October 25, 2013

Going beyond Sunday: The power of fellowship at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Editor's note: This story is the second in a weekly series about local Wednesday evening church activities.

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Wednesday evenings serve an important purpose at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Kim Prendergast, director of children and youth ministries at the church, said they offer Wednesday evening activities for children ages 2 through high school. Three different groups of young people get involved at the church each Wednesday night, she said.

The youngest group, Powerkids, includes children ages 2 to fifth grade. Next, is the Powerzone for middle-school-aged children. Last, there's the Powerhouse for high school students.

Using the “station rotation model,” children in Powerkids have two different stations they go to, explained Prendergast. This is coupled with a dinner for area youth. The stations are different each week, she added. Activities in a particular station are related to themes, as well.

“We do music, crafts, drama, games, cooking and missions,” she said.

So, why is having a variety of activities important?

“I think having the variety keeps the kids interested,” said Prendergast. “They don't know what to expect when they come. So, they find out at the beginning which two stations they're doing and that keeps it exciting.

“It's nice to have things that are interactive for them rather than just sitting down and doing the same thing each week.”

Lessons are taught through these kinds of hands-on activities, noted Prendergast.

Powerkids also includes a family night once a month. Here, the children can bring their parents, grandparents and/or younger siblings that aren't old enough for the program just yet.

“That's nice because it's a time for the whole family to get together and for parents to visit with each other,” she said.

Powerzone children get a chance at some fellowship time on Wednesday nights, playing pool and foosball upstairs at the church.

“They play games for a little bit and just get some time to connect with each other,” Prendergast said.

Bible study and service projects are also part of being in Powerzone.

“They make cards for our servicemen,” noted Prendergast. “They have made gifts and taken them to Maple Ridge for the seniors.”

The church's Powerhouse group does outings outside of the Wednesday night activities, Prendergast said. This group is able to take a mission trip every two years. Of course, Bible study and games are a big part of their Wednesday nights at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

“We have a really great group of high schoolers,” she said. “They're very involved in things at school. So, it's nice for them to have that time on Wednesday nights to get together.”

Prendergast acknowledged the “awesome” leadership that both Powerzone and Powerhouse have at her church. She credited Harold and Carole Comstock with leading Powerzone and Rob and Rhonda Taylor for their work with Powerhouse.

It's important to have a fun, welcoming and safe place for young people in the middle of the week, Prendergast said. Here they can grow together on a spiritual level and “create relationships and a support system where they can grow in their faith.”

The Wednesday evening activities compliment Sunday worship services and activities at the church, said Prendergast. She explained that Wednesdays are more focused on Christian fellowship, while Sundays center around worship and praise. However, there is worship and praise on Wednesdays, as well.

To learn more about Wednesday evening activities at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), visit www.fccoskaloosa.org.

Are you a leader at an Oskaloosa-area church? Does your church have a Wednesday evening Bible study and/or youth group? Would you be interested in having the Herald do a story on those activities to be included in a series of stories?

If so, contact The Oskaloosa Herald at (641) 672-2581.


Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.