UPDATE FROM MARCH 25, 2020
Embracing the Messiness of Life
Greetings from week two of social distancing at home with a five year old. She is currently painting the windows with washable paint to make a stained glass window. Yes, she has permission.
Life under Corona is messy, except for all the extra cleaning. Parents are juggling how to work from home and maintain the health and well-being of their children, perhaps with a little education added in. Restaurants are pick up or drive through only. People are losing jobs or they are working extra hours at hospitals, grocery stores, and other essential businesses while fearing for their health. We all have a lot of fear and uncertainty about the future right now.
I saw an article that referenced the weird feeling that we are all having. The article explained that it is grief. I have grieved over mostly little things in the last few weeks: Grace’s first field trip, her daddy-daughter dance, going on random trips to Target, and how it seems like the baby we are expecting will be coming into a very different world. But there is also a larger grief knowing that things will not get back to normal for a while, and knowing that “normal” may be very different than we were used to.
So what do we do in this messy time of life? Take a deep breath. Turn off the news. Take a walk outside. Stick a teddy bear in your window for children to see. Listen to your favorite music or watch a favorite program. Do something that pulls you out of your grief and despair and reminds you that Easter is coming.
We are an Easter people. We know that death is not the end, that the Resurrection has happened. Peace will come again, and we will get through this. Please know that the church office is here for you. If you have any questions or want to talk, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or call the church office and they can help you get a hold of me. On Sundays, we are having a Zoom storytime for children that you can tune into at 10 am. We have a group of children drawing cards to send out to seniors, and on Palm Sunday, we will have an option to come and pick up some activities related to Holy Week for children.
UPDATE FROM MARCH 19, 2020
I hope you too have survived this week intact. We have watched a lot of PBS Kids, played outside in the sandbox, and worked a little on academic things like engineering and reading.
On Sunday morning, I am going to try an experiment that I hope you will join me in. I have used the platform Zoom before, and I want to try to use it to connect our young families with each other. I will be reading a story at 10am via Zoom, so I encourage you to download the app and join in. We can have the story time in our pajamas even. If this goes well, we can schedule more of these and maybe even do a small Sunday School lesson.
Here is the information on how to join the conversation:
Topic: Children's Story Time with Ms. Mary
Time: Mar 22, 2020 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/264351791
Meeting ID: 264 351 791
One tap mobile: ,,264351791# US Toll
Dial by your location
Meeting ID: 264 351 791
Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fq8UuWljG
We have an opportunity to minister to our seniors even while we are stuck in social distancing. Your child can make a card for one of our seniors. From the information I read online, it doesn’t look like you can pass the virus along on paper, but remember to wash your hands before you draw anything, and maybe use tape to seal an envelope instead of licking it. You can email me if you want to participate in this program, and I can get you the name and address of one of our seniors to mail a card to.
Messy Church will have a different format this month. I will be putting together bags that you can pick up in April. These will have a few things in them like Resurrection Eggs, a cross to paint, and a recipe to make Empty Tomb Rolls.
Is there anything we can do for you? Do you have any needs or prayer concerns? Would you like to help the church/congregation members in other ways?
Please know I am praying for you during this time!
UPDATE FROM MARCH 18, 2020
Talking with Your Children About Corona Virus
“Anything that's human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.” Mr. Rogers.
I noticed on Sunday, after worshipping with Grace UMC AND Resurrection UMC online, that Grace had become extra clingy. My Spidey-sense started to tingle because she is not usually clingy, except when she is sick or scared. I commented on it a few times, trying to get it out of her to see if she wasn’t feeling well or if she was scared. Eventually, she admitted that she was worried about the Corona Virus.
I blame myself because I have listened to and watched way too much news about the Corona Virus, starting back in January. Little ears pick up on things pretty fast. It is really important to talk to children to see what they know about things that they are scared of so that you can correct any misconceptions that they may have. It can also make things seem a little less scary.
Ask what they know.
Explain age-appropriate facts and correct misinformation.
Reassure them that they are safe.
Emphasize how they can be germ busters. Having an action plan can help kids not feel helpless.
Another way to not feel helpless is to do something for others. Since we can’t get out right now, my suggestion is to draw pictures for seniors who are also stuck at home. If you would like to send one to a congregation member, please let me know, and conversely, if you know a senior who might enjoy some pictures from children, please let me know. You can email me at email@example.com
. This is a little way to continue to care for each other as we maintain social distancing.