We are so excited to announce we are reopening our Children's Ministries on Sunday mornings this Sunday, September 13th! There are some changes that are important to note, and I've tried to answer any and all questions below, but I just want to start by saying a huge thank you to our teachers and volunteers who make these ministries happen. They have put so much thought into the safety of their environments, and they are so eager to get back to doing the work of the kingdom by sowing seeds of faith into the next generation. My hat is off to them in their prayer and preparation as we enter this new season of ministry.
Here is an overview of some of our new practices and procedures:
Masks will be required for all elementary, middle, and high-school aged students when participating in our programs. Preschool and Nursery-aged children will not be required to wear a mask.
Social distancing will be strongly encouraged in each environment. Teachers and leaders have designed activities and environments that permit this as much as possible. However, the preschool and nursery classes both acknowledge limitations to social distancing in their respective age groups. In both the preschool classes and the nursery, social distancing is not always possible.
Temperatures of students and parents will be taken upon drop-off. Students who themselves or their parents test over 100 degrees will be asked to remain at home on that particular Sunday.
Every class will keep a strict attendance log. In the event of a positive case of COVID-19, the family of every attending student will be notified in an attempt to contact trace per CDC guidelines.
Children's Church will take place for the entirety of the 11am worship service. Children can be dropped off at the Check-In table outside of the Children's Ministry building. For now, we believe it best to limit traffic between buildings, and will update this practice as necessary.
Sunday morning will look like this:
· Worship 8:45am and 11:00am in the Sanctuary
· Children's Sunday School 10:00am - 10:45am
· Children's Church 11:00am - Noon
Perhaps the most visible change to Sunday mornings will be our Children's Ministry Check-In Station. This tent will be the "first stop" for parents to have temperatures taken, grab an extra mask if needed, and get any needed directions to our Children's Ministry and Sunday-School environments. If a parent has any questions or concerns, staff and volunteers will be available to help in any way we can.
Every parent and student will need to drop by this station before continuing to their respective Children's Ministry environment. Parents will then usher their children to their class. We appreciate your help with this so much. Our goal is to help our teachers focus solely on preparing a welcoming environment for your children.
We understand that these precautions may be frustrating to some, and yet not extensive enough to others. To that dichotomy I would say this: Our goal is to be in ministry with and for all those who call this church and this community home. We feel these precautions allow us to do that in the safest manner possible.
Finally, I would just like to say thank you so much for your patience as we work to do ministry in the safest manner possible. The safety of everyone on our campus, especially including the children, is our utmost concern. Navigating these past few months has been tough, and no doubt there are challenges and unforeseen hurdles ahead, but engaging in the important work we are doing in Jesus’ name together at Byron UMC is a deep and profound joy.
This is a lot of information, and reopening during a pandemic will remain a fluid situation. We will keep you updated as adjustments to our processes need to be made. If at any point you have any questions, comments, or concerns (or even if you just want to vent) please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.
See y'all Sunday!