When we made the switch to virtual worship, we continued to offer our weekly Young Children in Worship story time. Although originally intended for children, it became apparent that many age groups were enjoying it. Because of this, and because we believe that “parents are the most significant religious influences in the lives of their children” (The Search Institute), we incorporated the children’s lesson into our worship instead of offering a separate Sunday school time.
A parent’s faith grows when they share and talk with their children, and so it’s important for faith journeys to be shared at home. To help encourage this, we sent out more than 50 Advent boxes so that families could journey together to Bethlehem. These boxes were created as a keepsake, something to bring out each Christmas season. Perhaps they’ll also serve as a reminder of how life changed during the pandemic, prompting discussions of gratitude and the hidden blessings of a slower pace. This Easter, we’ll be sending out activity kits to further the faith-at-home journey.
Last summer, I offered a mid-week program called WOW (Wondering on Wednesday). It was a way of connecting with our young families via Facebook live, and was something for children and parents to watch together.
We also forged new partnerships through our first-ever virtual Vacation Bible School, collaborating with five other churches from various denominations. We hired four summer student staff to help create and assist with the running of our VBS. Activity kits were sent to each household, and the kids checked in online each day. It was a great success, and we’ll offer it again this summer.
As we mark a year of doing church differently, our focus will continue to be supporting family worship at home.
Read the other stories of our second Easter apart: