December Preview Pack

Here’s a quick look ahead to what we’ll be learning in Heroes Gate over the next few weeks:

Dec. 7: Preschool-4th grade will be singing their Christmas song (“Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child”) on the main stage.  Please be sure to have your child checked into his/her room before 9:10/11:10 to make sure he/she is able to participate and spread some Christmas joy!  Club 56 kids will understand that by showing how thankful we are to people, our attitude for gratitude grows and shows and grows some more.

Dec. 14: Toddlers through 4th grade will learn how the angel Gabriel visited Mary and assured her that nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-21).  Club 56 kids will understand that God seeks us because at His core is an unstoppable, selfless, unconditional, and sacrificial love for humans.

Dec. 21: Family Worship Sunday!  In place of our normal lessons, we’re inviting you and your family to join us this Sunday before Christmas for a morning of worship and Christmas caroling!  Worship with your kids as a family in Heroes Gate and then head back to the Sanctuary in time for the sermon.

Dec. 28: Preschool-6th grade will continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus as they hear the story from some fun and unconventional storytellers.

Meet Our Staff: Bethany

Bethany bio pic

This month, our staff person of the month is Bethany Blick. Bethany is our Welcome Coordinator. You will most often see her at the front desk greeting and assisting families who come in the doors. She has the fabulous job of making sure the check-in system goes smoothly, and, some days, that is not an easy task. Enjoy getting to know Bethany a little bit more.

Hi!  I’m Bethany!  I have a fabulous husband, Robert, who has been my greatest support in life for the past 8 years, and I am blessed to have an awesome son, Jayden, who is now 4, and a beautiful daughter, Aria, who is 2.  These two keep me on my toes, and teach me so much about God’s love for us. They keep me humble and remind me daily of God’s grace.  This past April, we returned to New Zealand to visit Robert’s family and give our children the gift of getting to know the other side of the family. We hope to make this trip a “regular” part of our lives so that those relationships can grow.  Other places I’d love to introduce my family to include some of my favorite spots in South America, which I visited while as student at Bethel.  Having grown up in Eagan, I’m a local girl, but if I won a million dollars, I would own a second home somewhere warm as I’m not a fan of Minnesota’s frigid winters.  Something you may not know about me is I have a Master’s Degree in Water Resources Science from the U of M due to my love of God’s beautiful creation.

Operation Joy

OP Joy

Operation Joy is a ministry that seeks to provide Christmas gifts to families in need from the Woodland Hills Church community and The Lift. This partnership works with various departments of the church, including Heroes Gate, Echo, Resonate, and Care as well as The Lift in east St. Paul and Close to My Heart Preschool. Each recipient is connected to one of these ministries or organizations.

Over the past 10 years, individuals, families, small groups, businesses, and staff have provided thousands of gifts.   Last year, families in Heroes Gate provided gifts for 31 families and 12 teens from the Lift, which was the largest amount ever provided in the history of this endeavor! You and your family are a huge part of what makes this ministry so impactful!

Each ornament on the Operation Joy Christmas tree (located in the entry hall of Heroes Gate) provides details about a recipient and gift suggestions. Children receive a fun gift (teddy bear ornaments) and a needed item (mitten ornaments). Adults receive a gift card only (mitten ornament). Another opportunity is to provide a Cub gift card (circle ornaments) for a family to use towards a holiday meal together.

Once you choose an ornament, fill out a slot on the clipboard next to the display letting us know about your choice. Then go shopping for a new gift in the range of $25-$30. Put the gift in a gift bag, attach the original ornament, and drop off at the display or Heroes Gate desk before Sunday, December 14th.

This is a great opportunity for families to share God’s love in a practical way.   Everyone can participate in the process of choosing an ornament, purchasing a gift, and wrapping, so the whole family is doing ministry together!

For more information about Operation Joy, contact Patrick Showers at 651-287-2050 or pshowers@whchurch.org.