Erin and some of the other staff members created a FUN story line, that kids could relate to, but would also tie in the story of Martin Luther and the true gospel. The title of the story line was "Candy, with strings attached!" Here's a brief synopsis of the cute story line:
"Carroll's Candy Shoppe" has a delightful and delectable display of candies, but the store owner has to go out for a bit and leaves someone else in charge. She gives her "helper" a full instruction book, but he takes matters into his own hands and makes up an assortment of ridiculous, and ultimately impossible, tasks that must be completed, perfectly, in order for the children to earn their candy. The store owner comes back and sees how the overseer has misled and lied to the children and sees how disheartened they are because they can never live up to the expectations. The owner takes back the instruction book and delivers, to the children, the truth written there: all they must do is ask and the candy is theirs. This points to the manipulation of the gospel that had taken place in the Roman Catholic Church, prior to the Protestant Reformation, and how the truth of God's grace, in salvation, had been distorted and used by the leaders of the Catholic Church for their own benefit. Leaders of the Reformation, like Martin Luther, restored to the people the truth of salvation as a free gift of His grace through His Son Jesus Christ, not something that could be earned or bought by man or his works.
Nora, one of our congregation members, is a TRUE artist and painted the backdrop you will see in so many of the photos I captured. Many of us came in, once or twice, and painted the back drop, after Nora finished drawing it. It turned out incredible and it looked just like candyland.
We arrived at 6:00 pm and ate with everyone. We each brought in several side dishes and the church provided hot dogs and drinks. After we ate, Erin had the kids do a costume parade. The parade began in the vestibule and ended after EACH child or grown-up, who was dressed up in costume, walked across the stage, in the sanctuary, to show the "judges" their costume. A series of judges judged the costumes' creativity and uniqueness and the winners were announced AFTER the "Candy with strings attached" was performed, as well as, after Pastor Nick preached the gospel to us. Below are some of my favorite costumes and several of the winners!!!
Ava, as the Energizer Bunny. She didn't win, but I LOVED this idea, especially since she has a ton of energy.
Cami and Jake, as Ken and Barbie. They won 2nd place for the GROUP contest.Dennis and Daniel as UPS men. Dennis actually works for UPS, so having Daniel dress up like his daddy was cute. They won 3rd place in the group contest.
Watson driving his John Deer Tractor. Handmade by Kaitlyn, his mommy. It even had headlights that worked.
There was also a dessert competition. I made a "Lemon cake pie" and a "Krispy Creme Bread Pudding". I won 2nd and 3rd place. Shannon Maxey won first place. I don't recall what she made (some snickers dessert).
The final events of the night, related fully to CANDY GALORE. Erin did a fantastic job creating fun games all related to CANDY. Jax and Ty's favorite game was the "Candy Course". Lilah enjoyed the "Same Sweets" game. Every detail was so impressive. I felt like I was walking through the board game Candyland. ALL OF THE GAMES were ORIGINAL and created/designed by Erin herself. Erin is are fantastic Children's Ministry Directory.
Jax running the candy course.
I LOVE this photo of Lilah and Kate, so I had to include it in this post.