Dear Park’s Edge Preschool Families:
February was the month for PEP to spread God’s love…with valentines to the veterans and friends at the Clement Zablocki VAMC, at Forest Ridge Senior Community and Hales Corners Care Center. Valentines can go a long way in spreading good cheer and warmth during this long winter season. Spreading God’s love…that’s what we do at Park’s Edge Preschool! June 1, 1999 Park’s Edge Preschool became a mission of Emanuel Church as an extension of the church and an outreach to the Hales Corners community and surrounding area. Park’s Edge Preschool has been a recognized ministry of the United Church of Christ’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) since that time. Sunday, February 17th, Emanuel Church and Park’s Edge Preschool celebrated Health and Human Service Sunday.

CHHSM is a nonprofit association of the United Church of Christ. CHHSM’s mission, on behalf of the entire church, is to sustain and advance the work of healing and service as a ministry of the UCC. Pastor Bill ceremoniously ‘blessed the hands’ of the staff and board members of Park’s Edge Preschool that attended the annual worship service, in commemoration of Health and Human Service Sunday. PEP sponsored the Fellowship Hour with cake and ice cream!

CHHSM’s logo design is of a wash-basin and towel, reminding us of Jesus’ servant leadership in washing the Disciples feet. In 2013, I embarked on a year-long study of servant-leadership through CHHSM’s Nollau Institute and was consecrated as a Diakonal Minister and gifted with a wash-basin and towel. Jenele Baldwin, Park’s Edge Preschool’s liaison teacher to Emanuel Church’s Sunday school program will commence the year-long study in April. CHHSM members gather for an annual meeting. This year, Ms. Jenele will join me at CHHSM’s Annual Meeting in Chicago, March 5th, 6th and 7th.

The Nollau Institute is a year-long study of servant leadership built around three major themes: 1. The Theology of Leadership; 2. Practice of Servant Leadership; and 3. Forming Faithful Cultures; the Product of Faith. Jenele will attend three in-person retreats, held at Wisconsin UCC’s best kept secret, Cedar Valley Retreat Center in West Bend, WI. Jenele will be consecrated as a UCC Diakonal Minister at the CHHSM Annual Meeting 2020, in completion of her studies. Thank you to Park’s Edge Preschool and Emanuel Church for supporting and role modeling servant leadership.

Leading the Way at PEP…succession planning. Under my leadership is Kristin Burr, Assistant Director and our recently developed PEP’s management team consists of Caitlin, Jenele (Christian Coordinator & IT), Melinda (Health & Safety Coordinator), Michele and Nicole. The management training, facilitated by Denise Rintz-Brehm through PayChex HR Services, has been helpful in building PEP’s future leaders. PEP’s 5-star quality rating is maintained by committed staff managing the classrooms effectively through chains of command and good communication. If you have a question and/or concern you may bring it to our attention at PEP’s front desk or through our dedicated floor managers. Thank you.

March brings green things to PEP…’spring’ green I hope! St. Patty’s Day is right around the corner and we will be dressed in green for PEP’s St. Patty’s Day Parade scheduled for Friday, March 15th at 10 am. (Sorry no green beer served here!) The children will be treated to mint chocolate chip ice cream for afternoon snack. You and your leprechauns are welcome to come watch the parade and enjoy the St. Patty’s Day festivities and shenanigans!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Ellen Kvalheim,