At St John’s Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN, we do Radio Church in our parking lot. It has been a great way to gather outside and safely during the Pandemic. But Minnesota winters come early and last a long time! So from Rally Day to mid-October, we will be using the outdoors for 6 weeks (before the snow comes!) to do a Back-to-School Blessing, Drive-Thur Bible Blessing, a Teacher Installation, First Communion, and an Affirmation of Baptism service all done in the comfort of cars during radio church. Thanks to the St John’s Return Team, we now have added an Outdoor Total Family – Sidewalk Sunday School (for the first 6 weeks) and Outdoor Classroom Confirmation (first 3 weeks).
Here is what we will be doing for Outdoor Total Family – Sidewalk Sunday School (Thanks Amanda for this great name!):
First, check out this: Total Family Sidewalk Sunday School – Safety Procedures and Processes for COVID (Thanks to Amanda Boe, Children, Youth and Family Director at St John’s – She is amazing at writing process and procedures!)
- Registration: Families register online to attend one outdoor session either 8:30-8:55 am or 9:45-10:15 am. Radio Church worship is at 9:00-9:30 am. As families come into the parking lot, a traffic director will help them park.
- Bibles: Sidewalk Sunday School and online Sunday School will be using the Spark Story Bible. Families will bring their own Bible as we will use it in the opening while they are in their cars.
- Total Family: Means just that! Sidewalk Sunday School is a parent/ grandparent/ caring adult to child event. Kids must have someone over 18 with them.
- X marks the spot: As families exit theirs cars masked, they find a spot on the sidewalk. X’s will be marked out every 6 feet. St John’s has a long sidewalk. This may change to writing names on the sidewalk.
5. Three Rotations: Families are stationary on the sidewalk. Station leaders using carts move from group to group.
Example of an Outdoor Sunday School Daily Schedule:
|8:30 -8:35 am||In car over radio starts with music, prayer, and Bible reading,||Grouped
East side of front door
West Side of front door
|8:35 am||Families find a place to sit or stand on sidewalk. People can bring their own chairs.|
|Rotations include Storytime with Yoga, Science experiment, and a Puppet show|
|8:55 am||Families go back to cars for worship and “take home crafts” bags for each kid|
The rotations are on carts and move three times to different areas of the sidewalk. The Bible story and using a take home point (think VBS where kids repeat the Bible point!) is what will connect the rotations. Science, puppets, and storytelling yoga can easily be done outside, and the best part? No one touches a thing! It’s all watch, see and be amazed! (St John’s uses an in-house written curriculum.)
6. Home Huddle: With each rotation comes a home huddle with questions that parents or care givers can talk with kids on the sidewalk or at home.
7. Take Home Crafts: Kids each will have a take home craft to continue the lesson in the car or at home.
Of course, all depends on the weather. If there is bad weather, we will use Facebook Live! For more information, please contact Amanda Boe at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.