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GEMS event planned for Pella Christian

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 11:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 11:32 a.m. CDT

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The Christian Reformed Church’s Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior program will host a “We Walk Tour” 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday at Pella Christian School.

Tickets for the event, which will be held in the school auditorium, may be purchased online at http://www.itickets.com/events/294744/Pella_IA/We_Walk_Tour_Event.html for $9.



GEMS’s mission is to bring girls “into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.”

To do that, GEMS trains teams of women to mentor the next generation. It was founded on the principles defined in Titus 2: growing women closer to God and each other while equipping them to show girls how to live God-honoring lives.

Linda Menninga, the GEMS coordinator at Sully Christian Reformed Church, has been involved with GEMS for many years and said she loves the name because it accurately describes how mothers value their daughters. She is hoping Saturday’s event will be a success.

The event is to encourage dialogue between moms and their daughters about how they can be activists in the eyes of God. The event also teaches girls to stand up to for what they believe in.



Sully Christian Reformed Church offers GEMS to third through eighth grades, and the club meets 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Wednesday from mid-September until April 1.

Members of GEMS can earn badges offered by the program taught by counselors.


“We teach all sorts of home skills — we offer (classes in) cake decorating and exercising,” Menninga said. “We have over a hundred different badge options. Each badge is different. It is like Girl Scouts, but each badge is based on basic Bible knowledge.”



The girls are invited to complete projects at home to earn additional badges. 



Menninga credits the range of badge classes offered at her location for the diversity of her group.


“I have found with our leaders that we are diverse enough — we are all interested in different things,” Menninga said. “Some of us are really good at sewing skills, and some of us aren’t.”



Girls who attend GEMS learn new skills, but it is not always easy.



“Some of them do really well in some projects, and some don’t like it at all,” Menninga said, “In today’s world girls are busy anyways. They are busy from school and sports. Basically, they don’t do much at home.”



Some of their group’s most popular classes are flower arrangements, cake decorating and shopping.

Menninga said she has worked with girls who did not know how to cook, and had to be taught the basics.

“Mothers don’t have time for that when they work,” Menninga said. “They have to learn how to follow a recipe. That’s why the girls enjoy it. They learn things that they wouldn’t learn. Until they would have to.”

Menninga has seen a decrease in members from her church join GEMS over the years, but they expanded the program to the community which increased membership. 



“It has increased in that way,” Menninga said. “A majority of girls are from outside of our church, but the program is set up for anybody. For the girls to get together, without boys, seems to be a very popular thing.”



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