Childcare Year-in-Review: 2015

First things first, we’re saying goodbye to several childcare volunteers, and I wanted to say THANK YOU for your contribution!  They have dedicated countless Sunday mornings to caring for our kids.  Also, they (along with all our helpers) dealt patiently with me while I made changes to the structure, location, and programming of our childcare systems!

In the last year or two, we made so many changes that I’m just going to start listing…

Turned Children’s Church into a more Sunday-School-like lesson

Split Children’s Church into 2 groups

Added a 3rd worker for the nursery

Moved rooms to accommodate the 2 groups

Created a Childcare Safety Protocol

Held training for 31 volunteers

Moved the nursery room & Children’s Church rooms again

Combined Children’s Church back into 1 group

Moved rooms again!

There are probably even more that I can’t remember, but now we enter 2016!  We’re welcoming a couple first-time volunteers and always working to evolve and improve our programs.

With all the excitement that comes with a new year, please keep me, our leadership team, and Elim in your prayers!  My prayer for 2016 is that we develop kids’ programs that are fun for kids & workers that enable closer and deeper relationships with God.

THANK YOU for everything in 2015 and please partner with us in 2016 to continue pouring the love of Jesus into Elim’s kids!

Volunteer of the Month – Nov & Dec, 2015

Tom Bivens and Sandy Parrott!


Tom Bivens works with Elim’s Jr. & Sr. High and College students in the Axis and Fusion groups.  He’s there for every youth group event, and always with a smiling face!

Tom also prepares and serves Wednesday night Dollar Dinners, even cleaning up afterwards!  His fun-loving personality (and delicious food) help Wednesday night dinners feel like a feast with family.

Tom contributes to Elim in a TON of other ways, and is always willing to help!


Sandy Parrott works with Elim’s children’s group, Spark.  Her sunny disposition and positive attitude make her perfect for bringing joy to our kids.

Sandy volunteered this school year when, in typical Sandy fashion, she saw a need and filled it!  She is always willing to help in whatever capacity she’s needed, and does so with an unwavering joy and servant attitude.

Sandy also serves in many other areas of Elim, including being a main liaison to our sister church in Monterrey, Mexico.

Thank you, TOM BIVENS and SANDY PARROTT, for being willing and joyful members of the Elim community!

Volunteer of the Month – October, 2015

Elim Students!


I know this is cheating and I hate to not recognize each Elim student volunteer individually, but I couldn’t possibly pick one!

Every week, Elim’s activities are possible because of these students’ willingness to serve.  As the year goes on, volunteers drop out, and other events pop up, these are the helpers I rely on the most!  They are always here when they’re needed, and work without complaint!

So, for all of this and more, thank you, Elim Students:  Abby Peterson, Amanda Dang, Elizabeth Smith, Kate Schaechter, Mariah DeArmond, Megan DeArmond, Michelle DeArmond, Natalie Nipper, Rachel Luong, Rachel Peterson, Rebecca Schaechter, and Thao Luong!

Since I’m really focused on kids’ ministry, these are the students on our childcare schedule.  There are plenty more students involved and helping out in other ways, but I don’t know about them!  If you work with students in your area, take a minute to say thank you!

Volunteer of the Month – September, 2015

Scott Fowler!


Scott Fowler has been co-leading Spark (1st-5th graders) with his wife for about a year now.  Not only did they volunteer to take over, but they’ve done a fantastic job with the program!

Recently, Scott has really gone above and beyond by recognizing a need in our kids’ lives and providing!  As a parent himself, Scott saw his kids being taught controversial topics in school before the church was addressing them.  He is working closely with Pastor Steve to create lessons on these sensitive topics to ensure that our kids are receiving a biblical perspective.

Scott has a great heart for teaching and children, and he’s utilizing them both to help lay a Christian foundation!

Thank you, Scott Fowler, for being willing to take on children’s ministry and brave enough to teach our kids what they need rather than what’s easy!

Volunteer of the Month – August, 2015

Lacey Wagner  and  Sheila Yoeckel!

I know I’ve been picking 1 at a time, and I hope these wonderful ladies don’t feel slighted by having to share month, but I couldn’t decide!

Lacey Wagner is relatively new to the Elim family, but as soon as she heard of a need, jumped right in!  She works in the nursery for our helpers’ kids on Wednesday nights and does it with joy and a smile!

Sheila Yoeckel is a long-time member of Elim, and makes innumerable contributions, but recently stepped up in an awesome way!  Sheila was planning on attending a class Wednesday nights, but heard that Lacey had a desire to attend and couldn’t since she works in the nursery.  Sheila instantly volunteered to take over the nursery for that time frame, and comes on Sunday nights for the class for herself.

These 2 wonderful women of God are such great examples of stepping up and filling a need that I couldn’t choose who to acknowledge first!  Thank you both so much for your willingness to sacrifice your time and energy to ensure Elim’s needs as a family are being met!

Thank you, Lacey Wagner and Sheila Yoeckel, for being committed members of God’s family at Elim!  I’m so glad to see such fantastic role models in our midst!

Volunteers of the Month – July, 2015

Lori SmithLori

Lori does great work in our kids’ ministry at every age level! She volunteers in the nursery and Junior Church as well as raising a great student in our Fusion (high school & college) group. She is always willing to help in whatever way she can.

Lori volunteers in established roles, but also comes up with ideas for program improvements! And she’s happy to help turn those suggestions into actions!

Thank you, Lori Smith, for seeing opportunities and being willing to jump in!


Marilyn SmithMarilyn

So far, I’ve used these Volunteer of the Month posts to honor our Kids’ Ministry volunteers, but in the summer it’s impossible to ignore the dedicated work of Marilyn Smith!

If you’ve ever stopped at Elim during a hot summer day, you’ve most likely seen Marilyn working on our wonderful garden areas. She works tirelessly and creates beautiful arrangements around Elim’s property.  These touches are just a taste of what makes Elim feel like a home with a family rather than just another building.

Thank you, Marilyn Smith, for working so hard to make our church beautiful inside and out!

Volunteer of the Month – May, 2015

Mary Bivens!



Mary helps with our Jr. Church, and has recently begun working with our younger Spark group.  Her desire to help in so many areas of service is just one of the bases for our appreciation.  She works with the worship teams, kids ministries, women’s ministries, and I’m sure others!

We also appreciate Mary for her warm and bright personality.  She brings joy and fun wherever she goes.

Mary loves Jesus and people and both are evident in every moment you’re around her.  Her love of quiet time with God makes you want to dive in with her, and her excitement to help people is contagious.

Thank you, Mary Bivens, for giving so cheerfully of your time and energy!

Volunteer of the Month – April, 2015

Victoria Fowler


Victoria is constantly impressing!  She approaches everything with joy and energy that’s contagious.

She’s always willing to help, even if she’s doing five other things at the same time.  She’s jumped into leadership roles and volunteer positions with dedication and passion.

Victoria’s joy in serving the Lord is constantly evident.  No matter what she’s doing, she’s committed to doing it well, and with a smile.

Thank you, Victoria Fowler, for your willingness to serve and the joy you bring to everything you do!

Volunteer of the Month – March, 2015

Dora Beth Christy!

Dora Beth Christy has worked with Elim’s children ministries about as long as she’s been attending the Church.  This is a big part of why she’s our Volunteer of the Month!

Dora Beth wasted no time jumping in with both feet, and she hasn’t slowed down since!  She brings fresh ideas, energy, and a passion for doing whatever it takes to enable kids to begin or grow in a relationship with God.

On top of her work with the kids, Dora Beth has also been great about pulling in other new volunteers.  Her heart for welcoming new families as best as possible has benefited our ministries in many ways!

Thank you, Dora Beth Christy, for being willing to dive in and devoting so much of your (and your family’s) time and dedication to your Elim family!