From Family Ministry

How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus

There are a lot of great resources on how to talk about Coronavirus/COVID-19 with your children. Here are some of the things I’ve compiled, along with some of our own thoughts on how we can help children during these times.

1. Assessing what your child knows

They have heard many things from many different sources. Talk to them about what they might know: what may be true and what might not be in what they’ve heard. In this age where information is so accessible, try to limit their access to all the information that is out there.

2. Focusing on staying healthy

This can be empowering for children, especially younger children, if they know that they can be part of the solution by keeping healthy themselves. Good hygiene and staying healthy will help everyone, including the older folks around them, stay healthy too. Washing hands is protecting the people around them!

3. Checking your own anxiety

It’s natural to feel anxious at this time. But as you talk to your children, remember that they will look to you to be their peace. It is okay to admit if you are worried but more importantly, it is important to be a non-anxious presence. Remind children that when we worry, we can go to God and ask God for peace.

4. Talking about it age appropriately

Follow their lead and let them ask questions. Here’s a good article to check out about how to talk to children of different ages about it.

5. Being a listening ear

Just like it can be helpful to for us to talk about it, kids need to be able to express what they are thinking and feeling too. By doing this, we model how God hears us too.

6. Calling your family to community

Children (and even adults!) can feel helpless in these situations. Look for ways that you can be a force for good in your community as followers of Jesus. Help an elderly neighbor; encourage and thank your local sanitation and store employees, first responders; pray for those in the community, country and the world. We will get through this if we do this together. Remind children that Christians respond to crisis with love not fear.

7. Praying together

Let your children know that they can bring their sorrows and their fears to God. Praying together can help bring the family together in God’s comfort and remind them that when things feel out of control, God is always watching over us and taking care of us. Praying for others can again help us remember that we can do something about the situation that we are in.

 

 

What to Do with Children During Their Time Off from School

One of the things that I’ve read that will be important during these times will be to set a routine. Routines can give children comfort and security and also will provide caregivers with a framework for the day. Don’t be afraid to use some screen time for distraction but also do try to limit the amount of time that they are on.

Here are some other great resources:

An Example of How To Structure the Day

Go to a Virtual Museum — Here is a list of 12 museums that you can explore virtually!

Brainpop.com is a fun online learning resource for kids. They have one for kids K-3 and one for upper elementary-middle schoolers. They’ve made their resource free for children whose schools have been closed when you sign up. They have a resource specifically on coronavirus that you don’t have to sign up for.

Bright Horizons has a list of different resources for younger kids including 10 ways to use a cardboard box and 10 ways to get moving

This is a fun Twitter thread with some ideas of what to do with your kids that includes a link to some fun science experiment.

Write thank-you cards and posters to people who are working hard to make a difference — sanitation workers, health care professionals, first responders, shopkeepers and store employees, and others who you might know!

Don’t forget — you can go outside and move. Just remember to practice social distance. You might want to avoid playgrounds — but wide open spaces, hiking, taking a walk in your neighborhood are all okay.

It can be hard being stuck at home all day but now is a great time to get creative. Being bored can lead to some really great things and to cultivating imagination. Praying that, even though this time could be difficult, that it will be precious time!

 

 

A note from your pastors about Coronavirus/COVID-19

Announcement slide with an image of a candle with the text, "A note from your pastors: Living as a community of faith, hope & love in Jesus during this time of Coronavirus/COVID-19" overlaid.

* EDIT (March 16, 2020): We are gathering online through Zoom. Please check your emails or contact us at info@anchorcity.org for more information.

———————

Dear beloved Anchor City family and friends,

There is, understandably, a lot of anxiety and concern about the daily news we receive about Coronavirus/COVID-19. Professional sports suspending their seasons, universities closing down dorms and in-person classes, new cases being reported in our region — we could go on and on.

As your pastors, and as a community of faith in Jesus, we are writing both in the hope of alleviating anxiety with a reminder of God’s peace and offering ways to care for yourself, your family, and your community.

* For the time being, Anchor City will continue to gather on Sundays for worship in-person. We will continue to take all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe and welcomed, while still fostering a sense of community and connection. You are welcome to express your level of comfort with personal space during our gatherings — we all understand! For example, during the greetings and passing of the peace, please start with a wave or other non-contact greeting. If you’d like to offer a hug or handshake, please ask first! The pastors leading communion will wash their hands before serving. Hand sanitizer will be available and we will continue to remind everyone to please wash your hands regularly.

We’re also preparing for the possibility of “gathering” for worship online or in alternative ways, should the need arise. We do this not from a place of fear, but of proactive faithfulness for the health of our church members and the greater San Diego community. As Shane Claiborne recently said, “I believe in prayer. I also believe in soap.” :)

In the meantime, in moments of particular anxiety, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to pray with you and talk through any fear you might be holding. Let’s remember to be community to each other as well. Texts, calls, and other support are vital reminders that we are not alone and that we have each other as family in Christ.

As Christians, we are a community of hope and love — this is the Good News of Jesus that we can offer to the world. We encourage you to offer hope and love to your neighbors at this time. If you have elderly neighbors, consider checking in on them and offering to run errands for them. Reach out to your friends and neighbors and see how they’re feeling, physically and emotionally. In the coming days, we will find suggestions for ways to help local and global communities who are hardest hit. “Covid-19 Checklist for Followers of Jesus” has some ideas for how we can respond. These are all ways we can demonstrate the truth of Scripture, “Perfect love drives out fear” — 1 John 4:18.

Beloved family, we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you up-to-date. We pray that God’s peace that surpasses all understanding would guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Grace and peace,
Pastors Jeya & Dan

 

 

 

Lent 2020

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
— Psalm 42:1-2

What Is Lent?

Lent is the forty days leading up to Easter, not including Sundays (during which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!). For the Church, this season is a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. Many followers of Jesus find it helpful to fast during Lent. Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is Wednesday, February 26th this year.

What About Fasting?

Fasting has been misunderstood in many ways. Fasting is not:

Proving our spiritual worth by how much we can “suffer”

Giving up sins or bad habits (we should be giving up those things anyways)

Trying out a new diet (going on a low-carb diet is not the same thing as fasting).

When we fast, we take a step back from a good gift of God (for example, food!) in order to seek the Giver of those gifts. When our stomachs growl from hunger, or we feel fidgety from a media fast, we are reminded that our greatest hunger should be Jesus Himself. Dr. Bill Bright of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) offers several other wise insights into why we should fast.

As Richard Foster writes:

Fasting must forever center on God. More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.

Simply put, we fast so that we can make more room in our hearts for Jesus.

———————

Lenten Resources

As we withdraw for a time from some good gifts of God during this season, we also encourage you to draw near to the Giver intentionally through spiritual disciplines.

During this Lenten season, we encourage you to pray, fast, and give. Below you can find some Lenten resources (right-click to save PDF files):

Bible Reading 

The Lent Generosity Challenge
What if Lent was about giving out instead of giving up? This Bible plan is an adaptation of the full 40acts challenge. Our hope is that as you explore and practice biblical generosity in all areas of your life, you would experience its transformational impact. Each day contains a prompt for one act of generosity on that day’s topic, with Sunday reflections summarising the theme of the acts that week.

Journeying With Jesus
‘Journeying With Jesus’ is a Bible plan to help us walk with Jesus through the last two chapters of Matthew. We stop to focus on Jesus’ last days on this earth and what that means to us. How does that change who I am and Whose I am today? We will take time to dwell on Scripture and “bring it home” with questions that make us consider where we are on the journey of knowing Jesus.

Here is a simple Daily Readings for Lent 2020 from our denomination.

Families

A daily calendar of Lent readings and activities for individuals and families.

If you didn’t have a chance to pick one up, you can either find a hard copy at an Anchor City Sunday worship gathering, right-click on the JPG image above and save, or download the PDF file here.

———————

Seeking & Celebrating Jesus!

We encourage you to break your fast on Sundays. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus each Lord’s Day, and breaking the fast weekly reminds us that it’s not primarily about our self-discipline, but celebrating the Risen King of grace and life.

 

 

Advent Conspiracy 2018

Advent Conspiracy is about the entire body of Christ at work in the world.
As we worship fully, spend less, give more, and love all,
something begins to happen that is greater than any single
person, church, or denomination.

As the Church, we are telling the story of Jesus to the watching world.
Our prayer is that more churches join together to live out
the story of Jesus’ sacrificial love.

God is not finished with our world and He is inviting us
deeper into the Christmas story.

— from adventconspiracy.org

Title Slide - AC

The season of Advent begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day — this year, Advent begins on Sunday, December 2nd. This is a season of watching & waiting, of expectation & hope. The word “advent” means “arrival” — we celebrate both the Incarnation of Jesus (that He arrived into the world that first Christmas day) and the return of Jesus, when He will arrive again to redeem, restore & renew all things.

 

Advent Conspiracy Partners 

Anchor City is proud once again to participate in the Advent Conspiracy movement. This year, our Advent Conspiracy offering (happening on December 16th and 24th) will go to support these amazing partners:

 

Advent Conspiracy Resources 

The Advent Conspiracy movement has made several great resources available to help you grow in your love for Jesus and others during this season. Please click the images below to download these resources:

Advent Daily Readings

 

Family Devotionals

 

Advent Calendar 

 

Advent Scavenger Hunt 

 

Church Without Walls — Love God With Our Strength

Sunday, September 30, 2018
Mission Bay, San Diego
________________

Love So Great 

Your love so great
Jesus in all things
I’ve seen a glimpse of Your heart

A billion years
Still I’ll be singing
How can I praise You enough?
How can I praise You enough?

You are the Lord Almighty
Outshining all the stars in glory
Your love is like the wildest ocean
Oh, nothing else compares

Creation calls
All to the Saviour
We are alive for Your praise

In earth and sky
No one is higher
Our God of wonders, You reign
Our God of wonders, You reign

Not to us, but to Your Name
We lift up all praise
Not to us, but to Your Name
We lift up all praise

 

Oceans 

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep, my faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

Church Without Walls — Beauty & Creativity

I Love You, Lord 

I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear

_________________________

An artist knows that what you can see and observe
is only the beginning of our journey to discover the world.

William Blake wrote:
To see a world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palms of your hand
and eternity in an hour

Every work of art and poetry invites us
to see a ‘world in a grain of sand’ and ‘heaven in a wild flower.’
This perceptive exercise allows for another amazing experience.
We actually can, by truly “seeing,” experience the possibility
of opening the “eyes of our hearts.”

— Makoto Fujimura

_________________________

I pray that the eyes of your heart
may be enlightened in order that you may know
the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
and his incomparably great power
for us who believe.

— Ephesians 1:18-19 —

_________________________

General questions to think about throughout the entire museum:

  • What do you like? (It’s okay to say “nothing” if that’s what you feel)
  • What speaks to you?  How?
  • What do you see that helps you open “the eyes of your heart”?
  • What feelings (if any) do these pieces evoke? Positive? Negative?

_________________________

In any of these pieces, how do you see the Four Chapter Gospel? Individual chapters, the whole story, etc.?

  • Creation: Where do you see something that was lovingly made?
  • Fall: Is there a piece that expresses pain or brokenness visually, maybe even better than words would?
  • Restoration: Do you see any artwork that evokes forgiveness or healing?
  • Redemption: Which pieces give you sense of completion, wholeness, or hope?

_________________________

At the Moon Gold exhibit:

  • Read Exodus 35:31-32
  • As you look at the various pieces, think about scale, color, and materials. There are some really BIG pieces, as well as some small ones.
  • How do these pieces help you understand the qualities/characteristics of God? Perhaps you can think about the colors (gold & silver) or the size (the big pieces, and how you feel standing in front of them).

_________________________

At the Epic Tales of India exhibit:

  • Parental Guidance: Parents, please be aware that there are some pieces with themes and depictions that might not be appropriate for your kids.
  • Is there piece from this room where you see God’s truth expressed/reflected in some way?
  • Note: We are not saying that all religions are the same, but because God created the world, all creation can reflect some glimpses of His Truth.

_________________________

Upstairs, at the Art of Devotion exhibit:

  • Pastor Jeya will be in this area around 11:30 am — please feel free to ask her questions, look at a few pieces together, etc.

_________________________

Questions for kids (and the young at heart)!

Can you find these pieces? Where did you see them?

When you feel “found,” how does that make you feel (Think about if you’ve ever been lost, or if someone really knows you)?

Can you find a painting called Agnus Dei (“Lamb of God”)? What does the Bible say about Jesus as the Lamb of God?

Is there a piece of art that looks like you? Or, can you strike a similar pose?

Ask your parents to take you to the Visible Vaults: As you opened the drawers, what was something that surprised you? Can you draw it? Why was it fun to discover something new? In the world, what helps you discover or know God’s love more?

Are there works that remind you of Bible stories or God’s love for you?

 

For our younger children — let your kids show you what they want to see.

  • What do they see that you didn’t notice as an adult?
  • Ask, “What art do you like? Why? What don’t you like?”
  • If you see people in the artwork ask, “What are the expressions on their faces? Happy? Sad? How does that make you feel?”
  • Ask them to point out colors and shapes (but don’t touch!) and ask which ones do they like? Are there pieces they don’t like?
  • Share with them which ones you like and why.
  • Remind your kids that they are God’s beautiful artwork!

_________________________

Bonus! Find PJ’s favorite non-sacred piece (without running!) • Take a photo of it and show it to PJ — first person to correctly do so wins a prize! • Hint: We showed a picture of it on Sunday • If you need another hint, text PJ

Lent 2018

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
— Psalm 42:1-2

What Is Lent?

Lent is the forty days leading up to Easter, not including Sundays (during which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!). For the Church, this season is a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. Many followers of Jesus find it helpful to fast during Lent.

What About Fasting?

Fasting has been misunderstood in many ways. Fasting is not:

Proving our spiritual worth by how much we can “suffer”

Giving up sins or bad habits (we should be giving up those things anyways)

Trying out a new diet (going on a low-carb diet is not the same thing as fasting).

When we fast, we take a step back from a good gift of God (for example, food!) in order to seek the Giver of those gifts. When our stomachs growl from hunger, or we feel fidgety from a media fast, we are reminded that our greatest hunger should be Jesus Himself. Dr. Bill Bright of Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) offers several other wise insights into why we should fast.

As Richard Foster writes:

Fasting must forever center on God. More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.

Simply put, we fast so that we can make more room in our hearts for Jesus.

———————

Lenten Resources

As we withdraw for a time from some good gifts of God during this season, we also encourage you to draw near to the Giver intentionally through spiritual disciplines.

During this Lenten season, we encourage you to pray, fast, and give. Below you can find some Lenten resources (right-click to save PDF files):

Bible Reading 

The YouVersion Bible App has several reading plans here, including Lent for Everyone by NT Wright.

Here is a simple Daily Readings for Lent 2018 from our denomination.

You can also subscribe to daily Lenten readings from Bible Gateway here (including Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Dallas Willard)

Families & Kids 

This family devotional, Because of Jesus, includes six simple lessons (one for each week) with Bible reading, discussion questions, a “big take-away,” and a way to put faith into action.

Here is a Lenten coloring page (and another one here) — post these to your fridge after your kiddos color them in!

This set of “Learn About Love” worksheets includes some Bible discussion, word scramble, and other activities.

Photo-A-Day 

Lent 2018 Photo-A-Day Journey — if you post to social, please tag it #AnchorCityLent

These simple acts of faith & devotion can help Christians of all ages make room in their hearts for Jesus.

———————

Seeking & Celebrating Jesus!

We encourage you to break your fast on Sundays. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus each Lord’s Day, and breaking the fast weekly reminds us that it’s not primarily about our self-discipline, but celebrating the Risen King of grace and life.

Together at the Table for the Common Good

People will come from east and west
and north and south,
and will take their places
at the feast in the kingdom of God. 
— Luke 13:29

At the Table, we open our mouths to the food and our hearts to one another. As the saying goes, Asian moms say, “I love you” by asking, “Have you eaten anything?”

As we continue to dream together about how God is sending Anchor City into San Diego, let’s consider the ways we can invite others to the Feast and how we can be a family to the lost & lonely.

Here are a few links from people and organizations that Pastor Dan mentioned during his sermon yesterday:

—  —  —  —  —

Humble Design in Detroit helps to make a house a home for “families transitioning out of homeless shelters by providing furnishings and design services. We turn their empty house into a clean, dignified and welcoming home. It’s a very simple idea that can change a family’s future.”

—  —  —  —  —

The 5280 Table is building a mile-long table for the mile-high city (Denver) to bring hope to their city by sharing a meal with neighbors. “In our divisive age, there’s nothing quite like a meal shared with others to bring down some walls.”

—  —  —  —  —

Detroit Soup gathers strangers around tables for the common good of their city. “Detroit SOUP is a microgranting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Detroit. For a donation $5 attendees receive soup, salad, bread and a vote and hear from four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more. Each presenter has four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. At the event, attendees eat, talk, share resources, enjoy art and vote on the project they think benefits the city the most. At the end of the night, we count the ballots and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to carry out their project. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.”

—  —  —  —  —

May you come to the Table and hear the Father say, “I love you.” May Anchor City be a family to the lonely, and may our Table bring healing & hope to our city and beyond.

 

Lent 2017

What Is Lent?
Lent is the forty days leading up to Easter, not including Sundays (during which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection!). For the Church, this season is a time of reflection, repentance, and renewal. Many followers of Jesus find it helpful to fast during Lent.

What About Fasting?
Fasting has been misunderstood in many ways. Fasting is not:

Proving our spiritual worth by how much we can “suffer”

Giving up sins or bad habits (we should be giving up those things anyways)

Trying out a new diet (going on a low-carb diet is not the same thing as fasting).

John Piper’s words about fasting can be helpful in reminding us of its purpose: “Christian fasting, at its root, is the hunger of a homesickness for God.” When we fast, we take a step back from a good gift of God (for example, food!) and seek the Giver of those gifts. When our stomachs growl from hunger, or we feel fidgety from a media fast, we are reminded that our greatest hunger should be Jesus Himself.

As Richard Foster writes:

Fasting must forever center on God. More than any other Discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.

Again, Piper writes, “We have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”

Simply put, we fast so that we can make more room in our hearts for Jesus.

Journey Through Scripture
As we withdraw for a time from some good gifts of God during this season, we also encourage you to draw near to the Giver through intentionally adding disciplines.

What better way to make room in our hearts for Christ than through Scripture and actively seeking after God? We encourage our entire Anchor City family, young & young-at-heart (!), to practice different spiritual disciplines during the Lenten season.

The YouVersion Bible App has several reading plans here.

Lent 2017 Photo-A-Day Journey — if you post to social, please tag it #AnchorCityLent (right-click to save all the PDF files)

Lenten Practices Calendar

40 Days of Lent Board Game-Style Family Calendar  

These simple acts of faith & devotion can help Christians of all ages make room in their hearts for Jesus.

One Final Note
We encourage you to break your fast on Sundays. We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus each Lord’s Day, and breaking the fast weekly reminds us that it’s not primarily about our self-discipline, but celebrating the Risen King of grace and life.