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The 2020/21 ministry year has held great changes for everyone, and this can certainly be said of K-6 Ministries. Last spring as a ministry we moved Sunday School online to keep our families and kids engaged with fun and faith-growing Sunday School videos. Through their creativity and resourcefulness, and some great editing from Joan Johnson, K-6 online videos have been reaching not only families from CrossRoads, but all across Red Deer and Central Alberta. After months of being online and meeting outside for pop-up Sunday school to reach families while we were in lockdown, we were able to get back to in person gatherings in September and at the same time offer our video Sunday school to families who were not ready to return.

In returning, our on-site ministry model had to shift as we sought to work with the realities of the pandemic. With this a new Small Groups Kids Ministry model was created and implemented. The success of this has been astounding. Each week our Serve Team comes excited and energized to spend their Sunday with 5-6 kids praying, playing games, and learning Scripture together. Kids are leaving knowing new and old friends better, learning their classroom teachers, and excited to share with parents.

As we saw our Sunday ministry growing and solidifying, we saw the need to reach out beyond our walls to families who were still unable to join us. This led to us to try a few creative ideas. Over the last year we as staff and core volunteers made videos to families with prayer for them and their current realities. We launched a few activities and community engagement events that were a blessing not only to families and kids, but also to our staff. We ran an advent box drop off with a calendar of at home activities for the whole month of advent, but also a prayer phone call from any of our delivering staff members to homes across Red Deer and Central Alberta. As a ministry team we saw many moments of care as we delivered these packages and reconnected with families, while a few of the team stayed to pray for those who came to pick up their boxes.  In February we ran our first annual Family Day Fun Day Gameshow via Zoom which was an absolute blast to celebrate the day with families and create some fun. We were also able to host our first online Faith @ Home event where we facilitated a conversation on how to navigate technology. We felt hesitant about how the Zoom platform would work for an event like this, but the broad attendance and engagement from our families, has us thinking we could keep using this platform!

As we move on in the 2021 year, change continues to happen. Pastor Jordan will be moving to become our Pastor of Community Life and Pastor Julie will be helping K-6 Ministries transition into June, when she will step down from her role. In the meantime a search is being made for a new Pastor of K-6 Families.

Joshua Schweer has also now been hired permanently to lead, train, and care for our K-6 Serve Team and Joan will continue to give oversight to our curriculum. As Jordan and Julie transition, we are in the midst of continuing to move the ministry forward. We are knee-deep in filming training and vision videos for the ministry and our plans for summer ministry are in full swing. With the most recent shut down, we don’t want to pause what Jesus is doing amongst us.

As a ministry we have asked our Serve Team to join us on Sundays to pray together and write encouragement cards to our kids and families. We are also committed to keep offering relevant and fun video Sunday school! Right now in K-4 we are spending time around Paul’s teaching in First Corinthians to run the race with commitment as if we want to win the prize of representing Christ well and sharing His kingdom message. In Philippians 3 he bolsters this by saying how we should press on towards this goal, forgetting what is behind and striving for what lies ahead.

This year has had many challenges, but we leave them behind us as we press on to what God has been faithful in and will continue to be as we pursue Him in loving His kids, families, and our community here in Red Deer and Central Alberta.

- Pastor Julie & Pastor Jordan