Welcome to the Explorers program at Emmanuel Church in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The goal of our new program is to get the children excited about God while learning the bible, applying it to their everyday lives, and developing friendships.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Giving Jar in November

The kids have brought in close to $50 for the giving jar since our last project. Two weeks ago, they agreed to use the money to fill two shoe boxes for the Operation Christmas Child Program through Samaritan's Purse. This past Sunday they split into groups to choose if they would shop for boys or girls and note what items they thought would be best to send abroad. You can find out more about Operation Christmas Child on the Samaritan's Purse website here.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Exploring in October!

The Explorers in October
“David is King”
2 Samuel
Memory verse: For God does not see us the way people see us.  They look at our outward appearance, but God looks at our heart.  1 Samuel 16:7.


This month the Explorers (ages 5-11) are going to learn about David as King.  They will be learning about what it means that David was a man “after God’s own heart”.  David made lots of mistakes and did things that God didn’t want him to do.  But he always turned back to God.  And God never turned away from David; instead He worked actively, faithfully and patiently with David his whole life.  This story is one of the most realistic, human stories of God’s faithfulness and of His desire that we love Him and serve Him with our whole heart. 

Blastoff Week (October 10th):            The children will listen to the stories of the some of the events from David’s reign.  Following this, the younger children will rotate through centers, having the option to create a craft related to kingship, work creatively in their journals (for example, draw a cartoon version of the story) or choose a coloring-based activity. 

Drama Week (October 17th):                  The children will be guided through dramatic exercises that help them reflect on the meaning of David’s kingship.  
Technology Week (October 24th):   The children will be divided by age and given the chance to play with story-specific gaming software that has been purchased.  We have two programs available that will provide different levels of challenge and ease based on the age and experience of the children. 

Life Application Week (October 31st):           

Several games will be designed (for example a Jeopardy style game) to challenge the children to think through the meaning of the David story in their own lives. 

Giving Jar Generosity!

The Giving Jar is a weekly part of the Explorers program.  Through it we want to begin to teach that central to the following Jesus is learning how to be generous, particularly to those in need.  Each week children have an opportunity to put money in the Giving Jar (which automatically tabulates the current total).  It doesn’t matter how much they give – it is far more important to cultivate a habit of generosity than to be concerned with the amount. 
Since January, the Explorers have collectively gathered $105 in the Giving Jar. As a group, they prioritized giving towards food and medicine to families in need.
So, through World Vision Canada, they have already purchased 5 fruit trees (such as banana, papaya, mango and orange), as well as enough antibiotics for 10 children and are planning towards their next “generosity project”.


The journals were designed to help children and their families learn and work with the Bible stories in a fun and creative way at home.  Journals are not a required part of Explorers, but provide a way for children of all ages to take their learning a step further if they want to.  Each journal sent home with the child has a list of “journaling ideas” inside of it, but creativity is encouraged!  The goal is that the child engage with the Bible in a way that interests them.


Passports are a fun way for kids to track, and receive modest rewards for,  their involvement in the Explorers program.  Each child has their own passport booklet that stays at church.  Each Sunday their passport can get stamped for attendance.  During each month, if they have memorized that month’s verse from the Bible, they also get a stamp.  And there is opportunity for “extra stamps” through working on their at-home journal, being involved in the choir or other 'extras' that come up.  At certain thresholds (6 stamps, 12 stamps, 18 stamps, etc.) they can receive a prize if they want to!

What is the Explorers Program?

The Explorers is a Sunday Morning Sunday School Program designed for our children to experience and learn in a multidisciplinary way about the love of God for them.  It is our conviction that God desires our children to know Him in vibrant, life-giving and constructive ways.  Our program is therefore a dynamic and creative approach to opening the Bible to the children.  It is run on a 4 week rotation which looks like this:
Blastoff Sunday: an introduction to the story of the month and a creative project interpreting the story.
Drama Sunday: using drama techniques to experience the story or elements of the story  
Technology Sunday: delving into the story through curriculum-specific gaming software and “movie Sundays”.
Life Application Sunday:a game-based Sunday where children begin to build bridges from the story to their own life and situation.