Children and Young Family: October Events

Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church Children and Young Families Ministry presents:

October Events

GPC Friday Night at the Movies:
Friday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Showing: E.T.

Friday, October 28 at 7:00 p.m.
Showing: Coco

GPC Fall Festival:

Wednesday, October 26 from 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Games, Pumpkin decorating and Fun, Fun, Fun
Costumes welcome, but nothing scary please.

Sunday School:

Sunday, October 9, 16, and 30 at 11:00 a.m.

Godly Play in Room 14
Sunday School in Room 11
Calendar through the end of the year:
November 6, 13 and 20 at 11:00 a.m.

December 11 and 18 at 11:00 a.m.


We all worship together on Communion Sundays and Sundays that combine with a school holiday.



A Green Halloween?

Have you ever really thought about precisely how much waste is involved in your typical Halloween? From the costumes to the decorations to the candy each in it’s own little container it is a holiday that practically seems dedicated to waste…but it doesn’t have to be at all.
Let’s start with costumes – do you absolutely HAVE to go to your local retailer and buy one? You have plenty of time to dig around in old dress up clothes, the back of closets and/or second hand stores to come up with some awesome possibilities. There is no end to what you can create with old Amazon boxes, hangers from the dry cleaners, well cleaned off meat trays and your own imagination.
Decorations, lots of wonderful upcycling possibilities here too – old ripped pantyhose (if anyone still wears them) can become spiderwebs instead of buying the prefab ones made of petroleum products, those nice heavy duty Amazon boxes could become tombstones, etc., etc. This is your grand opportunity to make lots of cool somethings out of nothing.
And candy…this one is a little trickier because we still want our children to be safe. However, consider perhaps buying candy that comes in cardboard boxes instead of plastic wrap or even foil rather than plastic. But if you can’t go quite that far, because…well, just because, think about buying candy that does come from sustainable sources several of the big candy companies are or are working toward using products that are sustainably sourced.
Here are a couple of links to get you thinking:
-Traci Smith


Showing Hospitality: A Spiritual Practice 

I remember an older woman in my congregation many years ago telling me that if she had a few tea bags, a loaf of bread, and some jelly, she would always be ready for company. “Tea and toast,” she said. “Tea and toast.” The art of inviting people into our homes is changing, I think. We are “connected” through social media and work, and it feels like enough, but is it? The pandemic shutdown pushed us further into isolation and now we’re thawing out, flowers in water. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to open up my home to others and the reasons I don’t do it more often. The house is too messy. What would I serve? My couches are old and they don’t match. And yet every time I take a risk and invite others over, they have a wonderful time. We laugh and enjoy good food. Nobody mentions the fact that the couches don’t match.
Teaching children that homes are meant to be shared is a great gift, as well. It brings connection and joy. Hospitality is about the guest, not the host. It’s about trying to make someone feel welcome and comfortable.

Are you looking to have more guests to your home? Here are some principles to keep in mind.

  1. Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea — Simple things become beautiful with a lot of love. When thinking about having guests over, focus on the beauty of your time together, not the elaborate menu (unless, of course, you love to cook.)
  2. Mi casa es su casa — “My house is your house” is a saying in Spanish that we try to live by. It can feel vulnerable to have people poking through your dishes and your fridge to make themselves at home, but it’s the way to true hospitality, I think. One way we maintain a sense of privacy and boundaries is to keep certain rooms of our home closed when guests are over.
  3. Give thanks to God for the gift of friends and strangers — It’s all gratitude and grace. The Bible says that by hosting friends, sometimes we entertain angels without knowing it.
Opening your home can feel like opening up your heart, but the rewards can be great. How are you opening your heart to visitors and friends? Do you have some bread and water? It is enough.
By Traci Smith -Tuesday Treasure Box, 9.13.22


Engaging After School Questions for Your Kids

Are you looking for ways to engage your kids in conversation when they get home from school or over dinner? We all know that there are some kids that come through the door and will tell you chapter and verse about what happened … in extraordinary detail, some of which you may not care to have known (and sadly now you can’t unknow). There are some kids, like my own who was so deeply in the moment that she really couldn’t tell you what had happened… honestly not a clue, if you asked, “So what happened at school today?” And there are other kids who really are just ready to move on to the next thing, so if you get an “It was fine.”, that’s about all you’re going to get. So here are a few ideas to up your conversation game: 

  • What was the worst thing you had to do at school today? (Everybody likes to complain)Who did you eat lunch with? Or if they bought lunch, what was for lunch? (Food is a safe entrée into further conversation)
  • Did anyone say or do anything funny or weird today? (Another safe entrée point)
  • What are you looking forward to tomorrow? (Slightly firmer ground, but still safe) 

These are really non-specific, but if you know that there is a spelling test on Monday, a timed crossword puzzle on Tuesday, a 20-question timed math contest on Wednesday, etc. Asking about those can be very successful if you know they are desperately trying to beat their friend Dora (oh wait, that was me). But you get the idea, is there something peculiar to your kid that you know they really want to accomplish this year?  

And, sometimes and with some kids the best strategy is to look forward, to what they looking forward to that afternoon or evening. Totally take the focus off school and into the immediate future.  

Or maybe even something completely different, like what kind of animal or what color do you feel like right now? If you could be anywhere doing anything what would it be? These can be very good if you sense they had a tough day.   

We will have a link to some other questions and Dinner Table Conversation cards in an upcoming email, but in the meantime if you have some tried and true conversation starters, please let me know so I can share them.  

Simple things, done with great love.   


Prayer & Fall Plans

For the last couple of weeks prayer has been the topic of sermons, email devotional posts AND Children’s recorded Sunday School lessons. Children’s Ministry has been trying, as nearly as we can, to mirror the Scriptural texts and general ideas covered during the week in devotionals and the sermon. 

On 8/28, our lesson was a general overview of the idea of prayer: why, when, how, what and for whom we pray, 


9/4 covered the idea of prayer as a conversation with God and that prayer does not necessarily mean sitting or standing still and being quiet with folded hands,

9/11 will cover different kinds of learned prayer, particularly the Lord’s Prayer. 9/18 will cover other ways to pray and 9/25 will cover listening for God. The link to these recorded lessons will be in the bulletin.
In October we will go back to the Follow Me curriculum and study Practicing Generosity. These too will have recorded versions of the Sunday School lesson. Each Sunday there will be an e-bulletin for the children with various activities that relate to the Scripture and/ or concept. This bulletin will be available in hard copy at church. 
We decided to try recorded versions of Sunday School for kids who can’t come to Sunday School for whatever reason and decided on recording having discovered during lockdown that the appetite for anything Zoom is nearly nonexistent, at least as far as children are concerned. If there is little to no interest in/appetite for these recorded versions we will try a different approach in the new year.   
-Carolyn Hayes
Director of Children & Young Family Ministry