Mrs. E's Big Adventure
By Stephanie Erdt
Years ago, under the direction of Sue Julien and Pam Borchert, the SBC Children & Families team went through the process of creating a mission statement. We came to follow that we were a team that desired to, "Encourage and equip children and families to learn about and experience the love of God so they will become fully devoted followers of Christ". As years went by, the mission of Orange, bringing Church and Home together, melded with this mission. I have been honored to work alongside passionate people who are hard working and desire to come alongside families in all we do. Huge thank you to my dear friends and fellow C&F team players, Sue Julien, Pam Borchert, Matt Dykstra, Carolyn Wiebe, Lori Said, Tammy VanDelft and newest Bree Young.
My own family has had the privilege of being a part of this commitment to the church. Evan was 5 and Danielle was 2 when I began very part time here and volunteered to run Tumble Time. This has become their second home. They have served willingly, setting up and taking down and prepping and it has shaped who they are. I am so thankful. Years of Tumble time set up went from a place to play to a contest of how quickly it could be done. Now there is a new generation of families following in the same footsteps...thank you to you! My kids have etched their names on the bulletin boards, leaving their mark as children of next generations will do. I am thankful for and to my family for allowing and helping me serve the families of SBC. I could not have done it without them and Steve. We came as a package deal! I am also thankful they have had the opportunity to grow in a church where so many love on them. Sharing private details of life is proof that they feel loved and accepted here unconditionally.
I have had the honor of being supported by my staff, family and church family as I followed Christ's leading to complete my diploma in Applied Psychology and Counselling while I worked here. I have felt God's leading in pursuing this direction. I spoke to Larry before Christmas about this, my resignation, and he said no... lightly. I prayed more, and came back in the new year feeling God leading me in the same direction. After a few more discussions over the following months, I presented the news to staff and now to you my church family. I complete my position here on staff July 30th.
I have loved my time here at SBC, loving on the little people. I have so many stories and sayings that will come to me and bring a smile on my face. I look forward to seeing someone new come in with fire and passion to make what we are doing even better! Someone with fresh ideas and a heart for our littlest people.
I am still unsure of my next steps. God has made it clear to me that He will show me when I fully release my position here. For now, I will take some time off while I continue volunteer counselling at Freedom's Door.
Thank you to my pastor, Kahuna, Larry, for only making me cry once. For being there in support the rest of the times I did it on my own. And for giving me freedom in my job and saying yes to the ideas God sparked in me. My brother, I love you.
Thank you to Jack, for years ago showing me that if I have ideas, I am the one who can find a way to make it happen. My favorite thing! I love challenge! This is how and why Tumble Time is here! Thank you.
Thank you to Heidi, for always supporting me and humoring my last minute ideas she needed to create!
Thank you to Del, for your encouragement and for showing passion in ideas we seem to share. From Better Together to jails.
Thank you to Tammy for the years of working alongside me at the playschool and Wendy for a great '1'!
Thanks to Lori, who made me look more professional than I truly am. Her ways with registration packages and magnificent promotional material are beyond my imagination! Sorry I procrastinated with learning more about Elvanto...there was a reason!
Thank you to Carolyn, my dear friend who is a genius! I love your creativity and humor...you always seem to be a strength in areas I am weak. Example, bulletin boards. And you love me unconditionally.
Thanks to Lee and Bree who have come onto the staff team like they have been there forever. For your hard work and passion in all you do.
For the others I have worked with over the years, Matt Dykstra, Sue Julien, Pam Borchert, Wendy Nixon, Melissa Keys, Mikel Laurie, Gary Swabey, Rick Steffler... and any others I have unintentionally forgotten.
Thank you to any of you who have volunteered with the Children & Families department. Nothing runs without you. I love that this is a church that serves... and we have so much fun doing it.
Thank you to the parents in the church family and our community who have entrusted me with your precious little people. My prayer is they have felt God's love in my care. That they know in their hearts the three truths that 1. God made them; 2. God loves them; 3. Jesus wants to be their friend forever.
Lastly, thank you to all the little people. For you bigger kiddos who were once my little people. Thank you for your unfiltered mouths. I treasure your impulsivity, your unquestionable faith, and how easily excitable you are. Some of my favorite moments have been here with you for the last 17 years. Thank you.