While most 21-year-olds are trying to find their place in the world, Elisabeth Breen is making a difference in the lives of children. As director of Kidz Ministry at Lancaster church, Breen spends her time finding creative ways to demonstrate God’s love to the youngest in her congregation.
Ed Sammons, senior pastor at Lancaster church, initially asked Breen to be the interim Kidz Ministry director in 2019 because, according to Sammons, “she has a passion for kids and a heart for God.” She was instrumental in implementing child safety protocols for Sabbath School, planning a year of events for church members and the community, and organizing Vacation Bible School. Earlier this year, she was voted in as the full-time Kidz Ministry director.
When COVID-19 restrictions increased, churches found themselves unable to worship in person. Breen, however, was determined to keep the children involved. Kidz Kraft is a five-minute presentation during online worship in which she shows the kids a craft that is related to the sermon. So that kids can follow along, every month she arranges for kids to pick up swag bags filled with a month’s worth of crafts and devotions. Breen also revamped Summer Fun Days for COVID-19. Parents signed up online or through social media to visit the church for a dedicated time of crafts and other limited-contact activities to keep the children connected to the church and each other.
“There are so many people supporting and helping; it takes a village,” Breen said about her dedicated volunteers. “Everyone at the church loves the kids, and we try to go out of the way to create those ‘aha' moments for them.”
Working with children has been a constant throughout Breen’s life. At age 10, she volunteered after school at a local family foster agency, Penny Lane Centers, helping out in the day care center. During her senior year of high school, Breen balanced schoolwork and her position as president of her school’s student government with volunteering for foster children at The Children’s Center of Antelope Valley, a children’s mental health facility. The summer after graduating from high school, she worked at Pine Springs Ranch as a counselor for pre-teens.
“God always has a plan,” Sammons said. “She is someone who was placed here at the right time for us. Her ministry has really fostered an excitement about kids’ programming. She’s a real leader with an ability to connect with all ages.”
Breen’s hope for Kidz Ministry is to help kids grow in their knowledge of God and develop a closer relationship with Him.