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The children’s ministry at Smithville (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church welcomed children and their families to Wake Up and Worship on Wednesday morning last week. It was an hour of singing, dancing, and shouting in praise right in the middle of the province’s school spring break.

“We scheduled it for the Wednesday [because] by that point in the week, families would be looking for things to do, especially for free,” said Caryn Tilstra, Smithville CRC’s Sunday school coordinator and organizer of the event.

With a theme of running God’s race, based on Hebrews 12:1-2, Tilstra wrote the program, which included familiar songs from past vacation Bible school sessions and Bible lessons on topics like training for the race, obstacles, and preparation. Tilstra and 11-year-old Samantha DeHaan led the songs and shared the stories with the gathering of about 40 moms, kids, and some grandparents.

Tilstra said she wanted to see the enthusiasm and excitement she sees in Sunday school worship shared with more generations so that more people get to experience “the unfettered, exuberant worship that these kids can offer.”

The March break session was a first for Smithville CRC, an event intended to extend its summer VBS experience. The church also offered a movie night for older children on the Friday of March break.

Tilstra said parents leaving on Wednesday were thankful for the energy their children had expressed. “The kids were exhausted by the time they left,” she said. “They never sat down—they were up and jumping and they had a blast.”

Tilstra said she is already planning next year’s event and hopes to attract more families. “Any first-time event like this takes time to grow,” she said.

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