Ideas for Engaging Families in Holy Week

Greetings from Covenant CRC!

This is a very unique time that we are facing in all aspects of our lives, including church. We as a church community really miss connecting with everyone and are grieving the inability to meet over Easter. We are, however, grateful for our ever present Heavenly Father and the ability to continue to stay connected as a community in different ways through the live stream, phone calls, virtual meetings and prayer.

This email is to provide some ideas for engaging families in Holy Week which is a very special week in our church calendar. We have sifted through the many resources out there and found some that we feel may be helpful. We recognize that parents and families have different needs and so below you will find the resources with a brief description so you can select one, or more, or part of one that seems right for you. Please feel no pressure that you need to participate in these activities.  They are simply a guide for you to celebrate with your families in the absence of being able to meet together face to face.

1) Holy Week for Kids – Social Distancing Style (attached below) – Trisha Booy has developed this comprehensive daily guide (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday) which outlines a daily devotional complete with Bible Gateway links to passages and a variety of children/family activities. It has been compiled using a wide variety of resources and aligns with our worship services and Tenebrae service during Holy Week. Please open the Word document attached to see the daily guide. This devotional makes reference to pages out of the Focus on the Family document ‘Walking Through Holy Week’.

2) ‘God’s Big Easter Story: A Holy Week Journey For Families’ by Faith Alive. This is a simple daily devotional (Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday) meant to create a meaningful way to grow in faith together as a family as you read about the events leading up to Jesus’ death and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  This devotional is reading/talking focussed and has ‘Easy Extra Ideas’ to incorporate a few family activities if desired.

https://network.crcna.org/faith-nurture/gods-big-easter-story-holy-week-journey-families 

3) Empowering Courageous Kids – Group has compiled 4 children’s videos, and it looks like more to come,  that are approximately 20 minutes each. The first 2 address the current situation in our world surrounding the coronavirus/COVID-19 and how Jesus calms our fears and worries.  The third video is meant to be shown on Palm Sunday and the fourth video is for Easter. Each video has a praise and worship video clip and encourages participation/family discussion. There are some materials required, so consider taking a look yourself before your child comes back needing unexpected help.

https://www.group.com/category/ministry-resources/childrens-ministry/sunday-school/empowering-courageous-kids/downloadable-lessons.do#_ga=2.97657817.712962710.1585848085-1923693596.1585848085 

We find ourselves only 2 more sleeps away from Palm Sunday! It would be great if you made some time to make a palm branch with your kid(s) this weekend so that they can wave them while participating in the Live Feed service this Sunday. We also invite you to take a short video clip or some pictures of your family participating in Holy Week activities and share them with Trisha at worshipassistant@covenantcrc.ca so that they can be compiled and shared with our church members via email. We won’t publicly share any pictures or videos.  Videos (1 minute or less) can be emailed using WeTransfer.com as the larger file sizes often don’t work over regular email.

We are planning to meet as church leaders to develop ways to engage kids over the next while ‘from a distance’ but please take this opportunity to care for yourselves as parents and allow yourselves the freedom to take in church while young children may be playing in their room etc. We need to take care of ourselves so we can care for our families. In the coming weeks, as we try to engage the church online, you can look forward to us asking around for you to either create an audio or video of someone in your family reading the scripture passage for Sunday so we can include it in the live feed.  More details to follow, so stay tuned!!

On behalf of the Children’s Ministry Team, Jessica & Christy