I am so excited to share with you some big news from Children’s Ministry! This week, September 6th, during the 11:00 service we will begin Sunday morning Children’s Worship for our preschoolers and kindergarteners. We will also offer nursery during that same service! Although nursery will remain relatively the same, and will be available for the entirety of the worship hour, there are several changes to the structure of our Children’s Worship that would be beneficial for you to know before this coming Sunday.
First, due to concerns about social distancing and classroom space, we are only able to have 15 children in discipleship class. This is one of the reasons we have limited the age of the children who will be attending to preschoolers (3 and 4 year olds) and kindergarteners. Before the 11:00 service each Sunday, parents will sign their children in and receive a name tag to place on their child when children are dismissed at the beginning of the sermon. Teachers will be positioned by the lobby doors in the sanctuary, and students will be escorted to class by their teachers and members of safety teams. After the service, parents will pick students up from the children’s worship area, which is now located downstairs in what used to be the 2 year old nursery. Student tags and parents’ will be matched before the student is released to their parent or guardian. Parents with nursery-aged children will be able to take their children directly to their class after sign-in, prior to the worship service.
If you were able to attend the service or listen to Pastor Mark’s sermon yesterday, you already have an idea of the philosophy behind this change in routine. Corporate worship is an essential part of the life of our church family; it is the place where we confess and proclaim together that we are the people of God. It is the primary context where we teach our children that we, as a part of this community (family!) are defined by someone much bigger than just ourselves and our immediate family. Our identity is defined by Jesus, by God’s act of salvation and His claiming us as a people by rescuing us from sin. We are given a new identity as the Body of Christ, and corporate worship shows children that we are all necessary to the growth and life of the church. Corporate worship is where children see church members of all ages, all with different testimonies, praising God. Corporate worship also stimulates the spiritual formation of our children as they hear the Word sung, read, prayed, taught, and imaged through baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The service is an important part of the development of a child’s understanding of what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ.
At the same time, we also realize that children benefit from discipleship that is designed for their educational level. For this reason, we are beginning Children’s Worship this coming Sunday for the purpose of creating discipleship opportunities for children aged 3-5 (Kindergarteners included). We realize with the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 there is risk involved in gathering children together. We are taking measures to make class as safe as possible and have written a list of precautions to help mitigate the risk involved. Please see the attached list of COVID safety policies and procedures. These policies will be updated as needed.
Thank you for your understanding, flexibility, and patience. If you have concerns or questions about any of these policies, please feel free to email me at . These are interesting times we are living in, and we are doing our best to provide opportunities of spiritual formation and discipleship for the children of our church family with as little risk as possible. I will keep you updated as things progress, and I cannot wait to see the smiling faces of the kids this coming Sunday!
Love, Ms. Amy