His Kids, a bus ministry of Christ United Methodist Church in Greeneville, Tenn., received a $1,000 Change for Children grant that will help them purchase supplies and keep gasoline in two vans.
The Morristown District church transports neighborhood children between home and church for two hours of fun, food, and Bible lessons.
“We brought them to church on Wednesdays, gave them a meal, had music, story telling and class,” said Debbie Scott, one of the organizers. We wanted to try to get children whose parents won’t bring them (to church).”
After two years, Scott said the program moved in September to Sunday evenings and merged with Kids Club, the church’s regular children’s and youth program. The new program, named Kingdom Seekers, offers the same type of curriculum, as well as a meal. Children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, and some middle and high school students, participate.
Scott said the church combined the programs to help the adult volunteers, who helped on both Wednesday and Sunday nights. Volunteers only work one evening a week, instead of two. And, children and youth in both groups can build relationships with each another.
Church organizers started in late August meeting with neighborhood parents, getting permission forms signed, and updating the rosters in preparation for the Sept. 7 start date. The church suspends the program over the summer because few children participate. A few children did keep coming to Sunday School and church all summer, Scott said.
The initial program started several years ago, after neighborhood children attended a Bible school at the church. Scott said many wanted to come back to church. Since many of the children weren’t home Sunday mornings to attend traditional church, Scott said the church selected Wednesday nights for the outreach program.
The church plans to use the Change for Children grant to purchase workbooks, teaching tools, and possibly furniture for the classrooms. Scott