Annual Report – February 2022
As I sat down to write this report, I reflected on the fact that few of us were likely anticipating that we would still be talking about COVID numbers and virtual meetings a year after our last AGM. Even though this is the case, I am glad we are still a church, and I am grateful for the weeks in the fall when we were able to gather in person.
Very much to my delight, once we began to meet inside last September, almost all of our regular children came back at one point or another, and we even added a few. I believe maximum attendance was somewhere around 7 or 8 children on a given Sunday. This included children from WestEnd Commons and children who are connected to members of our church family.
Due to COVID protocols, we were not able to return to the complete Children’s Time format (e.g., our “feast” had to be substituted with pre-packaged snacks that the children took away with them). However, we were able to return to telling stories using the Young Children and Worship method, with a focus on the Old Testament. We were also able to enjoy our regular “response time,” using the story figures or craft and drawing materials.
With the number of infections increasing by late November, it seemed necessary to ensure more physical distance between the children when we were together. This led to a decision to let go of the story temporarily and to simply focus on completing a craft, with the children spread out at the tables. Though I was at first disappointed to have to do this, the children went with it, and I marvelled at how each child seemed to put their own spin on the Advent crafts we were completing. In my mind, this paralleled one of the goals of the Young Children and Worship method – to present the stories of God and offer a corporate worship time, and then allow the children to respond in whatever way is meaningful to them.
Now we are all waiting for Omicron to subside so that we can meet in person again. It seems possible that we will be able to meet in time to prepare for Easter together. If this does not happen, my plan is to think of a small package I could send to the children (similar to what we did last year) that would engage the children in Lent and keep them connected to our parish.
We have a wonderful group of children among us, and I have been very blessed to be working with them for another year. I am always open to help (and grateful to Scott and Maia G-D and Marilyn’s grand-daughter, Hillary, for their help this year). If you are interested in joining us at Children’s Time in a helping capacity or as a leader, please let me know. If you have something to offer the children as they become too old for this curriculum, this would also be meeting what I think will be an important need in the not-too-distant future!
Peace, blessings, and health to you all,