Monday, January 26, 2009

Princess Ministries

Sabra! Lauren Po!

First of all, what do you think of the name Princess Ministries? Based on being the King's daughters, valued, beautiful inside and out, privileged (chosen), and called to specific duties.

2. I spoke with Jamie Schantz this Sunday as we were caring for sniffling sneezing babies in the nursery about the pitiful state the church nursery is. I think I was literally getting sick in there, so there's no telling how the todds and babes were handling it! we were talking ideas of how to create a warm, homey atmosphere...and then, after church, Meredith Mork grabbed me and told me she's thought of remodeling the nursery, and immediately thought of me to help with that! talk about confirmation!
3. going along with this, I also attended the library ministry meeting, where we discussed how to create an effective and positive learning/reading environment for Heartlanders to enjoy. After realizing the needs of these two areas, my brain started whirring...

How amazing would it be to get the young women of Heartland involved in these two ministries! it is dead on with God's calling to us as women of the Church: to serve the Church in the best ways we know how! Decorating and creating a comfortable environment for others is what we were born to do! This is so exciting to me!! So, let me know what you girls think. Offhand, my initial ideas on how to get the ball rolling are:
a. discuss with the elders
1. ask about budget for nursery, if there is one
2. ask about location- is the present room for the nursery the permanent spot? or the best spot?
3. present a list of things that need to be improved by men- electricity, window shades, furniture built, carpet, etc.
4. if needed, ideas on how to raise money for this task: bake sale (also a lesson on baking), art sale (i have a ton of ceramics i want to get rid of!), even a jewelry sale where us the girls can have a day of creating their own necklaces, etc. and then put them up for sale! babysitting volunteering (donations), maybe a mom's day out (donations)?
5. a list of needed items that ppl might have lingering around that they could donate: couches, blankets, chairs, tables, activity centers, various media, possible t.v. for watching interactive videos...
6. i'm reading a book right now called "Too Small to Ignore" by CEO Dr. Wess Stafford of Compassion Intl. and i am well aware of the crazy passion i get for every book i read, but this one truly is amazing and speaks as one with my own heart. While working in the nursery, I noticed something off that i had just read about that morning...the theme was toys. To summarize, Dr. Stafford was raised in a tiny, remote African village where age was not segregated. As soon as one could walk, you were called to help get sticks for the fires. and as you grew, the responsibilities changed and increased (like he and his friends used slingshots to ward off the baboons from their gardens). These were jobs. But to this village, it was also play. It took a whole village to keep things running and food on the table. So naturally, all were called to contribute. Dr. Stafford described the pure joy in being able to contribute to his community, as well as be involved in the lives of the adults. Today, we find toys, video games, mindless distractions, and anything else we can think of to get the children out of the way so we can get some "real work" done. Therefore, American children feel useless, then start acting useless. They get no encouragement in helping that they end up despising every aspect of work. Ok so that was a tangent:) I could go on and on but what i want you girls to glean from this is this: i was disturbed by the available activities in the nursery. Lots of plastic toys, pretend cars and kitchens...why not make it fun while actually instilling knowledge and experience in these impressionable minds? So, i'm thinking activity tables...indoor forts/exercise areas...anything age 3 and under can do. Of course, we will still have the toys...but i hope you get where i'm going with this...

7. I will be meeting with Janet Ralston next week to hear her heart and wisdom on this vision. If you girls could set up a meeting or two with some of the ladies in the church you are close with, we can compare and exchange notes next time we meet!
8. Why not take advantage of a time when all of the women are together? LADIES RETREAT! if you guys are going, maybe we can aspire to have a plan prepared by then to present to the women as a whole. I think this would be very effective and rewarding.

Love you girls! Peace out


Lauren said...

I like the way you think, Petie. Here's what I have to add. I think presenting to the women at the Women's Retreat is definitely a good goal to set. I very much like the idea of plugging in our natural gifts as women into ministries that will further serve the body at Heartland. This would obviously include inviting the younger ladies to join us, which would be implementing of our first "vision." My initial understanding of this vision was to help cultivate young ladies' particular gifts, seek to discover our Biblical roles as women, while building inner generational community. I'm wondering if the vision should be expanded a bit, though. I've been convicted lately that Playloop has been a little too separate from other generations. God certainly hasn't broken my heart over our current circumstances, but I think they could certainly be improved upon. I'm sure everyone would most likely agree. So I'm wondering if we can do more to intentionally connect different generations and just build community. One idea I had for this regarding Playloop is to do a swing/contra dance on the Wednesday before V-Day at the church with the youth group. Heartland is large, but that doesn't mean we can't still feel and act like the church family that we should be. And that's not to say we aren't already. I just think this could be another step in that direction.
It sounds like the nursery is a great opportunity to begin using our skills and that it is much needed. And maybe that is all we should start with.
Maybe this ministry isn't supposed to be perfected before we start.. Obviously it won't be. Maybe we could start other different, small projects at the same time. Like we could each head up involvement with different ministries. Well, not necessarily head up the specific project (nursery, library, etc.), but make it a point to devote our time to recruiting young ladies to help and get involved. Possible options I'd like to add to the table are ministering to the elderly at Heartland and retirement homes (singing and baking goodies), helping make the courtyard into a beautiful garden, and I'm sure there's more. I know some of this is already happening but I think it is important that we emphasize the communal aspect of it. Or maybe I am just trying to take on more than I should. What do you ladies think? I hope this isn't sounding like pointless ramblings. I'm really good at thinking of one more option to consider. It can be annoying at times, so sorry if this is too much unclear idea-ness in a blog comment. It probably would have taken less than 2 min. to discuss in person, and hopefully made more sense. :) Hope you are (both) having a wonderful week thus far. Don't die in this scary weather. See you soon!

Lauren said...

ps. I think Princess Ministries is a good idea, but I might like to further define our goals/vision before we settle on anything, just so we are sure it is fitting with whatever we end up with.