to God!

Revs Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette

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Inanda Seminary

School Type: Girls


Inanda Seminary, founded by American missionaries in 1869, is an independent school under the auspices of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) and a member of ISASA (Independent Schools of Southern Africa).

It has at its core a holistic education programme, which upholds Christian values and philosophies and embraces African tradition and heritage. It has a proud history of educating thousands of black South African women who have gone into the world exemplifying the school�s motto taken from St Paul�s letter to the Philippians � �Shine where you are�.

The school, which lies 25 kilometres North West of Durban and forms part of the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Route, is a leading independent black boarding school for girls in southern Africa. It offers quality education, which emphasises independent thinking and freedom of expression and has produced a number of highly successful women who today occupy high profile positions in government and business � Dr Manto Tshabalala Msimang (Minister of Health), Ms Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge (Deputy Minister of Health), Ms Baleka Mbete-Kgotsisile (former Deputy Speaker of Parliament), Barbara Masakela (Ambassador to USA), Cecelia Khuzwayo (former acting CEO of the SABC) and Thandi Orleyn (former chairperson of the CCMA) amongst many others.

As an independent school where all the �members� are full boarders, parents are attracted by the high quality, value based education, which is offered at a very affordable fee-level, and the excellent matric results achieved over the years.

Values are reinforced and strengthened in a cultural context that is proudly African. Inanda Seminary has been able to achieve much, largely through the love and passion of staff and alumnae. The pride and sense of belonging which the school instills in all who teach, work and learn there portrays the general character of the institution.

The school, set amongst magnificent trees, is housed in beautiful old historic buildings � the earliest of which Mission House (administration) built in 1858 is now a national monument. Tuition and boarding is offered in Grades 7 � 12 encompassing both the Senior and FET phases. Prospective students are most welcome to visit the school in its beautiful setting.

School Phase:
Primary
Secondary

Lowest Grade: Grade 7
Highest Grade: Grade 12
Boarding: Yes
Boarding From: Grade 7
Number of Pupils: 325
Founding Year: 1869
Religious Affiliation: Christian

 

Lowest Boarding Fees (inc. Tuition): R14 400
Highest Boarding Fees (inc. Tuition): R14 400
Postal Address: PO Box 40597 Red Hill
Postal Code: 4071
Telephone: (031) 510-1011
Fax: (031) 510-1801
Website: http://www.inanda.kzn.school.za
Suburb: Inanda
City/Town: Inanda
South African Province: KwaZulu-Natal
Country: South Africa
 


Stories that Jesus told

For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent Me commanded Me what to say and how to say it. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told Me to say."
John 12:49-50

Like to read stories, well this is the page for you. On this page you will find stories that are told in the bible and also you will find stories about the life and times of Jesus, These stories are gear toward kids so that they will understand the meaning behind the story. Parents are welcome to read along with the kids so they can talk about the story after they finish reading about it. Click here to start reading the sotries from the bible and the stories of Jesus

 

Click here to see pictures taken by Dave of our 2005 Vacation Bible School

 

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