Let the Little Children Come

Karen Scribano   -  

Before she was even old enough to work there, Crystine Grgurich was regularly hanging out in the St. Mark nursery with her older sister, one of the caregivers hired to watch kids during Sunday morning worship. “I think being a teacher and children’s caregiver was always a part of me,” says Crystine.

Her dedication for children is evident and makes an impact on the families who take advantage of the nursery, where Crystine started working as soon as she turned 16.  She took a break after high school to focus on school and establishing her career as a preschool teacher and nanny, but came back in 2013 and is now the nursery coordinator. “I’ve never dreaded going to work – whether that is for teaching, as a nanny, or in the nursery at St. Mark.  I just have a passion for children!”  

Crystine’s family has been at St. Mark her entire life.  Her grandma and mom first came, and then they brought all the kids with them as they were born. Notes Crystine, “I was baptized and confirmed here. I don’t know life without St. Mark!”  
A sense of being part of a close-knit community is something Crystine wants to share with the families who bring their children to the nursery. “I really want families to have a sense of comfort when they leave their kids with us. We do more than just care for them; we are vested in them as members of the church. It’s fun to watch so many kids grow up and become active in other ministry areas.” 

The nursery environment was greatly enhanced when the Worship Center was remodeled several years ago. “That remodel was just wonderful,” exclaims Crystine. “It expanded our space and gave us so much room to move about and have different areas for infants and toddlers. Everyone comments on how great the nursery is! When I go to visit another church, like for a wedding, I always check out their nursery. And that just confirms to me what a welcoming space we have for children at St. Mark.” 
Crystine is excited by how busy the nursery has been lately. “Usually, summer is a bit quiet, but we’ve been so busy! It’s like another baby boom! There have been several new families coming in, and we’ve had 3 or 4 new kids in the past month. It’s been great!” 
She sees the nursery as one of the fundamental ministries for families – many families with small children start there when they first visit St. Mark. “Just last week some visitors with an 18-month-old daughter stopped by after worship to see our space, and said they wanted to come back to let her try being in our nursery.” 
When she thinks about her job, Crystine uses the words “fulfilling and heartwarming.”  She continues, “I like being someone who families trust with their kids. I want them to know that their little ones are receiving more than just professional care. A busy nursery is a good sign that we are a growing church, and our space and our staff demonstrate how we value children.”