Children’s Ministry at St Mark’s from September 2020
Dear Parents of Year 4, 5 and 6 children,
Children’s Ministry at St Mark’s from September
Over the summer, we have been planning how to continue with our children’s ministry at St Mark’s in September. With a “normal” Sunday morning seeing over 100 children coming to our groups, it is clear that under current circumstances, we can’t at the moment go back to the arrangements we had before the pandemic. As many of you will know, Courageous Christians provided an online resource for primary age children through last term, we ran a virtual Holiday Club in July, and have been gathering feedback and learning from those things and from contact with parents and children. We are hearing that the children are missing their groups almost as much as the leaders are missing the children!
We are keen to continue our children’s ministry and to reconnect with the children as far as we are able. As things are continuing to change, we have developed a plan for September to December which we want to communicate to you. We will continue to learn what works well and what doesn’t, and to respond to changing circumstances and guidance, and will revisit the plans for after Christmas, in the hope that we may be able to extend our provision at that point.
The plan for September to December involves 3 offerings for your children:
Tide on Line
From September 13th, there will be fortnightly online sessions suitable for all primary school aged children and their families. This will be available on the St Mark’s YouTube channel from 4pm on alternate Sundays, but can be watched at any time after that. It will include some teaching, a Bible story, prayer and craft activities and will be led and presented by people from our children’s ministry team who will be familiar to your children.
Many of you will already be part of a Community Group, which enables the whole family to connect with a smaller group of people from St Mark’s for fellowship and discipleship. Many of these groups have dedicated provision for children, and for many families, can be the main focus of their membership of St Mark’s. If you are not currently in a Community Group and would like to be, or would like to know more about this, please contact Kim or Dan.
Waves in Church
For those not in a Community Group, we are able to offer face to face sessions in Church fortnightly from September 20th, with the last of the 7 sessions this term being on December 13th. These groups will be on Sunday afternoons, with staggered starts between 4pm and 4.30pm and will last for about 45 minutes. The focus will be on fun, games and relationship building based around a Bible topic. Our plans follow Government and Diocesan guidelines on social distancing and ensure that children and leaders are as safe as possible. There will be a “bubble” of up to 15 children in each of year 4, year 5 and year 6 and two adults from our children’s ministry team with each bubble. Each bubble will be in a separate area of the church and will use different doors. If you would like your child or children to be part of these groups, you will need to register by contacting Waves@smch.org.uk Because of the requirement to keep the bubbles consistent, we would ask you to sign up for all 7 sessions. If for some reason your child needs to drop out of the group, we would ask you to let us know as soon as possible so that the place can be offered to a child on the waiting list for the remainder of the term. Once your child has been allocated a place, we will send you further details, together with the specific Covid-19 arrangements. If you would like to register your child, please do so as soon as possible as places are limited to the bubble numbers, and registration will close on 10th September.
Topic and resources
All three offerings will be following a teaching plan covering stories from Luke’s Gospel and the Waves in Church sessions will build on the Tide on Line content. The children’s ministry team will also be using Facebook to share resources, videos, songs and links and a range of fun things for families and children. Our group for families with primary aged children is St Mark’s Harrogate Families. There is also St Mark’s Harrogate Toddlers Group for those with younger children. These are already up and running, so search for them on Facebook and request to join.
We are looking forward to serving the children in our Church family in these new ways. Please let us have your thoughts and views as things progress – we are keen to continue to learn and to develop new ways of connecting with children and families until we can welcome all the children back together again in Church.
Rachel Tunnicliffe and the Children’s Ministry Team at St Mark’s