Oskaloosa.com

November 23, 2013

Program a fun way to learn about the Bible

By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA —

The Central Reformed Church Wednesday night program for boys and girls is a fun way for them to learn about the Bible.

The Central Reformed Church holds Wednesday night meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 13, the girls of the Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior — GEMS — hosted a Veterans' Dinner in honor of Veterans Day in the basement of the church on 813 Second Ave. E. The boys of the Cadets met across the street at a house where they learned about the Bible and made crafts.

“The Wednesday night program is something the church always does,” Children's Ministry Director Melissa Van Donselaar said. “The boys program is definitely growing. It started up about three years ago.”

The boys' program started with eight members — now there are 20 boys aged kindergarten to eighth-grade. The girls' program has about 30 members ranging in age from pre-school to eighth-grade, she added.

During the Veterans' Dinner, the GEMS girls performed the devotions for the meal. During a typical Wednesday night meetings, the girls sing songs and then go to age-group classrooms for Bible stories. They also do craft activities for merit badges, Van Donselaar said.

“The boys do basically the same thing,” she added.

Van Donselaar said the church wants to have as many children participate in the Wednesday night program as possible.

“We're always open to have more kids,” she said. They are welcome to show up on Wednesdays. The meeting times are posted on the church's Facebook page and the church website, she added.

This year, both the girls' and boys' programs had new children join.

“The come from all over,” Van Donselaar said. Members come from Oskaloosa, Eddyville, New Sharon and Fremont, she added.

“We do a lot of fun things,” Van Donselaar said. The boys have a four-wheeler event every fall and a campout, she said.

The girls go to GEMS camp in the summer. They get to spend two to three nights in a camp that is located at various sites in the area, Van Donselaar said.

The girls do a lot of community activities such as visiting nursing homes and doing service projects for the Ecumenical Cupboard. They also collect for Operation Christmas Child, she added.

For more information on the Central Reformed Church Wednesday program, you can call Van Donselaar at the church or go to the church website at www.centralosky.com.

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com