We wanted to update you on the planning and intention for Religious Exploration at Mill Creek (for Children and Youth) as we emerge into whatever we’re calling this latest phase. As we hope you know, the Board has opened the church for in-person worship as of November 14.
We invite you and your families back to church!
We especially miss having your children here, enlivening the soul of Mill Creek!
One of the challenges of the pandemic is that we don’t have a very good handle on who is still with us — that is who intends to remain active and engaged with the church — including and especially our children and youth. It has been a long time since we’ve been able to offer “normal” programming, and we’re well aware that other priorities and activities have become part of folks weekly routines.
We are thinking of this time as a kind of rebuilding — a RE-vival, if you will. We are assuming nothing and making decisions week to week based on the best information we have.
We have begun by starting up a new RE Team who are beginning the work of staffing space(s) for our children and youth.
Our first intention is to create a safe space for our children to re-connect with one another. To that end, beginning on Nov 21 at 10:00 am, we will host children/youth (age 4 and up) in Room 1 for a mostly unstructured time of play, art, and connecting. The room will be staffed with two adult volunteers (who will be vaccinated.) We are also hoping that some of our youth will join in and mentor some of the younger kids.
Our plan is to see who shows up. If sufficient numbers of kids are coming, we’ll divide the group. Our expectation is to do this through the end of the calendar year.
In January, we hope to have a better handle on both our volunteer base and the number of children we are serving. We’ll then begin to build back our curricular goals and activities. We realize that this will take some time and anticipate a kind of continual assessment during the winter and spring months.
For those of you with children in the 7^th-9^th grades, we are looking into offering Our Whole Lives (OWL), perhaps beginning in January or February. We have plenty of trained facilitators, but what we’ll need to work out is how many of our kids are ready for OWL — and how many can commit to the program. If we think your child is in that age group, we’ll be reaching out soon.
For those of you with infants and toddlers (through age 3), we do not have childcare workers in place (yet.) We are looking and once we have them in place, we’ll let you know. (In the meantime, please know that infants and toddlers are more than welcome into our worship space … if they get fussy, Rev. Greg happy to hold and soothe them as he preaches. (Truly!))
Some notes on COVID protocols:
* For the children: masks are required inside the building; vaccination is (highly) recommended for those eligible.**
* For the adults volunteering: masks are required, vaccination is also required (and proof of vaccination will be on file in the office.)
**Please note that we recognize that some of our communications regarding the expectation of vaccination have been unclear. It remains our expectation that all who are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination will do so before attending worship or other large-group events at the church. However — if your child is not yet eligible — or unable — to be vaccinated, we welcome them in. As always, we respect you and your family’s risk calculations — thinking both of your personal risk and what risk you pose to others.
We will be setting up a registration system for each Sunday. As parents, we’ll need you to complete two separate registrations: one for you (to attend worship, and one for your children (to attend RE.) We recommend registering for worship first, to make sure we’re not already at capacity in the sanctuary.
How to Register
* Registration will be managed through our church management system, Realm.
* You do not need a profile in Realm to register.
* You may register yourself and as many guests as you will bring with you.
* Review the below information and then click on the blue button below to register.
Click Here to Register for in-person worship (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=MWQwNjJkMjItY2RkNS00YWYxLTg2ZTctYWRlMTAwZTg2NmQ4)
Click Here to Register Children / Youth for RE (https://onrealm.org/MillCreek/PublicRegistrations/Event?linkString=YTk4MjE5MjktYmVkYi00OTE1LThhODMtYWRlMzAxNTkxYTc1)