Energy levels were high and smiles abounded as over 120 participants gathered Feb. 27-28 in Omaha, Nebraska, for the Mid-America Union Conference’s Children’s Ministry convention themed Come To Me. This training event, which attracted attendees from five of the six conferences in the union, as well as other regions, aimed not only to spotlight new resources for children’s Sabbath school programs and Vacation Bible School but also to offer a time of spiritual renewal for each participant.

“We have an incredible opportunity to develop as leaders through this powerful training,” said Roger Wade, MAUC Church Ministries director and event coordinator, during his welcome to attendees. “We believe you are leading the most strategic and futuristic ministry, and that you are shaping the future of the Adventist Church each week. Thank you for your commitment to the children you serve at your church.”

Weekend presenters included Pastor Guadalupe Montour from the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska and four certified trainers from the North American Division Children’s Ministries department. Understanding Children and Child Evangelism were two of the classes being offered toward certification in Children’s Ministries. The tracks were also offered in Spanish. There are six total tracks for certification.

Rachel Ashworth, a leader from the Sikeston Church in Missouri, was excited to attend and discover new resources for her small church. “We got a lot of ideas for developing a quiet room,” she said. “And I might have to learn how to make animal balloons too!”

Sue Carlson, Children’s Ministries director for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference, described a seminar she attended where she learned about one church that has a notebook for each child who attends. “People can write prayers for the child and their family since the notebooks are laying out. Then they have a program every year where the kids receive their books to take home. What an amazing tangible expression of how much the church family loves them!”

The next Children’s Ministry training offered by the Mid-America Union is planned for February 2022.

Photo: Fletcher Pride