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Sunday school revamps online to ease Coronavirus fear in kids

The coronavirus pandemic can be tough on young children, but creative ways to share Sunday School lessons are making it easier.

Brian Kaylor didn’t realize how the pandemic was emotionally impacting his 8-year-old son, Kagan, until the children’s minister at their church started sharing a nightly bedtime story.

READ: Every child in Sunday School said they would die for Christ, then a terrorist struck

In the first story time video, posted on Facebook and Vimeo, the minister at First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo. talked about feeling sad and angry

“How is she reading my mind?” Kagan asked.

The second-grader is struggling with not seeing his friends, and the videos have been a comfort, said Kaylor, editor and president of Baptist magazine Word & Way. Kaylor pulls the videos up each night on his phone, and his son disappears into another room to watch, usually wrapped up in a blanket, he said.

“I think my son needs the social interaction and comfort from our church community right now even more than I do,” Kaylor told Religion News Service. “So I appreciate ministers working to create that space virtually.”

As the coronavirus continues to upend daily life in the United States, churches and Christian leaders are finding ways to relieve bored and anxious children unable to leave their homes — as well as their overwhelmed parents.

  • Christian meditation app Prayis making all of its content for children available for free.
  • Washington National Cathedral posted coloring sheets on its website for kids to color their way through the Episcopal cathedral.
  • Trail Life USA is taking its program, which it has described as a Christian alternative to scouting, online with its first-ever Backyard Movie Night and Campout.
  • Popular Southern Baptist Bible study teacher Beth Moore posted a children’s storybook video from “Auntie Beth” called “The Champion Vine” with accompanying coloring sheets
  • Some evangelical megachurches, such as North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., have created highly produced online videos targeting specific age groups that feature illustrations and dance parties along with discussion questions and activities for parents to reinforce lessons and help their children memorize Bible verses.
  • Other churches are engaging with their youngest members using the same low-key online tools that have grown popular over the past few months for Sunday services: not just Facebook Live videos, but also Zoom meetings and emails packed with resources for their parents.

As Kaylor said, “We’ll find out in 20 years if we did anything right.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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