Writing letters to our youngest disciples has really helped me to remain connected during these uncertain times.
I learned early in April that Zoom meetings would not work for our Pre-K through 2nd grade children. At St. Michael’s, our nursery is adjacent to one of our Sunday School classrooms; at times, a 2 year old may launch out into the 1st grade room. I welcome these interruptions. Using stationery, cards and stickers, I am able to re-establish community amongst the little ones.
Pre-K – 3rd Grade
For non-readers, 3-4 sentences are enough. Ask questions in your letter. Enclose stickers or adorn the letter with puffy paint. Call the parent(s) of your non-readers to say that a letter is coming. Ask them to read the letter aloud to their child. Provide pastoral care, offer prayer.
I have a few baby and toddler sibling groups, I still personalize the letters. For example, with an 8 month old and a 2 year old, I ask the older sibling if the younger sibling has started eating different foods. Parents love this!
3rd Grade – 6th Grade
I ask this age group about boredom and the things they’re doing to combat boredom. I use the acolyte schedule to see when/if they have served. I make sure to tell them how much I miss their presence in worship. I may share a little joke with them, for example, I still go into the church office 2 times a week and I told the kids that our stuffed animals looked confused! I know it’s corny but, it works!
7th Grade – 12th Grade
These are my rock solid worshippers! I ask them if they would like a call from me. I ask them what they’re missing by not being in school. I’ve learned about their clubs, sports, and activities.
Lastly, I’ve called and sent cards to our college students because they need pastoral care, too!
Imani K. Driskell was born and raised in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. While growing up, Imani thought of Prospect Park as her personal backyard because it was only six blocks away from her home. Currently, Imani serves as the Director of Children’s, Youth and Family Ministries at St. Michael’s-in-the-Hills Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio. Imani enjoys leading ministry with children and youth from pre-K through high school. When not engaged with others, Imani likes to read, run 5Ks and try out new recipes.