By The Reverend Christine V. Hides
First, the hard news: While the Children’s Ministry team looks forward to gathering together in person, the new Restore Illinois Plan tells us that it will be quite some time before we are able to do so. Based on this guide and our faithful commitment to the safety and well-being of children grounded in the commandment to love God and love neighbor, there will be no in-person children’s ministry gatherings in June. Following the example of schools, we will be planning for multiple contingencies for fall ministry.
Then, a pause: Though this news is not surprising, it comes in a flurry of emails about cancellations of summer activities we were all looking forward to. The announcements come amidst disruption to daily life, loss of income, concern for those who are sick, and weariness from e-learning. This is hard. May we take the time we need to name the losses and accept what we cannot change, for this is the normal, healthy process humans go through before moving forward. Because we need time to adjust, the Children and Family ministry theme for June is Sabbath: resting in God’s grace. The summer schedule is below.
Next, let us move forward in hope: Talk to business leaders, teachers, parents, or really anyone these days and you will hear the same thing, “No one has ever done this before.” As we plan for children’s ministry in the months ahead, we are committed to finding new ways in the name of the one who makes a way out of no way. Though we don’t know what the future will look like, we have faith that these unexpected circumstances will open our eyes to the new things God is creating in our midst.
In June, we will be planning for fall with the goal of equipping children and families to experience God’s love and grace each and every day. Children’s Ministry remains grounded in our purpose and priorities.
If you would like to provide feedback or expertise during the fall ministry design process, please contact Christine Hides before Monday, June 1.