PROTEM – A major spring Wednesday night program has reached Rocky Ledge Baptist Church area youth for five years.
‘Fun in the Son’ is an after-school Bible-based program held at the Mark Twain Elementary School
“We do this in the spring so as not to conflict with athletics,” Pastor Gene Boyce said. “It’s a high energy program, it runs from 4 to 6 weeks, and we have a yearly topic.”
“We start with snacks and a small group meeting. Then we go to the gym, and back to the cafeteria. We usually have a local pastor, who one year came as Johnny Appleseed. This year it was Pecos Paul, who shared a scripture-based story,” Pastor Boyce said.
The theme this year was “Staying on the Jesus trail, with the subtopic of telling the truth.”
“One of the main focuses is to have a general understanding of Bibles and truths of the Bible. When things do not go well, you are able to fall back on Jesus. We tell them these things so when they leave home, they will know how to pray, how to read the Bible, and know there is a God and they know who Jesus is,” Boyce said.
The church averages 50 percent of the school’s kindergarten through eighth grade students, or about 30 children. That’s not bad, considering this is in a retirement community with the age range of 50 to 83. Boyce said some 15 volunteers in the church lead Fun in the Son.
“My wife Paula, a retired educator, writes the curriculum, but she needs the hands of the volunteers,” Gene Boyce said.
“The advantage of this program is as a small church we can move to the larger facility, like the school. The disadvantage is we have to take everything with us, and sometimes two vehicles to haul everything. We take our own food as we have no access to the school kitchen. But we use crock pots and roasters. It works well,” Paul Boyce said.
“The fact that we have access to the facility is awesome. It’s a blessing to have so many people step forward,” Paula said.
Gene Boyce said the seventh and eighth graders build and sell craft projects, with the money going to a needy party in the community, such as a young widow who was expecting twins.
“This teaches them giving, public speaking, building, sanding, painting, and commerce,” he said. “The fundraisers usually bring $400-$500. Our goal is to give youth goals for life.”
The crafts include Easter wreaths and single word or simple phrase plaques: “Pray,” “Blessings,” etc.
Fun in the Son also includes science, Bible, and game centers, with the children choosing one or more to do each Wednesday of the program.
The program is intentionally fast-paced.
“We have one volunteer that does nothing but keep time,” Pastor Boyce said.
“Our goal is to give kids a foundation, who have no connection to a church,” Pastor Boyce said.