We believe that it is vital to ensure that our church community welcomes youth and children and
gives them a sense of belonging. Because of this, Children's and Youth Ministries, and activities
for all that youth enjoy, are an important part of church life at the Winter Haven Seventh-day
Adventist church. These things include:
is an interactive web site with Mrs. Sox the editor of the Primary Treasure children's magazine. There are games to play, a prayer
page, fascinating facts and more interesting super links available.
Fun Brain where kids get power. Great educational games and links to other kids sites.
Your Story Hour - An Exciting Place for Boys and Girls!
gives information about Adventurer clubs.
gives information about Pathfinder clubs around the world.
White Estate Online Magazine and Web Site for Kids!
Free Donuts At the Back I was holding a notice from my 13-year-old son's school announcing a meeting to preview the new course in sexuality. Parents could examine the curriculum and take part in an actual lesson presented exactly as it would be given to the students.
Arriving at the school, I was surprised to discover only about a dozen parents gathered, waiting for the presentation. I picked up a teacher guide and thumbed through page after page of instructions in the prevention of pregnancy or disease. Abstinence was mentioned only in passing.
When the teacher arrived with the school nurse, she asked if there were any questions. I asked why abstinence did not play a noticeable part in the material. What happened next shocked me. Speaking over a great deal of laughter, someone suggested that if I thought abstinence had any merit, I should go back to burying my head in the sand. The teacher and the nurse said nothing as I drowned in a sea of embarrassment.
My mind had gone blank, and I could think of nothing to say. The teacher explained to me that the job of the school was to teach facts; the home was responsible for moral training. I sat in silence for the next 20 minutes as she explained the course to parents who seemed to give their unqualified support to the materials.
"Donuts at the back," announced the teacher during the break. "I'd like you to put on the name tags we've prepared--they're right by the donuts--and mingle with the other parents." Everyone moved to the back of the room. As I watched them affixing their name tags and shaking hands, I sat deep in thought. I was ashamed that I had not been able to convince them to include a serious discussion of abstinence in the materials.
I uttered a silent prayer for guidance. My thoughts were interrupted by the teacher's hand on my shoulder. "Won't you join the others, Mr. Daniels?" The nurse smiled sweetly at me. "The donuts are good."
"Thank you, no," I replied.
"Well then, how about a name tag? I'm sure the others would like to meet you."
"Somehow I doubt that," I replied.
"Won't you please join them?" she coaxed. Then I heard a still, small voice whisper, "Don't go." The instruction was unmistakable. "Don't go!"
"I'll just wait here," I said.
The teacher called the class back to order and, looking around the long table, thanked everyone for putting on name tags. She ignored me. "Now we're going to give you the same lesson we'll be giving your children," she began. "Everyone, please peel off your name tags." I watched in silence as the tags came off. "Now then, on the back of one of the tags, I drew a tiny flower. Who has it, please?"
The gentleman across from me held it up. "Here it is!"
"All right," she said. "The flower represents disease. Do you recall with whom you shook hands?" He pointed to a couple of people.
"Very good," she replied. "The handshake in this case represents intimacy. So the two people you had contact with now have the disease." That produced another round of laughter and witty comments.
"And with whom did the two of you shake hands?" the teacher continued. She had made her point. "This demonstrates for students how quickly disease is spread. Since we all shook hands, we all have the disease."
At that moment I heard again the still, small voice. "Speak now," it said, "but be humble." Noting wryly the latter admonition, I rose from my chair and apologized for any upset I might have caused earlier. I then congratulated the teacher on an excellent lesson that would impress the youth and concluded by saying I had only one small point I wished to make.
"Not all of us were infected," I said. "One of us...abstained."