Children and Family Ministries

“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.”
Matthew 19:14
 
Westwood United Methodist Church welcomes children of all ages, for they show us the kingdom of heaven. There are several opportunities for children to learn and grow in their faith. 
COVID-19 Information
The health and safety of our community, particularly our most vulnerable, is extremely important. Because of this our Children’s Ministry has implemented the following precautions:
– Adult volunteers who are feeling ill will stay home.
– We ask that if your child is not feeling well (cough, runny nose, fever) they not attend Children’s Ministry activities.
– Hand sanitizer will be available and frequently used throughout programming. 
11:00am Children’s Worship
Our children are present in worship for the majority of worship. During this service there is a special Children’s Moment where a member of the pastoral staff takes a few moments to talk to the children about the message for the day. After this time children are invited to a Children’s Worship time to dive in deeper to the scripture and lesson for the day. This time only lasts during the sermon, and children return to worship immediately following the sermon. 
Family Worship Sunday
The first Sunday of each month is Family Worship Sunday. There is no Children’s Worship during this service and we celebrate Communion during this service. Having the entire community of faith worshiping together helps our youngest learn how to worship. They are present to sing together, hear the scripture read, and watch the offering of our gifts. By being present in worship they begin to learn the rhythms of our communal worship.
Worship Wiggle Activities
Sometimes little hands and little minds have a hard time sitting still. That is ok! We have several items available outside the sanctuary that you can pick up to help your little one with their worship wiggles. These include paper and coloring pencils, blocks, puzzles, books and playdough!
Sunday School
Sunday School is offered each week starting at 9:45am. Children will dig in to scripture with stories, crafts, and games. Our team strives to create an atmosphere where children can feel safe asking questions about who God is. To see more about the philosophy of our curriculum check out their website by clicking here!

Summer With Children’s Ministry

Next Up:
Saturday July 9th and Friday July 22nd: Movie Nights in Fray’s Park! The City of Kalamazoo will be hosting two movie nights in Fray’s Park. July 29th will feature Encanto and July 22nd will be a movie picked by the community via vote. This will be a great opportunity for us to come and meet our neighbors. The movie will start at 7pm and free snacks will be provided! Bring your lawn chair and your red shirts.
Director of Children and Family Ministries

My name is Tamila Brode and I am Director of Children and Family Ministries at Westwood United Methodist Church! I am often asked about how to pronounce my name, so here is my trick: Tamila rhymes with Pamela and Brode rhymes with road. I grew up in Westwood United Methodist Church from the time I was about 5 through most of high school. So much of who I am today was shaped by the people of this church. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science before realizing I was called to work in ministry. I then went on to get my Masters of Divinity. I always knew that I didn’t want to be a lead pastor, but I wanted to help the church to learn to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I am so honored to be the Director of Children and Family Ministries here at WUMC. Being the mom of young children I have seen the importance of cultivating faith in our young people. My vision for WUMC Children’s Ministry has three parts. The first is teaching our children about who God is. Fostering a sense of security in God’s love for them will undergird their life-long faith journey. Second, I want to make sure that parents feel equipped to talk about God and faith at home. This doesn’t have to be some big nightly discussion, but helping families see ways to integrate faith discussions into the things you are already doing. Finally, I want to help the congregation know how to see and hear our children, inviting them into the full community of the church. 
 
If you have any questions about anything related to Children and Family Ministries, please contact me at tbrodewumc@gmail.com.