New Things in Children's Ministry

Valley Chapel has a long history of meaningful ministry for children thanks to the hard work and dedication of many volunteers, members, and the kiddos themselves. But, in a post-COVID world, life and culture around us has changed, and in order to continue helping our children and their families draw closer to Jesus we must learn, adapt, change, and learn some more.
Fortunately, Chelsie Mantelli has stepped up to lead us through this change. Chelsie is an Elementary Teacher at the Warsaw CSD and brings a great deal of wisdom about how to help kids have fun while they learn about Jesus and "play"- out the lessons they receive. She is excited to not only help kids draw closer, but for families to be equipped to integrate what they experience in worship with what their kids experience. Knowing that the beautiful work of discipling our children is best when it's shared between the church community and the adults at home.
So how does this all impact the logistics on Sunday?

1. Children will spend more time in the sanctuary

Starting this Sunday (5/8/22), each week will include a kids lesson in the front of the sanctuary (~5min). Children will be invited to come forward so that they can learn up-close and interactively with Pastor Ryan (or another teacher).

After this lesson they will join Ms. Mantelli and her teams in the Children's wing for a deeper dive into the lesson in their own context while the grown ups hear the sermon in the Sanctuary.

Announcements will be shared after the sermon, while grown-ups will be invited to head into the lobby to escort the children back into the sanctuary so that we can all respond to the message as a community through song, communion, and giving.

2. The timing of check-in / check-out will change

Check-in and check-out are all about safety and clarity to ensure that children will not be unsupervised or sent home with an unapproved grown-up.

Check-in will still happen when you first arrive in the lobby, but afterward, the kids will stay with their grown-ups in the sanctuary instead of heading down to the children's wing. Check-in serves as a way for grown-ups to communicate who is allowed to pick their kids up later.

Forget to check your kids in? Haven't registered your kids for their first visit? Don't worry, you will be able to walk with your kids to the check-in station anytime before the sermon to check everyone in. Only kids who have been checked-in will be allowed in the children's wing.

Check-out will happen when grown-ups are released to check their kids out after the sermon. Only the adult who checked their child in will be allowed to check that child out. It will be tempting to cut out and leave church at this point, but please stay, you are needed for our communal response to the message and your kids need to learn from you that their presence as a part of the community matters.

3. We may change a lot while we figure it out

This is all how it will work for now, but we will be learning each week. Please use your prayer and response card or talk to a volunteer to let us know how the experience was for you. Your feedback helps us gather in a way that everyone is considered and everyone is provided a meaningful opportunity to draw closer to Jesus.
If all of this sounds exciting and fun to you, and you would like to be involved, find Ms. Mantelli (Chelsie Mantelli) on Messaging on your Valley Chapel App, or stop by the Connect Center on Sunday morning. There are some great opportunities to serve kids and their grown ups through play and being an adult who truly cares. For the safety of all involved, our Children's volunteers complete background checks before serving with our kids.

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Ryan Rovito

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