A New Ministry to Our Young Children and Their Families
Church via your computer can be challenging for us all. How to carve out space in the middle of your home that feels especially holy, set aside, sacred. There you are where you ate breakfast, or watched tv or paid your bills or worked all week. We are working on that, both in what we do with the worship service and how we ask you all to approach worship in this form.
But it’s even harder for families with small children in their homes. I mean, where’s the nursery!? One of the nice opportunities for parents of young kids at church is to sit in peace and think about adult things while your offspring are being taken care of elsewhere. But when we worship on Zoom, the kids are jumping on the couch (or on you). Or fighting with the cat. Or needing enough attention that you can’t really get into the worship service. Young families have told Michael about how hard this is.
I think we also know how hard the rest of their lives can be right now. Trying to help young ones with online schooling while they also cover their jobs from home. And everyone, in many cases, is in the house together too much. Michael wrote a Fear Not about this last week.
So, how do we minister to them? Michael had some luck with Bible Storytime. But now he’s trying to upgrade that offering into a shorter (8 minute), quicker-moving video that includes a song, a bible story, some prayer. But the real goal is to deliver it as a single video. So instead of needing to be on Zoom at a certain time, the families can watch it at “their leisure.”
He has some other ideas he’s working on too, but the trick is how to give young families support without asking too much more of the parents.
There is one idea he really likes — pen pals. He is asking older adults to agree to write the kids of our church. The idea is to pair up an adult with a child. And then the adult just begins corresponding, say every two weeks. A simple note or card. Michael thinks he can provide prompts to help the writers touch on a religious theme lightly in their notes. And on the other end, our kids get mail “from church.” Parents give the child the envelope, help them read the card, but it’s not too much of an additional ask on them. Maybe the kids respond somehow, but they don’t have to. They just get a new adult at church who shows care for and interest in them.
We have 14 little folks who could receive mail (and one more on the way). So I am looking for 14 pen pals. And I promise that I will help you with ideas of what to say! Let me know if you are interested…