By The Reverend Christine V. Hides

Bring your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or neighbors to the August 30 Back to School Blessing at 9:30 a.m. in the Memorial Garden. Registration is required.

I would not have believed you if you had told me a year ago that we would have families from multiple states attending online family chapel and Sunday school with Kenilworth Union each week. Nor would I have thought that it would be possible for grandparents and grandchildren to gather for worship together across multiple time zones. Yet somehow, by the mystery and creativity of the Holy Spirit, this is the new normal.

One of the greatest blessings that has emerged amidst the disruption of COVID-19 is the opportunity for Children’s Ministry to live more fully into the new name we were given by the Trustees last fall: Children and Family Ministry. This is possible for two reasons. First technology allows us to connect across space and time. Second the Illinois Phase 4 guidelines for houses of worship state that children remain in the care of their families for in-person church gatherings. The COVID-19 version of Sunday school is “Sunday Family Faith Time.” This fall families have multiple choices and great flexibility.

Key changes for fall 2020

  1. The Fall Ministry season is September 20–November 22. Registration is requested by September 10.
  2. Families will participate in worship and/or Sunday Family Faith Time together. For safety reasons, there is no nursery or drop-off Sunday school.
  3. This video explains the pathway (class) options for families to choose from including hybrid, online, and in-person options. See the Fall Catalog for a full description of each pathway.
  4. Online registration is required, with a minimum of 5 families participating for the pathway/class to be held.
  5. Faith kits (one per family) can be purchased in the registration form and are highly recommended so that all participants have access to the same materials we will use for the classes. Please contact Katie Lancaster if you need financial assistance.
  6. Please review the Family Faith Formation Gatherings page which details our COVID-19 safety procedures to know what to expect during in-person gatherings. Masks, social distancing, temperature checks, and other precautions are required to create the safest environment possible.
  7. If you would like to have a conversation about which options best meet your family’s desire to grow in faith this fall, please contact Christine Hides or Katie Lancaster.

Wednesday and Thursday, September 2 and 3 for  Sunday School Town Hall Meetings, 7 p.m.:
Please mark your calendars to attend one of two online town hall meetings where we will discuss fall options and answer parent questions.

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, I hope you will explore the new opportunities for families of all shapes and sizes to grow in God’s love this fall.

I look forward to your family’s participation this year.