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We are excited to re-launch our Gruene UMC Kids in-person gathering on
Sunday mornings in a NEW format.
Here’s a snapshot of what it is going to look like …

Where will we meet:
We will meet in the Mission & Outreach building (which we just gave a facelift to make it a multi-use space for children, youth, and adults). For now, we will all meet in the one main gathering space with groups divided by table or section. As we grow or change, this might adapt by having some groups use the individual classrooms for things such as 3rd-5th graders doing a short term Bible Explorer course as they prepare to get new Bibles, a separate space/classroom for children who are sensory sensitive and would thrive in a smaller space with less distractions and more one on one support, or maybe something specific for our PreK such as Godly Play. The possibilities are endless.  

Note: Our PreK kids also have the option of checking into our Nursery in the Main Building if that is preferred or needed.   

When will we meet?
To begin with, we will meet from 9:15am- 10:45am to allow families to drop off before 9:30am worship begins and pick up after. This time may adapt or change as service times or needs & numbers change. People serving will need to be there by 9am to prep & pray before children arrive and should plan 

What ages will be served?
The worship and activities are designed for children PreK (4 years old by 9/1 as of start of current school year) – 5th grade.  We also would love to have youth (6th- 12th grade) and adults who help and serve as small group leaders, worship leaders, A/V assistants, Welcome Center guides, and eventually maybe even our own music team/ worship band with youth and kids.  

What will the new format/timeline look like?
9:00-9:15am: Leaders Final Prep & Prayer before families arrive
9:15-9:30am: Check-In, Small group welcome, & Arrival activity (legos, table games, puzzles, etc….)
9:30- 9:55: Welcome, Large group worship, announcements, prayer, offering/ mission, monthly memory verse activity
9:55-10:10: Large group lesson/ message
10:10- 10:35: Small Group Discussion/ Questions, Hands-on Activity or Small Group Game
10:35-10:45: Clean-up & Closing Worship

How will groups be divided?
With the current COVID precautions in mind, we are planning to split into 4-5 groups of up to 8 as they arrive. Each group will have a TRUSTED certified adult and ideally another adult or youth to assist which means small groups will be a total of up to 10 people including the leaders. We will plan to keep family groups together so these groups will be multi-age. Then we will also consider things like if they are part of the same school or friend group trying to keep as many like categories together as possible, After that we will consider age or grade so no one is left out and feels included. This may adjust when COVID restrictions are lifted.

What other safety protocol should we be aware of?
We are requiring that every person be wearing a mask at ALL times and that they sanitize their hands upon entering the building. The mask should cover both their nose and mouth at all times. Face shields may only be used in addition to masks not in place of. Every person will be checked in through Planning Center Check-Ins at the Welcome Center and will be given a nametag to wear. The adult checking them in will receive a coordinating tag that they will need to show at checkout. We are also using TRUSTED safety protocol which is explained more in the next section.  

How many adult & youth leaders do you anticipate needing each week?
We need at least 6 TRUSTED certified adults serving each week to allow us to serve 48 children/youth each week. Youth leaders count as kids in our TRUSTED number even though they serve a valuable role offering support, leadership, and energy. We want youth leaders to give them experience and opportunity to serve the church in new ways and many of them request this so they can get service hours for school, Scouts, etc…  Our ratio is for every 1 TRUSTED certified adult we can serve 8 children/youth with a minimum of 2 TRUSTED certified adults for up to the first 16. So, with the 6 adults we are requesting, we could have 4 youth leaders and 44 kid participants.

What if there is an adult who wants to serve that is not TRUSTED certified?
That will work as long as we have the minimum of the 6 who are since they do not count in our number needed. They can be there to assist as additional eyes and hand, but they can never be alone with any child(ren) other than their own and they do not count in the 2 adult minimum required at all times. We would also encourage and invite them to get TRUSTED certified so we can increase our offerings or have backups when people who are certified might be sick or unavailable. This is a great way to invite others to try it out or to allow families to be there who might have hesitation or questions.

What are the leader roles and expectations?

Welcome Center Guide (minimum 1):
Make sure the Welcome Center is set up and ready to go before people arrive, welcome families as they arrive, make sure they get a nametag & are checked in in Planning Center getting all contact and other info needed including making sure we have a current picture on file, get child to group and introduce them to their small group leader, keep an eye on door and bathroom hallway, other administrative tasks as needed, put away Welcome Center after and help with final clean-up.  

Tech Team (minimum 1): Run video, sound, and lights.

Small Group Leader (minimum 4): Make sure you have all necessary supplies in your group area (the group boxes & lesson materials are all prepped by the Prep Team ahead of time and there will be a variety of arrival activities ready for you to choose from), welcome and interact with children, build relationships with children, families, and with other leaders, participate in worship, help with behavior management and discipline as needed, facilitate small group discussions, activities, & games, clean-up your group area.

Worship Leader (minimum 1): (Generally led by Chéri with certain parts being delegated to others so let me know if there are parts of this you would like to lead or assist with) lead large group in worship to include music, prayer, offering/mission, monthly memory verse activity, announcements, and large group message/ lesson.

Prep Team: Go through small group supply boxes and make sure they are clean, restocked, and ready plus help cut, copy, count, or get materials ready prior to Sunday. 

What is the general plan for the Spring semester?
1/10- Epiphany/ New Year Celebration
1/17- 2/7 (4 weeks) POWER LAB- Discovering the power of faith
2/14- Pretzel Sunday POWER LAB
2/21-3/28 (6 weeks) POWER LAB- Discovering the power of Jesus
4/4- He Is Risen Celebration (Easter)
4/11- 5/30 (8 weeks) H.E.R.O.Training
SUMMER Semester starts June 6th

We hope this gives you a good picture on what to expect. Please let me know if you would like to be part of the faith-filled fun! We are so excited for this opportunity to be ministry together shaping and guiding God’s children at Gruene UMC.

Questions or ideas?
Contact Cheri Heldstab