Now that our kids are nearly grown (we just moved our youngest into her freshman dorm at Missouri State), things are a bit calmer, but for our family, the back-to-school season was always the busy and emotionally taxing. With four kids worth of supplies, sports schedules, play auditions, orientations, locker decorations, bedtime adjustments, school forms, and new carpool routines, we could barely keep up. Not to mention the late night meltdowns, early morning pep talks, and oh, yeah… our two late-August birthday celebrations… Happy birthday Keegan and Joshua!
Can you relate? But no matter what stage of parenting we’re at, fall kick-off season always comes demanding a faster pace, some unfamiliar roads, and lots of new information to process.
Let me be the first one to congratulate us all for making it to Labor Day. Let me also remind you that none of us have to go at this alone. The Family Ministry team and I want you to know we are here for you. We want to help make this ministry year one of connection, growth, and fun for your whole family. Here are some ways:
- Safety. As always, but especially during this Covid season, we are wholeheartedly committed to the health and safety of your kids. For that reason, all Family Ministry staff and volunteer leaders (nursery through high school) will remain masked. We also strongly recommend that all kids wear a mask to class and programs (ages 3 and up). We’ll keep you informed of any changes to this policy. Some other safety measures to highlight include:
- New air filtration systems were installed in all ministry spaces in 2020.
- For now, no snacks/food will be served.
- Increased efforts to clean and sanitize ministry areas.
- Hand-sanitizing stations in every ministry space.
- Careful record and attendance keeping for contact tracing, if needed.
- Fewer emails. We hear you! Our team promises to make an intentional effort to keep you informed without overloading you. We’ll also keep doing our best to update the Family Ministry Page and make regular Family Ministry entries into the Blog Page for easy reference.
- Digital resources. We hope to see you back on campus, but if your family is not quite ready to return to Sunday school or youth group, we will provide as many resources as we can for discipleship at home. Our prayer is that your family feels a sense of connection and belonging right from the start!
As you surely know, raising the next generation takes a team effort. Our desire is to partner with you in the shepherding of your children and students to live out their identity as members of the Body of Christ.
So … for the sake of our kids and in the name of our partnership, may we ask these four things of you this year: Register, read, report, and reach out?
- Register. Even if your kids have attended Sunday school or youth group in the past, would you please take a few moments to complete this Family Registration Form? This one form will allow you to register and update info for all of your kids.
- Read. As I stated before, we promise not to blow up your inboxe. That said, the emails that we do send will contain important information throughout the ministry year. Please make a habit to read them carefully and respond when needed. Additionally, please take a few minutes to read our child-safe policy. Creating the safest culture possible for all ages must be a group effort.
- Report. Did you know that our child-safe policy states 3 levels of child-safe reporting (section 8)? We want to start this ministry year by empowering you and our whole church family to take action on behalf of the most vulnerable among us. Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with these reporting options:
- Level One: To report known or suspected abuse call the Missouri child abuse hotline at 1-800-392-3738.
- Level Two: To report CPC child-safe policy violations of any kind, use this anonymous form.
- Level Three: To report anything related to health or safety that “just doesn’t seem right” use this anonymous form.
- Reach out. From experience, I know parenting can be joyful and rewarding. I also know it to be very challenging, overwhelming, and lonely. We were never meant to go alone. We are here to help your family in any way we can. Please promise to reach out with any needs, questions, or suggestions you may have throughout this year.
May God richly bless you and your family. It’s a joy to serve you!
Director of Family Ministries