This week we welcome guest writer, Kim Sexton.
This weekâ€™s scripture finds Jesus continuing to walk with and teach the disciples. Â He is reminding them that when people welcome them, they are,Â in turn, welcoming him. Â At ERUCC we know how to provide an extravagant welcome from greeters at the welcome table, then fellowship and finally a follow up letter or call. Â In March,Â that all got turned upside down with stay at home orders, no school or activities,Â and no in person worship. Â What we thought might be like a few snow days soon became clear it would be a lot longer. If you think it was hard for an adult to figure out, Â imagine being a child. Â Suddenly all sense of a routine are gone. Â What would welcome look like now?
In the coming weeks we would learn welcome would look like streamed worship services, zoom meetings, packets with worship materials including childrenâ€™s bulletins, actual snail mail and pen pals as well as Godâ€™s Kids Club supply kits.
For me, extravagant welcome means knowing my church family is there for me in uncertain times. Â I knew if I needed this,Â the kids would need it even more. Â I set up a schedule of meeting with Godâ€™s Kids Club three times a week atÂ 4 p.m.Â At firstÂ I thought , this is great! I can really teach something with some content.Â Early on It became pretty clear that what the kids needed was community and to be kids. Â So we changed up content and nowÂ on Mondays we play games: guess who I am, scavenger hunts and of course bingo or we sing. Â On Wednesdays we do crafts or science. Â On Fridays we do the upcoming SundayÂ Sunday school lesson. Â They wanted to cook,Â so we have decorated cupcakes and made pizza.Â I also looked to them for suggestions of topics so we have learned aboutÂ arachnids, Disney, Pokemon, ERUCC history and mythical creatures to name a few. We have even had guest readers and speakers.
We have 9 families who attend regularly with children ranging in age from 2 years to 6th grade. We extended the welcome to friends of ERUCC and have had three families take us up on the welcome. The kids have welcomed our friends just as they would in person. Â I wish you could have heard the excitement in bothÂ two year oldâ€™s voices when they saw each other over Zoom or how important itâ€™s been for us to celebrate birthdays, mile stones (graduating from preschool or 5th grade, lost teeth or learning to ride a bike without training wheels) and even the last day of school. Â Itâ€™s been equally important to allow them to talk about their fears and what they are grieving. Â We end each session just as we end the thought for the day,Â with a topic for which they are thankful for or worried about and then go into the Lordâ€™s Prayer.
Zoom Godâ€™s Kids Club has allowed us to deepen our faith and connect in a new way.