At Watershed Church, a Christian Reformed congregation in Traverse City, Mich., children in kindergarten through third grade are learning about and doing justice every other Sunday with the Justice Kids ministry.
Based on a curriculum written by Linda Van Voorst from Antioch Church in Oregon, Justice Kids suggests more than 100 family activities based on seven biblical virtues: charity, justice, diligence, honesty, humility, kindness, and patience. At Watershed Church, Paige Waldron hosts the meetings in her home where children attend with one or both parents. “I first heard about Justice Kids by reading the book Pursuing Justice,” Waldron said. “My daughter is just now reaching the age where this curriculum would be appropriate, and I am incredibly excited to have her involved in a group where we can talk about biblical justice together!”
Since January, the group of about 10 kids, plus parents, has studied the virtues of charity, justice, and diligence. Activities have included visits to a local dog rescue and pediatric ward as well as creating artwork, doing a scavenger hunt, and sharing in a soup supper each time they meet.
In the first three meetings, Watershed’s Justice Kids looked at the virtue of charity. Waldron said, “I have explained charity to the kids as sharing your stuff, time, money, and gifts to help others in need and to take care of all of God's creation. We also talked about charity as showing a kind attitude toward those who are different from us and showing grace toward those who may not deserve it.”
“The types of activities depend on the virtue but include arts, games, family activities, experiments, activities around the city/neighborhood, and practical ways to serve others or be on the lookout for those who can be served,” Waldron said. “So far there have been a lot of excited parents at Watershed who would like their child to participate and gratitude that there is something meaningful for children so young.”
Waldron plans to continue the Justice Kids meetings through the end of the school year and will consider starting it back up in the fall if there is continued interest.