Meet the Staff: Michael

I hope you've enjoyed getting to know our summer staff over the last few weeks. Here's our final staff member, Michael. And if you're not already signed up, be sure you won't miss out on hanging out with Michael, Sam, Hanna and Katy this summer at one of our LECFamily programs!

Michael Anderson

Hey Everybody! My name is Michael Anderson.  I have lived in Jacksonville, Florida all my life. Go Duval!

I just graduated from University of North Florida with my Bachelors in Sociology with a minor in Religious Studies. 

I am fluent in French, English, and Sarcasm. I love films and talking about them.  I love swimming as well.  I am involved in a campus ministry called CCW Campus to City Wesley Foundation. I am so pumped for camp. 

Who has made the largest impact on your life?

My College Pastor Derrick Scott III has had the largest impact on my life. I met him at a college event when I was fifteen. He has been an inspiration for following your call no matter what. He and I are similar personality wise. He advises me on everything from personal, spiritual, social. It is great to have a mentor like him.

If you died today, what would be your mark on the world?

If I died today, my mark on the world would be unity. I love it when people of different backgrounds and beliefs come together and do something to better our world. Unity in the community is my catch phrase. 

If you could see 24 hours into the future, what would you do?

If I could see what 24 hours in the future, I would see what we are having for meals at camp and depending on the menu, I would change it to Mac and cheese because who doesn’t love Mac and cheese.

What animal best describes you?

The animal that best describes my personality is a Lion. I am pretty laid back and will sleep all day, but the second I get excited and feel empowered   about a project or thing in my life. I will roar about it for days. I am very protective of people.

Give Michael a big welcome to the LECFamily family in the comments!

Meet the Staff 2015: Hanna

It's that time of year again - summer is coming, and that means amazing LECFamily programs led by equally amazing staff! We have an all-new lineup this year that I think you are going to LOVE! So be on the lookout in the next few weeks so you can get to know our staff even before you arrive! Next up, Hanna!

Hanna Sanders

A native Virginian, Hanna moved to Florida after 23 years in the same town in July 2014. While in Virginia, she studied history at George Mason University, where she was active in Campus Crusades for Christ. Additionally, over the summers, Hanna worked as a camp counselor at a Christian Adventure camp called Camp Highroad. Hanna now resides in Melbourne, Florida where she works as a waitress at a local restaurant. She is active with her local young adults program, and is excited to bring the Lord’s love to LECFamily this summer!

Who is your hero, or who has had a large impact on your life and who you are? Why/how?

My biggest hero is my grandmother. She lived a life I hope to emulate, full of love, faith, and humility. She was always, and still is, my inspiration to be a teacher. 

What is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment has been being a camp counselor in college. Nothing has been more rewarding that being able to pour out Christ’s love into children. It was such a blessing to be a light to children who perhaps have never heard of Jesus before, and to let them know they are loved. 

If you could see 24 hours into the future what would you do with this ability?

If I could look into the future, I don’t think I would use it. Part of the fun of living is not knowing what is going to happen next!

What kind of animal best describes your personality and why?

The animal that best describes me is a cat. I am fiercely independent, love naps, and am not a big fan of dogs ;)

Give some love to Hanna in the comments as she prepares to love on our families and guests all summer!

A GUARANTEED way to get kids listening to the Sunday sermon ...

Are you listening now? Are you in disbelief? Are you still terrified of what might happen if you allow kids to be in worship - and I mean ALL of worship? Yes - gasp! - even the dreaded sermon?

Take a page from Tusakwilla UMC in Casselberry, FL, where their pastor has a passion for intergenerational ministry and did a little intergenerational worship experiment this Advent and Christmas season!

As my ministry intern and I were planning Advent last year we made the bold decision not to offer Children’s Church from the First Sunday of Advent through Baptism of Our Lord Sunday. Six weeks – no Children’s Church. Why? Because we felt it was important for our youngest worshippers to worship with their families and the church family as together we all heard and experienced formational Scriptures to our faith. Our God is coming. Our God is with us. Our God is love. Emmanuel. 

In making the decision to not offer Children’s Church, we knew that we would need to supplement the worship experience for the children in our congregation. So, we set about gathering activities that would invite the children to engage in worship in the pews. We found the usual puzzle pages and coloring sheets, but we wanted something more. And then I had an idea that bubbled up with great excitement! “What if,” I said “we played Advent BINGO? What if we made BINGO cards incorporating words that might be used during the worship service so that the children have to stay engaged to listening throughout the service in order to complete their card?” From idea to reality, Advent BINGO came to TUMC. 

Through the help of an online BINGO card generator we were able to customize our BINGO cards each week. I advised the congregation that the children had the cards at the beginning of worship on the First Sunday of Advent so if they heard a “BINGO,” there was a purpose behind it. After the first week we learned that we needed to limit the “game” to the sermon as some children were achieving BINGOs before we offered the Pastoral Prayer. After the first week in worship children asked for multiple BINGO cards. After the second week in worship adults asked for BINGO cards! 

I was amazed at the words that the children recalled hearing in the sermon and their delight as they shared their joy with me warmed my heart. The adults in the congregation were thrilled to see the children so involved, so engaged, and so well behaved in worship. And their parents were grateful to have the opportunity to worship as a family and to not feel stressed during that time in the pew. 

I look forward to using BINGO as a useful tool in worship throughout my ministry. This is not an activity that we have every week in worship, which helps it remain special and fun. I am committed to finding more ways to mindfully and purposively engage our children in worship. What do you do in your congregation? What is something old that you can make new and apply it to our worship experience?

— Rev. Sarah B. Miller, Senior Pastor – Tuskawilla UMC, Casselberry, FL

Wow! What an incredible story of being creatively inclusive. How have you incorporated kids into worship in your church in a way that is inclusive?

Questions about how Sermon Bingo works? Email for more info!

Looking for more ways to be intergenerational in faith formation experiences? Contact us about our workshops for pastors, leaders, parents and families!