Hello new friends. My name is Merrily Aljets your new Children’s Ministry Director. I can’t wait to get to know my new church family at Abiding Lutheran. To give you a little of my background, I was born in Sioux Falls and grew up on a small acreage east of Rowena, attending Valley Springs Elementary and graduating from Brandon-Valley High School. After that I earned my B.A. in English and Speech/Theater at the University of Sioux Falls.
My family attended First Baptist Church in Sioux Falls where I became active in ministry during middle school helping with VBS and substitute teaching for my Dad’s 6th grade Sunday School class. During college I was a deaconess. Later my husband Brett and I co-led the mission board and were leaders in the youth ministry. We also led youth ministries at three different churches. After Brett attended North American Baptist Seminary (now Sioux Falls Seminary), we relocated to Vancouver, WA, where he was pastor of a community church. During that time, I led the women’s ministry, spoke and taught at seminars and conferences, and directed the family life ministries from babies to youth, including a monthly theatrical production for kids and their parents that tied into our children’s programing.
I adopted what I consider to be one of my life verses, Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” applying that command to ministry, parenting, my marriage, and my career. I was blessed to stay home with my children, Levi and Isaac, when they were young. I’m a writer so I could write and do consulting work from home. I owned a drive-through coffee shop for five years when the kids were a little older. I’ve also spent many years in public relations, marketing and event planning.
After more than 20 years living in the pacific northwest, we moved back home to South Dakota and are blessed to be close to family and old friends.
At Abiding Savior, the mission of the Children’s Ministry is that all children “Know the Savior and Make Him Known.” To that end, it’s my goal to love children so they know the Father created them on purpose and know that His Son Jesus is their Savior and to support parents, so they have the tools and knowledge to point their children to the Lord and Savior and raise Godly children.
I believe we should use Deuteronomy 6:4-9 as a guide to achieving our mission. Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Moses addressed them with some important advice. One of those important things was this:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”