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  • Writer's pictureJustin Bills

Sunday school Update: New Options For Our Kids

Dear Parents, Guardians, and all who love and care for the children at CCCF,

When the quarantine began and we moved our services online I remember being so excited about how possible it was to stay connected even though we weren’t meeting in person. As the weeks turned into months, I loved our online services but there was one group of people I knew it was leaving out: our kids!

Then Heidi McMann stepped up to the challenge and created thoughtful lessons with colouring and videos for our kids to do at home anytime during the week, which was wonderful in discipling our children in their knowledge of God.

Then, over the summer we found a way to connect kids together through a 9:00am zoom call before the main service over zoom. We hired a summer student, Ella, who did a fantastic job getting to know and teaching our kids. Our kids were able to connect in the same way we had been for months on Zoom. It was cool to see!

Then, Heidi put a lot of work into creating a more robust Sunday school on zoom for the school year with an online curriculum, songs, crafts etc. and our plans were to conduct Zoom Sunday school for the foreseeable future.

One thing you’ve likely noticed with me is how quickly things can change in this era of COVID-19. Jason Kenney announced that churches could meet in person with some guidelines to follow, and schools were to reopen again. Our Zoom only services transitioned to a hybrid option where people could gather in the gym again, or stay online depending on what fit them the best.

With these changes happening Heidi and I noticed that the Zoom Sunday school plan seemed to not keep up with the changing needs of families. Let’s face it, in this time it can be hard for parents to do anything extra on top of the already stressful time of masking up their kids for school, or homeschooling. The 9:00am Zoom call started to feel like another brick to add to parents burden, and Heidi and I could feel that it wasn’t the most ideal option for many of our families.

As this was all unfolding before us, Heidi and I came to a decision to pivot to a plan that would mirror in Sunday school what the adult service looked like: an in person option for kids that follows all the safety guidelines, with an option for kids that stay home to join us on zoom. It quickly became clear that this would fit us better as families were joining us in person and their kids will need something safe to do during the long winter months (and sermons) in our gym.

So, Sunday School is pivoting this Sunday to an in person option at the time of the sermon (usually around 11:00am) with a zoom option for kids to join from home (this does require a second device and a second zoom account as it is simultaneous with CCCF’s worship service). We will also have a “do at home” option where parents can download the colouring sheets and videos and have Sunday school with their kids anytime during the week. We hope that these options are more inclusive to all families at CCCF and are a little easier on families who already have a lot on their plates.

The last detail to work out was who would teach in person? Heidi is not able to come in person and a rotation of parents to prepare and teach seemed to feel like we were still asking much of our parents in a time we wanted to give them a bit of a break. So, we are happy to announce that Ella Blair — our Summer Student — will be returning to teach Sunday school in person, interacting with our kids that are physically there and our kids that are on Zoom, and putting together “at home” lessons as well. We are still asking parents and church members to volunteer in the classroom on a rotation, but are only expected to support Ella. A sign up sheet will be going out soon!

This means that this Sunday we are introducing a new in person Sunday school option in the kitchen for children ages 4-12. We will have them seated socially distanced, masked, and have lessons that follow the safety guidelines for COVID-19. Your kids can also join on zoom into the classroom and participate with printed out sheets etc. A link to the zoom call will be going out with the Sunday information tomorrow.

The unfortunate thing about COVID-19 is how much it changed Heidi’s role as Sunday school Director. The role was envisioned to be the coordinator, trainer and supporter of a large team of volunteers that would be teaching multiple Sunday school classes and caring for our babies in the nursery. Due to COVID-19 disrupting all that, Heidi has graciously decided to take a step back from her role for the time being until COVID-19 can allow us to return to a larger scale of Sunday school and nursery. This step back will allow us to pay Ella for teaching every week.

I want to thank Heidi for being so willing to serve the church as COVID-19 was throwing so many curveballs at us. Every step of the way she was thinking about what would be best for our kids and we’re so grateful for all the work she has done in the past 6 months. We are also really looking forward to Heidi returning to her role as soon as it is possible.

All that said, thank you all for your flexibility as we are working out how best to serve our kids in this ever changing time. We hope you find these new options serve you and your kids better and ultimately result in kids growing in their relationship with Jesus and each other.

God bless and we hope to see you and your kids on Sunday in whichever option works best for you!


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