Sunday School is no longer offered during the 10:00 am worship service due to Covid-19.
With the beginning of the new school year, the Deanery of Waterloo started Hello Church: Church in a Bag program addressing the needs of Sunday school children and their parents. As we adjust to life in the pandemic, it has become clear that social distancing requirements will most likely keep many of our Sunday Schools closed for the coming year.
Recognizing that parents with Sunday school-aged children might also stay away from church until Sunday school reopens poses a challenge for many parishes. But it also provides an opportunity for mission and evangelism and deepening people's connections to their various churches. With six churches participating with almost 100 bags created and delivered each week, the deanery looks to continue to innovate in this time of pandemic to bring the church to the homes of the faithful.
Just like meal kits that are delivered to the door, Sunday school bags are delivered each week, maintaining that connection with parents and kids and demonstrating the kind of outrageous love of Christ. Each bag contains a lectionary-based bible verse, a story and a craft. Everything needed for the Sunday school lesson is in the bag. Everything is supplied.
As a bonus, Hello Church provides 15-30 minutes of nonscreen time activity for parents during the week. Knowing that Zoom fatigue is weighing heavy on parents, the program is designed to be offline and to add in discipleship and formation. While the pandemic and the Amber Stage guidelines pose many challenges to returning to church it also has provided an opportunity for mission, discipleship and evangelism.