Preschool Class of ’19 Graduates and Marks one Decade of OFH! (5/29/19)

Posted by on May 13, 2019 in EventReport, Mission: AroundTowns, OFH | 0 comments

Our Father’s House celebrated our tenth year by celebrating our kids! On May 29 we held a graduation ceremony for our four-year olds who will be entering Kindergarten next fall. It was a celebration of this year’s class, but also a chance to look back in Thanksgiving for this ministry which God has given us.

 

A Decade of Growth!

From the time when our old building on Broadway and Holly burned down (December 2003), we began to envision a new facility which could provide a Christian, values/mission based preschool for our community. The design of our new (and current building, on Lambs Road) included features that would enable the formation of a preschool, and a preschool committee was formed shortly after we moved into the new building.

Our Father’s House opened in 2009 with at total of 37 students. We had two 3-year old classes and one 4-year old class. Our staff consisted of 2 teachers.

Ten years later, we had over 100 students and celebrated the graduation of 47 four year old students. Our team is now blessed with 5 teachers, 3 aides, a pianist, and 5 different volunteers. And 115 children are currently enrolled for next year!

Over this decade, there have been some ups and downs, but God continues to use this ministry in a powerful way. We are thankful that God, in His grace, has used our hands and feet to bless His children.

 

 

What is Our Father’s House???

A “House” is made up of many different elements. Structural elements like bricks and mortar. Equipment elements like electrical and HVAC systems. Organizational elements like boards and committees. But more than that, Our Father’s House is built on God’s will working through the people who love His children.

Our Father’s House is built with our Teachers, Staff, Parents, Activities, and our Children. And- it all rests on the Heavenly Father for whom our “House” is named.

 

Teachers…

Our Father’s House is blessed with a staff of loving teachers and aides who work with the children. All of our teachers are certified professionals, and each class is staffed with a Teacher and an Aide. Outside of the classroom, “Mr. Mike” (Mike Murphy) uses his piano skills to lead times of music during the weekly chapel sessions.

 

 

Staff and Church…

There is a lot of activity behind the scenes at Our Father’s House. OFH Director, Eileen Salmon (retired teacher and former principal), has a passion for the preschool and its kids. She puts in long hours arranging the details and keeping things running smoothly.

But the church is also deeply involved in this ministry. We aren’t simply providing classroom space. The OFH board administers things like budgets, payroll, and staffing. The board is filled by PUMC members and parents of former students. Our custodians ensure that the classrooms are clean and ready for each day’s classes. And the entire congregation, led by Pastor Jim Bolton, stands behind OFH with their prayers and volunteer support.

And each morning, the children are greeted by one of our “Crossing Guards.” When children make the transition between parents and school, “Mr. Will” or “Mr. Charles” ease the transition with a friendly smile and a fist bump.

Our Father’s House is truly a ministry of the Pitman United Methodist Church.

 

Parents…

As any parent knows, nurturing a child takes a lot of attention and focus.

  • Mornings when your child is sick, and you have to take time off to go to the doctor…
  • Snowy days when your kids are home, and you have to change your plans…
  • Struggles, hurts, bumps and bruises to your child, and your own heart hurts.

Being a parent isn’t easy!

And so, a huge part of Our Father’s House is built on the beams of love that rest on the parents. Every morning, they drop their children off and entrust their care to Our Father’s House. And throughout the year they participate, volunteer, and donate to make the children’s experience as fulfilling as it can be. Without the parents, the teachers, staff, and church could not provide the ministry that it does.

 

Loving and Learning…

At Our Father’s House, we don’t stay home! Learning involves moving out of the classroom to experience new things. It also means that we learn to experience love; reaching out to others to help them. To reflect some of the love that Our Father has poured on us.

Our Director, Eileen Salmon, sends out several emails each month updating the parents about the missions and activities that are going on around Our Father’s House. From September through May, we are constantly involved in a variety of “Loving and Learning” activities.

Looking back over the past year’s emails, here is a month by month glimpse at the ’18-’19 Our Father’s House school year…

(Click on the links to read further info about each event. In keeping with our decade celebration, most of these links go to articles written in past years.)

September

  • Thank you for all your donations of boxed cereal. We will continue to collect through the remainder of this month.
  • We are all looking forward to our Friendly Firemen visit with us next week!!
  • Don’t forget to save dates for our trips to Zimmerman’s Farm Market.
October

  • THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH for your help with our September mission project. Through your generosity, we were able to donate 63 much needed boxes of cereal to our local food pantry.
  • This week, your child will receive a box to collect for UNICEF throughout the month of October. This annual tradition of Kids Helping Kids has raised funds to help UNICEF to provide health care for the world’s most vulnerable children.
  • We are all looking forward to our local firemen visiting this week with their fire engine for our friendly fireman talk and chance to sit in the driver’s seat of a fire engine.
  • This coming week is our field trip to Zimmerman’s Farm Market. We will go on the hayride, pick a pumpkin, and enjoy an applecider doughnut.
  • The week after that is also a full one. The free Flu Clinic is on Tuesday, October 23rd and our picture taking days are on Wednesday and Thursday the 24th and 25th.
November

  • During the month of November, we will collect canned goods and other food stuff items for Thanksgiving Baskets. On Saturday, our church’s Boy Scout Troop will gather the donations and make up their baskets. The Boy Scouts always appreciate our help with this project.
  • We raised $725 for UNICEF last month. Thanks for your generosity!!!
  • Mark your calendar now for November 14 and 15. Children’s author, Traci Dunham will visit all of our classes here at the preschool. You will have the opportunity to pre-order an autographed copy of one of her books for your child.

 

December

  • Our verse for the month of December is, “A Savior has been born!” from Luke 2:11.
  • Four year old classes: please reserve the dates now of Thursday, December 6th for our Christmas program that morning in the Sanctuary with all children. We perform our play again in church on Sunday, December 9th.
  • During this month, we participate in the church’s Star Tree Program. Each class will will pick a star from the tree. On the back of the star is a child’s name, age, and some gift suggestions.
    • Each class will collect monetary donations, and the teacher will purchase gifts for the child which their class has selected.
    • The children will assist in wrapping the gift/s and then as a class, they will place it back under the tree in the narthex. We are so pleased that Our Father’s House Preschool can be a part of making Christmas a little happier for some local children. We thank you in advance for your help with this project.

 

January

  • Last month, each class collected enough money to purchase a gift for a child as part of our Star Tree program. Ten families were helped by this effort.
  • We are always collecting food for the Pitman Food Pantry. During the month of January, we will be specifically trying to collect cans of soup.

 

February

  • Thank you all so very much for your generous donations of soup and other canned goods during the month of January. Through your generosity, we were able to provide over 150 cans of a variety of foods. That is such a huge help! Thank you so much!
  • During the month of February, we have been busy making Valentine Cards to share with the residents of Pitman Manor. I will be delivering those cards to them next Wednesday.
  • Our Fathers House will hold a Spirit Night at the Chick-Fil-a to raise much needed funds for our scholarship fund. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday March 26.

 

March

  • The residents in the health care unit at Pitman Manor really enjoyed our Valentine’s that we made for them – as much as the children enjoyed making them for them.
  • On Wednesday morning, March 20th, our four year olds will walk to the Manor to present a program of song to the residents.
  • Our Mission Project this month is to raise funds to purchase items through Heifer International. This is in keeping with our memory verse for this month that can be found in Matthew 25:35 – “I was hungry and you fed me.” This month, the children are learning about different animals and the resources each provides.
    • At the end of the month, we will collect their “Heifer Banks” to arrive at a total amount collected per each classroom. The children will then vote by class to decide which animal they care to purchase for those less fortunate than us.
  • A HUGE thank you to Leah McMullan and Stacy Radino, two of our parents who are Registered Dental Hygienists. They visited with all classes last month and presented a program about brushing and flossing and eating good snacks.

 

April

  • Last month’s Heifer International project was a huge success. We collected $920 and voted to purchase 2 shares of fish, a gift of clean water, 2 goats, 2 trios of rabbits, 2 shares of rabbits, 2 honeybees, 3 flocks of chicks, and 3 flocks of ducks/geese.
  • Thank you all so very much with our fundraiser at Chick-fil-A last month. We will receive a check for $266.09 for our Scholarship Fund.
  • In the Christian spirit of helping others, as well as with Earth Day this month, our Mission Project for April is the Crayon Initiative. This nonprofit organization takes used and unwanted crayons and melts them down and recycles them into new crayons. They are then shipped to children’s hospitals across the United States.

  • We are also collecting new or used DVD’s that we donate to the Ronald McDonald House.

 

May

  • Thank you all for your help during the month of April with collecting crayons for the Crayon Initiative and for bringing in DVD’s for the Ronald McDonald House. We really do appreciate your help this year will all of our mission projects.
  • Our verse for the month of May is “Jesus is the Way…” from John 14:6.
  • For our last mission project, we will collect items for the Pitman Food Pantry to try to stock their shelves for the summer months when there is still a great need, but not many food donations coming in. Boxes of cereal cereal or jars of peanut butter are great staple foods, but the food pantry welcomes ANY and ALL donations of food items.

 

 

Children…

The “stars” of our graduation were the kids. Without our young students, Our Father’s House would be an empty shell. But these precious children add life and energy, and they reflect the simple love of our Father.

Here’s a quick look at our graduation ceremony and a taste of the energy that comes from the children of Our Father’s House…

 

God- The House Belongs to the Father!

And finally- and most importantly- Our Father’s House is built on Our Heavenly Father! God has entrusted us with His children. He’s given us the privilege and responsibility to nurture our children; to give them the skills needed to survive in the world, but also to give them the spiritual grounding that they’ll need in order to get through life’s many valleys.

In His Word, God consistently speaks of the value of children and of our responsibilities towards them…

(Click on the “Next” / “Previous” arrows to read each verse)

Train a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Prov 22:6

Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day,

so that you may command your children to obey carefully

all the words of this law. Deut 32:46-47

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise

because of your enemies,

to silence the foe and the avenger. Ps 8:2

We will not hide them from their children;

we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,

his power, and the wonders he has done. Ps 78:4

Sons are a heritage from the Lord,

children a reward from him.

Ps 127:3

He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress,

and for his children it will be a refuge.

Prov 14:26

“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,

because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,

and revealed them to little children. Matt 11:25-26

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children,

you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matt 18:3-4

Let the little children come to me,

and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt 19:14-15

 

 

Our Father’s House…

The beams of the cross allow us to reach up to God and for God to reach out to us. And so, our preschool isn’t “My Teachers’ House”, “My Church’s House”, “My Parents’ House,” or even “My Children’s House.”

Everything that happens is done to glorify God and to fulfill His will of nurturing His Children.

 

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For more information about Our Father’s House, here’s the article that announced this year’s graduation…

Graduation

This year’s Our Father’s House has been a really successful year, and we want to celebrate.  On Thursday May 30 (at 9:30 AM) we will hold our annual graduation ceremony for our 4 year olds.  All  are welcome as we celebrate the achievement of these boys and girls and and their families.  It is also an opportunity to pray for them as their children enter public school in the Fall.

Our Father’s House Graduation

When:    Wednesday May 29

Time:      9:00 AM

Where:   Sanctuary

Who:      All are invited!

 

The school year at Our Father’s House is always filled with fun and learning.  Here are a few memories of the ’18-’19 edition of OFH…

 

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Here’s the post about last year’s graduation.  For a taste of this special event, click on the title…

(Use your browser’s “back” button to return to this article)

 

 

 

 

2019 Vacation Bible School

If you haven’t made your plans for this summer’s Vacation Bible School, consider attending our VBS.  It will be held in the evenings during the week of June 24.  Click this button for more info:  2019 VBS  

 

 

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To learn more about the Our Father’s House preschool: Our Fathers House

 

 

 

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