A Vibrant Success!

by Mary Johnson, Children's Ministries and Director, All Things Bright & Beautiful

With so much conversation about the success of the 20th birthday celebration with the Bright and Beautiful Bash on April 17th, it's important to recognize why it was so successful. It would not have happened without Jill Klusendorf and the four phenomenal chairs: Maxie Clarke, Sarah Alt, Chrissy Taylor, and Megan Hoffmann. So many additional parents volunteered their time and talents with set-up, auction items, and let's not forget the great job the bartenders did at the event!

We are able to celebrate the first 20 years of the school because of the vision and firm foundation established by Gretchen Quinn and continued with Sue Murphy. The primary goal was to establish a Christian preschool as a ministry of Church of the Holy Comforter - not a leasing tenant that offers a preschool program. This is a key distinction that sets this preschool apart from others in this community. The focus on our faith-based curriculum is what stays with the children long after their days here at All Things Bright and Beautiful.

From the very beginning, the children would begin each day with our "Good Morning God" song and there has always been the grace before snack. And the song and prayer are constants still today. Though we didn't always name it this way, these are two of the four keys of Vibrant Faith Ministry. The children take these experiences of the day home with them and they become a part of the family's life. It's wonderful to hear the parents tell the stories of their child initiating grace before family dinners or being called on to lead the prayer before special holiday family celebrations.

When Pastor Heath was named the Chaplain for ATB&B a few years ago, she brought to us the four keys for nurturing our faith that are the foundation of our Family Ministry at Holy Comforter. They are:

   1. Caring conversations

   2. Rituals and traditions

   3. Family devotions/prayer

   4. Family service

A child enrolled in All Things Bright and Beautiful experiences these four keys regularly. The two I mentioned before happen daily. The Rituals and Traditions include Angel of the Day, Friend of the Week, birthday celebrations with parents reading a book, and the two-year-olds making the Baby Jesus dolls. The children are introduced to the concept of service when they bring in canned goods at Thanksgiving, contribute to the diaper drive in the spring, and contribute mittens and books to the Good News Partners program. Discussions of how blessed they are help them understand to need to help those less fortunate.

This program for nurturing faith is called VIBRANT Faith. The definition of VIBRANT is: having or showing great life, activity, and energy; very bright and strong. This is also the most wonderful definition for All Things Bright and Beautiful! And if you have ever been present on any school day here, you will certainly agree: great life, activity, and energy abound in this Bright and Beautiful ministry.