As soon as we knew we would be home-bound, especially on Sundays, we prayed of ways in which we could remain connected in a healthy way. Kate Morris, the children’s pastor serving Acworth United Methodist Church began a Sunday school drive-thru on the first weekend. After some quick collaboration, we started the Tuesday Family Faith Kit Drive-thru.
We gathered every bag we had in the supply closets and prepared 50 bags for the next seven weeks. 15 of the 50 bags were for multiple children in a family meaning there were 3-5 of everything in each bag.
We gathered everything we had on hand of extras and typical kid’s items including bubbles, stickers, candy, snacks, all the St. Patrick’s Day items I’d purchased ahead of time for the Sunday that didn’t happen, sidewalk chalk, pompoms, etc. We also added pre-purchased items for Lent events ready to be staged. We didn’t spend any additional monies except the palm branches. We gathered what we had on hand and prepared to share, separating everything into seven weeks of bags with a printed devotion. If you’d like a copy of the first three week’s of devotions, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posting on social media, we invited families to drive thru the breezeway of our children’s entrance (that way if they didn’t come to us regularly on Sundays, they will know where to enter when we are permitted to return to Sunday gathering) between 11am-12noon each Tuesday. We make a big deal of greeting each vehicle, wearing gloves we set the kit on the empty front passenger seat, maybe take a photo, and then ask if we can pray with them with our hands lifted toward the heavens. We pray and we invite them back the next week.
6 o’clock Bible readings
We invited parents to record their child(ren) reading a favorite Bible story/verse from their Bible in their favorite place at home, under 2 minutes and send it to me on Facebook messenger. I’ve scheduled a Bible reader/memory verse for each night at 6pm on our closed Facebook page. Hannah Harwood, the Children’s Pastor at Sam Jones United Methodist Church in Cartersville, Georgia began this early on as morning digital devotionals.
Pre-purchased postcards with forever stamps were ready for VBS. Instead, we’ve handwritten notes to every family and every servant-leader to “Say your prayers and wash your hands, until we can be together again! – Ms. DeDe & McEachern Kids”
• Prepared schedule of texts and phone calls to check in.
• Providing copies of Family Faith Kit devotions are being added to the lunches and dinners provided by our partner elementary and middle school through the missions team.
• Weekly email to email list (may not be on social media) on Saturday how to celebrate Family Church with a reminder of our online service info and Family Faith Kit drive through.
• Hallelujah Project: Use what you have (sidewalk chalk, paper, paint, crayons, string, scraps of wood, etc.) to create a “Hallelujah” banner/sign/message for Easter Sunday. Tag the church on Instagram or Facebook using #athomehallelujah. Another great idea from Christine Hides, Director of Christian Education at Kenilworth Union Church, Kenilworth, Illinois.
There are lots of things which can be done, but let me remind you to pace yourself and remember your why.
McEachern Kids exists to partner with families to grow in their faith in Jesus together by experience, resource, and encouragement. We can’t be part of the noise, especially during the week when families are navigating schoolwork, working from home, feeding the family, laundry, pets, and new schedules. We are all about relationship building in the family to grow in a personal relationship with Jesus, worship the Lord together, belong to something and someone, serve one another in the family and others outside the family, and tell their story.
“Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?'” Exodus 4:2