August marks the start of the school year many of children, youth, and families. If you listen carefully, you can practically hear the nervous energy of students eagerly starting yet another nine months of group projects, homework, and tests. Whether it’s a child entering their first day of kindergarten or a graduate student writing their doctoral thesis, the start of the school year often represents the beginning of something new.

At Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, we mark the beginning of the school year with Back-to-School Blessing Sunday, August 20. It’s a time to celebrate the start of a new school year, full of possibilities and hope, and pray for our students and teachers.

Acolytes will be dedicated this Sunday too. Don’t miss out on the training Sunday, August 13. Read more below under “Elementary Students.”

Later in the month, we offer a Bible Blast for 3rd and 4th graders. Read more below under “Elementary Students.”


Middle/High School Students

Parents and youth (5th grade-high school) are invited to a kick-off brunch after the 9:30 am worship service. Join us in the Fellowship Center at 10:45 am to find out what we’ve got planned for the school year, and how you can participate. Squad 57 is for 5th-7th graders; the Senior High youth program is for 8th-12 graders.

Our God is a God of new beginnings. In the book of Genesis, we are shown a God who begins the process of creation by making something brand new out of the nothingness. In the book of Revelation, we are given a vision of the Creator, sitting on a majestic throne, proclaiming, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the apostle Paul reminds us that we have each been given the opportunity to start anew, casting off our old selves and living as (you guessed it) new creations.

You’re invited to take a few moments to prayerfully remember all the students and teachers as they head back into the classroom this August and September. Let’s pray that God might shower them with mercy and grace and an extra portion of (sometimes much needed) patience. And hope. Don’t forget hope.

Christopher J.C. Wurpts
Director of Youth Ministries
Office: 602-840-8360 Ext 147
Cell: 712-348-3791


Elementary Students

Elementary students begin their Sunday classes on Sunday, August 20, after they receive the Back-to-School blessing in worship. Rev. Brenda Smith is director of family ministry at PVUMC, and would love to hear from you! Email her with any questions you have about our Sunday School program at PVUMC.

We’ll offer training for new Acolytes on Sunday, August 13. If you have a 4th-8th grader, you’re invited to find out what it’s all about! Dedication will be on Back-to-School Sunday, August 20. RSVP to Kimberly Peterson or Rev. Brenda Smith.

On Sunday, August 27, all 3rd and 4th graders and their parents are invited to our Bible Blast. We’ll gift each student with a new SPLASH Deep Blue Bible in worship, then invite parents and their children to learn more about how to use the Bibles. This is a great opportunity for you to introduce your child to the Bible, and give them a gift that will last a lifetime. RSVP by Sunday, August 20 to make sure we reserve a Bible for your child.


Modern Family

A class for parents also meets on Sunday mornings: Modern Family. Join this group for a kick-off lunch on Sunday, August 27 and learn more about their plans for the fall, which include watching and discussing the movie, The Case for Christ, beginning Sunday, September 10. Watch the trailer below:


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