Celebration of Creation: Fall Camp For Kids 2015 October 1 & 2

celebration-of-creation

Our 2015 Fall Camp For Kids will be held Thursday, October 1 and Friday, October 2 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Special guests each day include a veterinarian, “therapy dogs,” a high school student involved with FFA, and the Santa Clara Audubon Society team, plus worship, art, music, cooking, and more. We will follow up our 2 day camp with a special neighborhood event of a Saturday Service to include the blessing of the animals. Mark your calendars and round up your animals! Download the registration form or pick up a copy in the narthex at church.

Sunday Evening Volleyball 2015

volleyball

Join us for volleyball and a BBQ meal every Sunday evening between July 12 through August 16, 2015 inclusive, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. All youth from ages 13-18 are invited. We will organize refereed games and open play for all abilities.

Games will be played on church property. Please be careful when driving and parking nearby, especially at drop-off and pick-up times.

2015 Celebrations Around The World Enrichment Program

“Celebrations around the World” was our program for Winter Break, 2015. This program featured Mardi Gras & Chinese New Year along with studying the African culture of our adopted student in Nairobi, Sarah Yar Jacobs. Each day included special art and cooking projects to suit the theme of the day. We finished our week with a “Snow Day” studying the Inuit culture. As a finale we had snow delivered and the children had great fun in and out of our “homemade igloo.” Our campers enjoyed the first hour of the “snow time” before we opened it up to all in our neighborhood. Check out our photos of the fun!

Here’s just a few comments from our campers’ families:

“My son was super excited about the Snow Day! You guys did an awesome job!” J. L.

“Cooking is always a favorite activity. Snow Day was a big hit, too.” M. L.

“Everything was wonderful, art, cooking, and especially the snow playing.” H. Y.

“My kids loved the cooking and the art. You selected things they don’t often do in school which made the week extra fun for them. Thank you.” B. G.

2014 Fall Festival Enrichment Program

Fall Festival began as a pilot program in 2014 to provide a safe, enriching and creative program for children kindergarten through 5th grade during their school break. The program’s design was to run the usual school hours 9 AM to 3 PM for 5 days providing enrichment experiences for the children. The program was extremely well received. Enrollment filled to capacity with a waiting list.

Each day featured a guest artist, a French chef, a ceramic teacher, an accomplished musician on bells and Celtic harp, a watercolorist, and a knitter and home arts hobbyist.

What did our campers’ families have to say about this week?

“My son had a great time at camp! Now he wants to be the ‘garlic bread chef” for all our meals.” A. S.

“This camp was so much more than daycare. It was full of lots of fun and handcraft activities. Weaving and cooking were my son’s favorite activities.” S. L.

“What a fantastic fall week. My husband and I were amazed at all the cool and fun projects the children did. It was a great experience for them and we really appreciated it.” A. M. V.

“I was amazed at all the projects completed and all the activities they did. Our son is asking for more clay for projects and our daughter for more yarn for her birthday to continue weaving. I couldn’t believe they ate all the marinara sauce on Monday (they typically don’t like seeing vegetables in their food!) Every day my children were excited to attend and eager to learn more. Thank you for the positive examples you provided our kids this week.” A. G.

“Our son had a GREAT time. He loved everything about the week. He cannot wait to do this again. Don’t forget to let us know when, please.” H. B.

Check out our Fall Festival 2014 photo gallery!

Thank You!

Green Pepper 2

Mario

Save The Dates: VBS Let’s Rock Summer Camp June 15-19, 2015

Let's Rock!

Registration form with medical release:

We are taking registrations for VBS ’Let’s Rock!” Camp for 2015. The dates are June 15-19 from 9:00 AM to 12:15 PM every day.

The program is for children from five years old through completing fifth grade (going into sixth for 2015-2016). Extended day care is also available until either 3:00 PM or 6:00 PM. Enrollment is limited, but you may choose one or more days during this week.

The program fee this year will be $55. Early registration ends May 1, and until that time the program fee is only $45. Extended day care until 3:00 PM is $15 per day, and until 6:00 PM is $25 per day.

Registration and a medical release are required. Please complete these two pages forms (available in PDF and Word formats) and submit payment as soon as possible.

We’ll publish more program details as we get closer to June. See you this summer!

Celebrations Around The World 2015

Celebrations Around the World is a cultural week for children Junior Kindergarten through 5th grade. Offered February 17 – 20, The program includes cooking, art and drama every day and lots more from 9 AM to 3 PM. Early signup is encouraged as enrollment is limited to 15 children per day. Cost is $25/day. Extended care is offered for an additional charge.

Here’s our line-up of themes for the week:

  • Tuesday, Feb 17 – Mardi Gras
  • Wednesday, Feb 18 – African Culture
  • Thursday, Feb 19 – Chinese New Year
  • Friday, Feb 20 – Snow Day and the Inuit

Interested in enrolling your child (or children)? Please complete the registration form (Word format).

Children’s Programming at ECA for School Breaks

The Episcopal Church in Almaden is continually looking for ways to be of service to their neighborhood and their community. Fall Festival began as a pilot program in 2014 to provide a safe, enriching and creative program for children kindergarten through 5th grade during their school break. The program’s design was to run the usual school hours 9 AM to 3 PM for 5 days providing enrichment experiences for the children. The program was extremely well received. Enrollment filled to capacity with a waiting list.

Each day featured a guest artist, a French chef, a ceramic teacher, an accomplished musician on bells and Celtic harp, a water colorist, and a knitter and home arts hobbyist.

Nature Weavings Joon and Ethan

“This camp was so much more than daycare. It was full of lots of fun and handcraft activities. Weaving and cooking were my son’s favorite activities.” – SL

Puppet Show

“What a fantastic fall week. My children had a wonderful time. My husband and I were amazed at all the cool and fun projects they did. It was a great experience for them and we really appreciated.” – AMV

Alain And Sous Chefs

“I thought this was your best camp yet! My kids loved the cooking, the music, and the art. You selected things they don’t often do in school, which made the week extra fun for them. Thank you.” – BG

Carrots

“Arts and crafts and the cooking of snacks were a highlight for my children.” – AJ

Everyone Interested

“Our son had a GREAT time. He loved everything about it. He cannot wait to do this again. Don’t forget to let us know when, please.” – HB

Jeanne and Clay Day

“I was amazed at all the projects completed and all the activities they did. Our son is asking for more clay for projects and our daughter for more yarn for her birthday to continue weaving. And I couldn’t believe they ate all the marinara sauce on Monday (they typically don’t like seeing vegetables in their food). Every day my children were excited to attend and eager to learn more. Thank you for the positive examples you provided our kids this week.” – AG

More Garlic Bread

“My son had a great time at camp! Now he wants to be the ‘garlic bread chef’ for all our meals.” – AS

Sparks Fly 2014 Recap

“Sparks Fly” in June 2014 was another opportunity to extend Bible stories around every day science. This year we explored 5 stories around fire in the Bible with Fire Prevention and safety for children. Once again through drama, art, music, study, science and fun we provided an exciting week of activities for children kindergarten through completing 5th grade.

What fun to explore the fire stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the burning bush, Pentecost, and breakfast with Jesus at the beach.

One highlight of our week was a visit from our local fire station. This followed a week of learning fire safety around a campfire, cooking in the kitchen at home, and how to act in case of a fire emergency.

All Our Chefs!

“Cooking is always a big hit with my children.” – RA

Personal Attention At Its Best!

“Great balance of learning and activities. I love the extra attention given by the counselors. My kids liked everything!” – AJ

Water Play Every Year!

“So good…make it longer. My twins would like this for 2 weeks…and for a full day!” – KD

Firemen and VBS Campers

“The kids really enjoyed the program. Thank you for a great week. The science portion in particular was a big hit!” – JM

 

 

 

Kids Fall Festival Lineup Announced

We’ve announced our activity line-up for the upcoming Kids Fall Festival from September 29 through October 3. Briefly, we will have Cooking with a French Chef; Bells, Chimes, and a Celtic Harp; Ceramics and Clay; Recycled Art, Fabric and Nature Crafts; and Painter in Residence. Five days of fun for $15/child/day.

For more details and to sign up, visit our Kids Fall Festival event calendar post.

Save The Dates: VBS Summer Spirit Camp June 16-20, 2014

sparks-fly-small

Registration forms and medical releases:

We are taking registrations for VBS Summer Spirit Camp for June 2014. The dates are June 16-20, and VBS is from 8:45 AM to 12:30 PM.

The program is for children from four years old through completing fifth grade (going into sixth for 2014-2015). Extended day care is also available until either 3:00 PM or 6:00 PM, and you may choose one or more days during that week.

The “Sparks Fly” theme is multidimensional, touching on art, cooking, drama, music, and science. Children having all kinds of interests will enjoy the program.

The program fee this year will be $50. Early registration ends May 1, and until that time the program fee is only $40. Extended day care until 3:00 PM is $15 per day, and until 6:00 PM is $25 per day.

Registration and a medical release are required. Please complete these two pages forms (PDF and Word formats) as soon as possible.

We’ll publish more program details as we get closer to June. See you this summer!

Youth Servant Auction Through November 10

Do you need some help getting some yard work done?
Do you need some help with Christmas tasks?
Would you like someone to come wash your car – or your dog?

You need the Youth Servant Auction!

Purpose: Assist the youth in raising funds for youth group activities

What can a servant do for you?

•    Clean gutters
•    Hang Christmas lights
•    Computer help: set up email or Facebook accounts/help with iTunes
•    Party prep/serving
•    Stack firewood
•    Wash cars
•    Yard work (rake leaves, plant bulbs, weed flower beds, etc.)
•    Babysitting
•    Have a need that isn’t listed?  Contact us and we can set it up.

(What students are capable of will vary depending on the individual)

All money received will go directly to youth activities

Adults who win the bid will be responsible for contacting the students and selecting a time for them to come work.  Service period ends April 30, 2014

Minimum bid of $25.  Bid increases in increments of $5

Bidding is open from November 3 – 10, 2013: if you can’t be at church to submit your bid (or want to ask a question), email Inge Bond or Bonnie McPherson.

Thank You for supporting our youth, and for allowing them to help you!

Youth Activities Summer Schedule

Come one, come all! Summer is here and we want YOU! Our youth group gets better over the summer and all that is missing is YOU! Come join us for one of our many fun activities over the summer when we let our hair down and just have fun. The first BBQ is on Sunday the 23rd, and most Sundays after that. See the calendar below and download it as a PDF file. Come on down and bring a friend!

  • Sunday, June 23, 5:00-7:30 PM: BBQ/games
  • Sunday, June 30, 5:00-7:30 PM: BBQ/games (Inge gone)
  • Friday, July 5, 5:00-7:30 PM: Montgomery Meals
  • Saturday, July 6, 12:00 Noon-?: Mystery spot/Bigfoot museum, $10 + food
  • Sunday, July 14, 5:00-7:30 PM: BBQ/games
  • Sunday, July 21, 5:00-7:30 PM: BBQ/games (Bonnie gone)
  • Saturday, July 27, 9:00 AM-?: Six Flags amusement park, $30 + food
  • Tuesday, August 6-Thursday, August 8: Camping trip at the beach, $40
  • Sunday, August 18, After church-?: Swim party at the Casale/Gunderson house
  • Sunday, August 25, 5:00-7:30 PM: Final BBQ/game night of the summer
  • Sunday, September 8, 5:30-7:30 PM: New season, regular meetings start
  • Friday, November 1, 5:00-7:30 PM: Montgomery Meals

Notes: Costs stated for the activities are approximate. We need 15 participants total to get the group rate at Six Flags. The camping trip cost will be finalized after we receive a head count and menu. We need to purchase tickets in advance and plan for transporting everyone to and from off-site events, so as these get closer please answer up if you will be going! Stragglers may pay more or be left behind completely, and we would hate that :-(. All activities are open to friends, and we encourage you to bring them: the more the merrier, just let us know ASAP!

Vacation Bible School June 10-14


P1150442Children from four years old through fifth grade are welcome to join us for this summer’s Vacation Bible School on June 10-14 from 8:45 AM to 12:30 PM. Extended care options are available, up to as late as 6:00 PM. 

This year’s theme is “Splash Zone: Water For Life.” The Biblical stories use water as a teaching analogy, with clean water and water conservation as extended life application themes. Something cool to think about! VBS2013WaterCycle

Parents, please complete and sign the registration form, which includes emergency care permissions, and return this with your payment to the church as soon as possible. Do so by May 1 to receive an “early bird” registration discount. For more information, please see our program flyer–and share it with others!VBS2013ArtTime

 

Stay tuned!

We had to cancel the first work event that was scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 8th, as the youth room will not be ready for painting…  We may schedule a second work day later.

End of summer swim party

The swim party at Lauren’s house was a blast!  We missed all who were unable to make it, but we had 16 youth at the event.  Thanks to Kelli Casali and Matt Gunderson for the use of their house!

Thank you!

Thanks for all who showed up, helped out, brought a friend or in some way participated in the summer BBQs – they were a great success!

Summer Hangout

Our evening BBQs and game/volley ball/hangout opportunities will be Sunday nights from 530-8pm–starting on July 1st.  This is your chance to enjoy your friends and get out of the house- for some low key fun…  again a wonderful time to bring friends and introduce them to the group!  Alumni are welcome!

Beach Trip!

With the craziness of getting ready for the mission trip, there was little thought of a end of the year party or what the summer schedule would look like… but coming soon to a youth group near you…the summer schedule has arrived!  It will start off with a bang, or maybe a splash..at a beach!  We are going to the beach on Saturday-June 23rd-leaving the church at 10am, and planning on returning around 5pm, so grab your sunscreen, beach umbrellas, and a snack to share -and get ready to rumble..or rhumba..?  Invite a friend, what a great opportunity to introduce our group!

Youth Mission Trip a success!

The youth are back from their mission trip and they want to thank everyone from both congregations who supported them financially, with prayers, and with sock and toiletries, we couldn’t have done it without you!  The trip was exhausting, rewarding, spiritually uplifting, energizing, heartbreaking, and a truly wonderful experience.  The kids made me burst with pride, they worked hard, were warm and gracious with the people they interacted with, and got along famously-even in tight quarters and through a 3 day monopoly game.  Inge, Laura and I were able to participate fully in the service activities, because the kids were so professional and followed the rules of our host and the different service sites so flawlessly.  I have reprinted the email “blurbs” that Inge wrote during the week we were gone, as they truly capture the spirit of the week and give those of you who missed them a chance to see what service activities we did.   Enjoy!

Youth Mission Trip blog #4

So we blinked, and it is our last night here. We are all sad and yet ready to come home.

We spent yesterday morning in the Mission District of SF, charged with striking up conversations with locals and finding a way we could meet the need(s) of one or more of them. We walked the whole district and eventually met woman with developmental disabilities whose rent had just been raised from $300 to $450/month. The kids took her grocery shopping,bought her a solar calculator so she could keep track of bills and groceries, and walked her back to her apartment.

We ate lunch at the north vista point of the Golden Gate Bridge, then took a silent prayer walk on the bridge, where we concentrated our prayers on the newest residents of the city, those who had come to the US and to San Francisco seek a better life for themselves and their families.

From there we went to Agesong, a senior residence in Hayes Valley. Our boys joined the men’s group meeting, and the girl’s joined the ladies’, and all enjoyed sharing stories with one another. You will have to ask the kids about some of the stories they heard about the wars, first cars, and feminism. Residents of Agesong generally have dementia or have had a stroke, so the kids learned a bit about patience and about the vulnerability of these seniors. I was afraid the kids might find the senior home less interesting than some of the edgier experiences they’ve had, but they were genuinely moved by the connections they made. The seniors loved having the the youth and their fresh ears, too :).

We spent the whole day at one agency today, working in the classrooms at St. Anthony’s Day Home in the Acorn projects in West Oakland. St. Anthony’s has offered low income child care for over 100 years! The facility is spotless and colorful, it purely feels happy. I would have loved to send my kids to a preschool like that.

Time for worship and tamale night, so I’m going to run. More later?

Much love from all of us!

So that’s it for the “blurbs”-hope you enjoyed them!  We ask you to pray for the cities of Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco and our city of San Jose…there is so much need out there, and we have so much!   Find a way to share with someone who needs it, or volunteer yourself…say the Lord made you do it!   Shalom, Bonnie

Youth Mission Trip blog #3

Here’s how you know a group of teenagers is both tired and comfortable with each other: at the end of a long day of service and experiential activities, instead of going for a walk through Chinatown, they opt to head back to home base to play board games and hit the hay early.

We had another productive day – this morning we worked at the San Francisco Food Bank sorting oranges (again – tired of oranges!) and packaging oats from enormous bales into exactly-one-pound-not-an-ounce-more packs. This afternoon we drove to the Tenderloin where we were divided into two groups, instructed to assume typical homeless personas (Vietnam vet, single mother, teen runaway), and given a set of tasks. We had to feed our group and at least one stranger on an $8 budget, find housing and food resources, identify possibly employment, and engage people we met with a series of questions about the city – its best aspects and biggest problems. It took each group 2 hours and several miles to reach the same conclusion that good old peanut butter sandwiches were our best bet (oh, and .26 worth of damaged peaches from the farmer’s market for dessert). The dollar store seemed like an option at first but we had no dishes or heat. Even fast food is expensive (not to mention unhealthy). We briefly considered 10 lbs of fruit but decided that it mightn’t be the best plan for our bellies. ‘Nuff said.

We hit the public library and city hall to research our food and shelter options and were dismayed to find that with teen kids (boys, in particular) our family housing options were quite limited. Guys like ours would likely have had to go, alone, to the men’s shelter- a scary thought indeed.

Our interviews of the locals were well received and interesting, and each group was able to distribute half of its sandwich stash to homeless and poor people we met on the street. It was challenging for this group of busy people to accomplish all tasks and then be stuck with no money, no cell phones, and no cars, for two more hours. A couple of the kids looked around at all the homeless folks sleeping on the plaza and followed suit. The pace of homeless life (from this brief glimpse) is very slow. We found it frustrating.

It was our free evening so we had dinner in North Beach, a delicious pasta feast. We’re back home, taking shower shifts and playing Monopoly.

I’m pleased to report that there have no differences of opinion, we are all well rested and gracious at all times. Heh.

Thank you for your messages of support, both email and text. We’ll read them all to the kids tonight before bed.

Youth Mission Trip blog #2

Short and sweet for day 2: We spent the morning assembling bags of groceries for needy seniors at Old St. Mary’s catholic church in the financial district. Groceries for Seniors distributes food to roughly 1250 seniors each week, year round, with exactly 2 employees. Everything else is volunteers. It is amazing and we are grateful for all who care for the seniors who are out of sight and too often out of mind.

We spent the afternoon at the after school care program operated by Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond. The violence and pain in Richmond are readily apparent, but so are the energy and love invested by so many adults in the community’s children.

Please pray for the people we have served, their communities, and for us. Thank you. We are thinking of you all.

Youth Mission trip blog #1

Dear Friends,

In our evening debrief tonight Bonnie described our first day as “full,” and she is spot on – hard to believe we’ve only been here 30 hours!

To catch you up, as briefly as I can:

Last night was mostly procedural, getting the lay of the basement and meeting our host for the week, Lauren, who is a real dynamo. We went to a Vietnamese restuarant for dinner – many of us tried pho or bunh for the first time! After dinner we went on a two hour prayer tour of San Francisco. We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful night – hardly a breeze and a full moon glistening on the bay. We drove through several of the neediest neighborhoods of the city including the Tenderloin and Civic Center areas where we will be doing much of our service. When we came back to our home base in Old Oakland, we quickly assembled about 50 “hygiene kits” – bags filled with socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, and the like, from your kind donations. These kids are so enthusiastic!

Today we dug in. This morning we headed to the Alameda County Community Food Bank where we, working alongside one other group, packed 16,900 lbs of oranges for distribution – before lunch time! We were given a fascinating tour of their operation and learned that 1 in 6 people in Alameda County received from the food bank last year – that is a staggering figure. The food bank is spotless and efficient – for every $1 donation,, they are able to distribute $5 worth of food to the needy. They have a full recycling program and compost on site. The tour guide was so inspiring, drawing us into how needed the food is and how valuable our efforts were. Some of us were move to tears. (I’m not saying who).

We had sack lunchs at the food bank, sorted more oranges and cauliflower for another couple of hours, and then departed for San Francisco. In the city we divided into two teams and, on foot, delivered hot meals for Project Open Hand. All of the clients live in Single Room Occupant (SRO) hotels in the Tenderloin and are suffering from AIDS or other chronic or terminal health conditions. We walked quite a long way, at city speed, and climbed many many flights of stairs – the elevators in many of the hotels are not safe.

Dinner tonight was at the Home of Chicken and Waffles in Jack London Square – delicious! We pulled the fried chicken off the bone and ate it atop the waffle, drizzled with maple syrup, with a side of grits. All proclaimed it delicious.

After dinner a few of us could have happily collapsed into bed but Lauren had other ideas and we headed out for another prayer tour, this time of Oakland. We drove through, or near, the West Oakland, San Antonio, and Fruitvale neighborhoods, and it was eye-opening. We learned about the incidence of gang violence, drug use, and prostitution in neighborhoods where most residents make far below a living wage. Literacy rates are terribly low and schools struggle to keep good teachers in such challenging conditions.

Throughout both days we stopped regularly to pray for the people we are serving as well as others who serve them such as emergency workers and our partner agencies. Lauren calls on the group for volunteers to lead prayers and we are sincere, but concise.

The kids have finished up their board games and are brushing their teeth in time for lights out – voluntarily! They must be tired.

Many thanks for your continued prayers and support. We are all learning and growing.