Everett church’s new kids zone ‘pretty cool’

EVERETT — At the summit, the wind whistled. An owl gazed from a mountaintop perch. Children raced by on cardboard skis.

New Life Church along Highland Drive in Everett recently renovated its children’s ministries space. There’s now a Pacific Northwest outdoors motif with a different theme for each of the three stories. They have the lush green valley, the woodlands — complete with a ranger station — and the snowy mountain summit.

On Nov. 3, the church celebrated the new “Kids Trek” space with a “trail party” of activities in all the rooms.

“We just wanted to transform it into something that would be really fun for kids,” said Catherine Weholt, who oversees Sunday ministries for the first through fifth grades.

“Kids love it,” she said. “It’s quite a dramatic update. It’s pretty cool.”

The church wanted its venues to match its values, including services for children, said the Rev. Jim Romack.

Adult services have grown over time, and the church wanted the children’s services to be more visible, he said. The children’s spaces hadn’t been updated in more than 20 years.

The church aims to give young people a place in the community where they feel loved and safe, and where they can just be kids, Romack said.

One of the church’s families recently had a parent diagnosed with cancer, he said. After the service, people could be heard making plans to help. That kind of support is why the church exists, Romack said.

“When life happens, it matters even more,” he said. “There’s a huge network of family and friends.”

Hundreds of children come to New Life, said the Rev. Susan Boucard. Recorded sounds play for each floor’s theme: frogs, birds, wind.

“It’s fantastic,” said Jennifer McCoy, who brought her children, Sydney, 5, and Dylan, 10. “It reminds me of the Rainforest Cafe.”

In one room, glitter-coated fall leaves dangled from the ceiling over child-sized arts-and-crafts tables.

Alpha Yepassis-Zembrou, 12, of Lake Stevens, made a Thanksgiving-themed placemat. His sister, Glory, 15, watched. She’s been coming to New Life about seven years, she said. She liked the new look in Kids Trek.

“You feel like when you’re coming in, you’re entering this whole other world,” she said.

Alpha placed big fall leaves between strips of clear, clingy paper. When his design was finished, a church staffer sealed the two sides together to make the placemat.

“It’s a good thing for kids to learn about God,” Alpha said. “They also have fun, too.”

Ashley Rounds, of Lake Stevens, brought her children, Lincoln, 6, and Linnea, 4, to the trail party. Her husband grew up in New Life. She joined after they got married about 10 years ago, she said.

She asked Lincoln what he thought about the re-design. The little boy jumped up and down and clapped. He pointed to the blue-and-white cloud-patterned colored-filters in the overhead lights.

The church asked kids, including Lincoln, for ideas for the decorations, Ashley Rounds said.

“He said he wanted clouds,” she said.

Vickie Granado brings her grown kids, nieces and nephews, and grandkids to New Life, she said. Granado supports the church’s teachings that children who grow up in faith will face less struggles as teenagers, when they become harder to reach out to, she said, cradling an infant.

“There’s so much love here,” she said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.

New Life church is at 6830 Highland Drive, Everett. Sunday services are at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.. For more information, call 425-355-9330 or go to www.newlifecenter.org.

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Most Read