Hello Families of Our Redeemer’s!
We miss you all so much! We are praying that school has started without too much chaos, and that you’re settling in to a great routine. After much conversation and thoughtfulness about what we’re trying to offer programmatically for kids this fall, and given that so much of their lives is going to be online for the foreseeable future, the Faith Formation team decided to try some new things to maximize relationship and minimize screen time for our fall program.
Here’s what that’s going to look like:
Sprouts: (3 – 5 years) – Sundays at 9:30am ZOOM LINK
As kids in preschool hopefully aren’t as zoom-ed out as the older kids, we will still have a weekly Sunday morning class at 9:30am for these little ones. Mr. Dana, our wonderful lead teacher, Pastor Gretchen, and other special guests will host a 20-minute class based on the scripture readings from that Sunday, with music, story, an activity or illustration, and prayer. All kids are invited, but this is going to be framed for the preschool set.
Family Devotional Videos – All ages (emphasizing families with elementary aged kids) LINK
Our church YouTube channel will have a weekly 15-minute video for families to watch together, with follow up conversation questions, mini-art projects, and prayer prompts. Featuring our pastors, and many of the awesome parents and teachers in our congregation, we’ll focus on the Bible readings for the week, and include stories, and songs. These videos will provide families with tools to discuss and build faith together, even while we are apart.
On Second Sundays, we will have a Zoom meet-up at 10am where families hang out together and share their prayers, creations, and reflections from the month prior. ZOOM LINK
Middle School and High School Hangouts
6th and 7th Graders
Twice a month via zoom, these students are invited to hangout, check-in, build relationships, and explore faith and prayer. Because this is an age where interacting with peers is essential, and their current connections are so limited because of Covid, we are hoping to help maintain and strengthen the bonds between these kids.
Here’s a doodle poll to set up our first hangout: https://doodle.com/poll/5i7igdug7vh4kdgb
In addition to the Zoom hangouts, weather permitting, these students will also get together outside once a month for “Faith Walks” where we safely walk together with an intention or a prayer, for our community, ourselves, or our world. Betsy McGregor, Mike Jancola, and Pastor Gretchen will facilitate this group.
8th Grade Confirmation Class
Twice a month via Zoom, these students will meet to review what they’ve learned so far in confirmation, and keep their relationships glued together. Because the Zoom format doesn’t allow us to do many of the things we would normally do (like service events, retreats, camping, worship assisting, and other fun events), we’re focusing on keeping connected and continuing to pray for each other. These students will also be invited to participate in “Intention Talks” once a month, safely gathered outside and in-person, weather permitting, where they will have a specific topic to discuss while they walk. Thanks to Phillipa Dugaw for helping to rally the confirmands, and Michael Hammett for being a great teacher for yet another year!
Here’s a doodle poll to set up our first class: https://doodle.com/poll/kcsriys8ci6gk9ba
Confirmation 2020 itself is postponed until we are together in-person again for worship. It will be the second service that happens, immediately after the dedication of our new, beautiful worship space – whenever that blessed day comes to pass. Alleluia!
High School Coffee Talk
Once a month, there will be a Zoom for high school students to connect with their church friends, pray for each other, and chat about life and all its challenges. Oh, and drink coffee. Or tea. Or water.
Here’s a doodle poll to set up our first meeting – we can arrange another time after that. https://doodle.com/poll/84v3azx4myn4c6im
Monthly, all parents will be invited to answer a topical, fun question via a Google survey, and a discussion will be had the following week around the responses to that question. Hosted by two parents from our congregation, this will be a great way to connect, pray for one another, laugh, and realize that we’re not alone out there in the land of parenthood.
Here’s a survey to help form what we’re going to be about: https://forms.gle/KU7M9LxqfnQ5MF4F7
- Sprouts co-teacher with Mr. Dana
- Adults willing to read stories to children in the Sprouts class
- Adults willing to help facilitate the faith and intention talks for middle and high school students
- Adults willing to be in the family devotional videos with Pastor Gretchen
- Parents willing to host the parent group discussions on Zoom
- Kids willing to be in the family devotional videos
- Kids willing to help Pastor Gretchen with Sunday Morning Kid’s Messages.
Thank you for your patience as we are working things out, and trying to envision what is the best offering for our families. We know that everything is strange and new right now, and we’re hoping to stay connected in love, prayer, and humor until we can be together again in person.
Peace to you all!
Pastor Gretchen Mertes and the Faith Formation Team – Betsy McGregor, Dana Wright, Kari Guddal, Mandy Neill, Phillipa Dugaw, and Stephanie Fowler.