My name is Erin Godwin and I serve with our church as the Children of Hope Director. At a young age, I discovered my passion for leading children. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, and am finishing my Master’s Degree in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership from Liberty University. I have been an elementary school teacher for the past 5 years. My husband and I have two children and are excited to welcome our third child this July
My vision is for the children of Downtown Hope is to encourage them to learn God’s Word in a way that ignites passion and leads them to want to show God’s love to those around them. My prayer is that their time spent in our classrooms on Sunday mornings would encourage them to trust Christ as Savior, to submit to Him, and to live out the Gospel wherever they are.
Below you will find everything you need to know about Children of Hope. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
OUR APPROACH TO CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
Though we think highly of our Sunday morning children’s ministry, we think far higher of you and your role in helping your children follow Jesus into the world. This is the foundation of what we call Children of Hope, our family ministries: that every child in the city of Annapolis and beyond would be filled with the hope of Jesus, having a chance to receive and respond to the gospel of grace.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT OUR SUNDAY GATHERINGS
When you arrive our children’s check-in area is in the main hallway in the back of our space. We manually check every child in and out each week to ensure safety and care for your family. We are in an exciting season of growth as a church, the church is typically full with people and energy. If you are new please consider arriving early so we can get you acquainted to our Children’s environments. Children's Check-in opens at 8:45 and 10:30am. We offer care for ages 0-2 in our nursery, ages 3-4 in our (Sprouts) preschool class, ages 5-7 (Saplings) in our early elementary class and 8-11 (Trees) in the upper elementary school class.
OUR CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS
+ SEEDS- Our nursery volunteers provide care for children from birth to age 2. In our Seeds nursery room, your little one is invited to explore through volunteer-child interactions and stimulating activities. Volunteers sing along to some of our favorite Bible songs, and the children are exposed to a caring and safe environment designed specifically with their needs in mind.
+ SPROUTS- Our preschool classroom is for our 3 and 4 year old children. In the Sprouts classroom, children practice social, gross, and fine motor skills through a variety of fun activities and games. Each week, children are exposed to Bible stories through developmentally appropriate lessons that are presented in a way that helps them understand. Children in the Sprouts classroom also have the opportunity to worship God through song and dance each week.
+ SAPLINGS: Our early elementary children ages 5-7. In the saplings class children are exposed to a higher level of curriculum that allows them to think about and explore their growing relationship with Jesus. Through open communication and supplemental activities, children begin to explore the truths of Jesus’ love and teachings. Children in the Saplings classroom have the opportunity to worship God through song and dance each week.
+ TREES: Our upper elementary school Children of Hope friends 8-12. In Trees children grow in their relationship with Christ and one another through connecting, discussion, and prayer. The lessons in this classroom provide children with opportunities to jump into the word of God and discover what it reveals about their lives.
+ Each class (except for the nursery) will feature a lesson, a craft and songs.
+ We take the safety of every child seriously, which is why every volunteer has a background check.
+ We use the Lifeway Gospel Project for our curriculum, which you can read more about here.
+ The Gospel Project for Kids immerses kids and preschoolers in the gospel through every story, theological concept, and call to mission from Genesis to Revelation. Ultimately, the gospel message changes everything; heart transformation can only take place when a child experiences the gospel. Through The Gospel Project for Kids, kids and preschoolers will understand the Bible is not just a collection of stories, but one unified story—God’s story of redemption.
+ A chronological approach allows kids to see how the whole Bible points to Christ. The curriculum is designed in a way that allows children to spend equal time in the Old and New Testaments, learning how every story connects to the gospel. Each week, Bible stories are brought to life through creative teaching elements. Family resources and age alignment also make it easy for families to grow in the gospel together.
Connecting as a family and growing in the gospel together is very important. Each Sunday, your child will come home with a Big Picture Card for Families. This serves as a way to connect with your kids about what they are learning each Sunday during the Gathering. Parents can use the cards with their kids to help reinforce the weekly sessions Big Picture Question and Answer and Christ Connection as instructed on the cards.
The front of the card has the Bible story art that kids would have seen during The Gospel Project session that day. It also includes the Scripture reference so boys and girls will be able to find that story again in their own Bibles.
The back of the card has The Big Picture Question and The Big Picture Answer that the kids learned that week. Also included on the card is the Christ Connection that helps connect that story to Christ.
Children should bring the ring with their cards to the Gatherings each week
Child dedication is a way, before the Lord and the church family, to dedicate our children to the Lord and commit to raising them in the way of Jesus, that one day they too might profess faith in Him. At Downtown Hope, we support this idea and provide opportunities twice a year for child dedications.
Children Dedications are offered twice a year on Mother’s Day and in Autumn.
SUMMER WITH CHILDREN OF HOPE
We offer a summer VBS program called Camp Hope each year for children ages 3-5th grade. At camp, the children are exposed to the gospel through a variety of experiences during the week. Campers participate in various activities including arts and crafts, games, team building exercises, singing, dancing, skits and snack while spending time at Camp Hope. Each year our space is transformed to fit a unique theme and Bible point.
CHILDREN OF HOPE CONTACT:
Please feel free to contact Erin Godwin, our Children of Hope Director if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org