Our Connection Matters: Back to School 2020
Churches are pivoting and finding incredible, creative ways to be the church during such a unique time in our world. We are truly seeing that "Church Can Happen Anywhere," and I will take that one step further to say "Church Is Happening Everywhere."
With returning to school right around the corner anxiety is running high for children and parents, as well as for teachers and administrators in our communities. How can the church offer love, hope, and peace and be a calming presence in our communities? Here are a few ideas you might consider:
- Socially distanced prayer walks around schools
- Praying for teachers, administrators & support staff
- Virtual Zoom prayer gatherings
- Collecting needed items for schools
- Purchasing items on teacher's Amazon wish lists
- Collaborating with local school & community leaders
- Offering Virtual Learning Support (see recording below)
- Partnering with schools with feeding ministries
- Zoom back to school bash
If you have ministry ideas to share that your local church is doing to support children and families this school year, please contact Allison Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's through our connection that we can learn best practices and help each other bear fruit for discipleship and kingdom building!
Zoom @ Noon: Standing in the Gap - The Church & Virtual Learning Support
School systems are faced with difficult decisions for the 2020-21 school year. How can local churches partner with families, schools, and their community to help navigate a safe learning environment whether your schools are solely online or offering a hybrid of online and in-person?
Isle of Hope UMC in Savannah is paving a way. In this Zoom @ Noon, we host Chrissy Ruehl from Isle of Hope as she shares their plan for standing in the gap during this time and pioneering a way for the church to be in ministry to students, families, and schools in their community.
Administrators have shared how meaningful it is for churches to reach out to offer prayers and support for teachers and staff in their communities. There are many ways to support our schools and communities, which will in turn benefit all our children.
N U R T U R E
Back to school always provides unique and exciting opportunities to involve all ages. However, we realize that this place we find ourselves with so much uncertainty due to COVID-19 has also proven to be a highly anxious time for children, parents, and teachers.
Check out the way Tifton FUMC is sharing the love to our school system and students in their community! (KUDOS: Annie Paulk, Children's Director) Yard signs are being made available to place in member's front yards with the hope that as people see the signs they will be encouraged to lift up all teachers, administrators, staff, and students in prayer.
- 20 Ways to Digitally Connect With Kids During the Pandemic
- 7 Ways to Support Kids With Anxiety About Coronavirus
- Talking to Kids about Coronavirus: Fred Rogers Center (For Parents)
- A Blessing of the Backpacks
- Blessing Of The Devices (Virtual Learning)
- A Back to School Litany
- Back to School Blessing: Elementary up to Higher Education
- Video: Back to School Blessing
- Video: How To Make Blessing Backpack Tags (2 min)
- Free Kids Lessons: High Voltage Kids: No Fear | Spark: God Takes All Our Worries
- COVID Related Prayer Activities to use at Home with Children
For more back to school ideas, visit Discipleship Ministries.
O U T R E A C H
Partnerships with schools are a great way for local churches of all shapes and sizes to be in ministry in their community. You can also bring your congregation together to pack UMCOR schools kits for children!
- Back to School Outreach Ideas
- UMCOR School Kit Instructions
- Friendship UMC, Donalsonville school kit mission Have you every wondered how UMCOR school kits are used? Check out this inspiration from 2018.
W I T N E S S
Back to school community events provide a unique way to have a presence and be a witness in your neighborhood and community.
For additional Outreach & Witness resources, visit United Methodist Communications.
A D V O C A C Y
Understanding contemporary realities in education for children and youth is important in putting our faith into action.
I N S P I R A T I O N
- Faith, prayer help college freshmen prepare for new, uncertain school year (The Advocate, 7/2020)
- Bishop Bryan offer Back to School Prayer (2017)
- #IGiveUMC Honors Teachers: Several resources are available to participate in the #IGiveUMC campaign to honor teachers with a gift to your local church. Check out the "How to Guide" and share with your congregation, post on social media, and share the love for our teachers!