Sunday school during this time of pandemic has involved a lot of trial and error. Heidi Kleine, Director of Faith Formation, and Kari Moncrief, Children's Faith Formation Coordinator, of Christ the King, Cary, North Carolina learned quickly what worked best for their families. Even though their initial thought was to tap Sparkhouse Digital to create robust lessons for at-home use, it became clear that “parents are overwhelmed and feeling guilty. If they didn't do what we sent them, they felt like they were being bad parents. They were having trouble managing what they had, so we really quickly pulled back.”
Their solution was to literally go back to school, the Sunday School hour that is. At the time of their normal Sunday school they offer a YouTube live video in which they appear at church. They share announcements, sing a song, show a video, and then introduce the activity pages for kids and parents to download and do.
After that first 15 minutes for the kids, the pastor takes over with a study for adults while the children do their activity sheets. Everyone gets back together at the end of the hour for reflection and prayer.
Kari and Heidi noted the power of maintain their rituals in this way: “People have emailed comments about the normalcy of it, that they kind of appreciate that it's their normal Sunday routine as much as possible. We've gotten a lot of feedback from people that they like the fact that they see us in our space. So even though we play a video, coming on live and talking a little bit about it is giving them a sense that the ‘normal’ is still there on some level. We're in that worship space that's familiar to them, and so kind of having that tie-in seems to be helpful.”
You can see an example of Christ the King’s “Sunday School Hour” model by clicking this link to their Pentecost 2020 YouTube Live stream.
- Pro: Happens at the same time as Sunday school normally would
- Pro: Uses already established Sunday routines
- Pro: Keeps familiar faces in front of kids
- Con: Requires planning to make activities available for families
- Con: Leaders must be comfortable appearing live on camera
- Con: Parents/families concerned about the amount of screen time required for kids to participate