A Word from our Director, Jennifer Brown:
CHILDREN & FAMILY MINISTRY CORNER
The winter quarter has now begun. During this quarter we will be preparing our hearts for the birth of Jesus during the season of Advent.
Sunday School Moves to Discipleship Hour
During the month of December, our children from K4-5th grade will meet together in the ministry room. We will be going through an Advent study that is put out by Go Fish. We will take Sunday December 29th off, and then will be continuing the Faith Weaver curriculum by Group Publishing in their separate classes starting in January. Nursery is offered for newborns through 3 years old.
Preschool and Children’s Chapel during the Worship Service
Our kick-off of Children’s Chapel this fall went very well. During the Worship service our Preschool Age children, ages 2-4 meet in our Preschool Chapel and our Elementary Age children, Kindergarten-5th grade meet in Children’s Chapel. We at CTR desire to craft and facilitate a Children’s worship time that trains up our children to be worshipers of God within an Anglican context: by both teaching them about and engaging them in the practices of Christian worship in age-appropriate ways. Children’s Chapel will be mirroring what the adults are doing in the main Worship service. Middle school students are welcome to attend and assist the leaders. Our children gather at the back of the sanctuary during the reading of the Gospel. After the Gospel reading, a prayer of blessing is said over them and then they process out of the sanctuary together.
New Sign-In Procedures for the Nursery and Toddler Room
On September 1, we changed our sign in procedure for our younger attendees from the simple name tag sticker system to a computerized system. This system is allowing us to print name tags that include allergy information and any other special needs. The check-in table is staffed by a volunteer from 8:45-9:00 and from 10:00 until the passing of the peace. Nursery and toddler aged children are checked in here. Each child receives a numbered name tag and the parents have a matching numbered tag. They also have a tag to go on diaper bags. This helps us keep everybody’s stuff separate. When you come to pick up your child, you need to bring your numbered tag with you. This is an added safety measure to protect our children. The table also has information on it regarding the various programs we offer. We are also asking parents to bring a sippy cup with them and to please leave a diaper bag. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us implement the new system. Please plan to check your children in before Discipleship Hour or before the service.
Emelie Thomas has done a great job of developing our Preschool Chapel. She sends out regular updates on what they are learning. Please let Emelie know if you would like to receive these updates.
We need to keep all the children in the fellowship hall during the coffee hour so that we do not disturb Knox downstairs. We make a lot of noise running up and down the halls. We also want to make sure the sanctuary is quiet for people who might be receiving prayer or doing ministry, and most of all we want to make sure our children are safe and not making outside on to the street unsupervised. We also ask that all children go through the food line with one parent. This helps us make sure that there is enough food for everyone and that no one accidentally eats something that they are allergic to. Thanks for your help with this.
We LOVE children at Christ the Redeemer and are committed to partnering with our families in raising them to know and love Jesus and to grow up to become like him.
On Sunday mornings:
Our NURSERY is open for our youngest members and is staffed by loving members of our community. Our Greeters at either entrance will be able to direct you to our spacious, bright room. The nursery goes from birth to age 2. Nursery aged children can be dropped off in the nursery at the beginning of the service, or if their parents wish to keep them until the older kids leave for Sunday School, they may do so. Nursery care is also available during Discipleship Hour, from 9 – 10 am.
Our Sunday School begins at 9:00am and lasts until 10:00am. We offer an Early Elementary class that includes children in K4 through 1st grade and we offer an Upper Elementary class that includes 2nd grade through 5th grade. We also offer a Nursery during this time for Newborns through age 3.
Our goal in Sunday School is to help our children learn to experience God’s love and embrace God’s teaching using music, bible stories, and art.
Nursery and Preschool Age Check-In is open for the Sunday school hour from 8:45-9:00 and open for the worship service from 10:00-10:15.
The safety of our children is of the utmost importance to us here at Christ the Redeemer, so all Nursery and Sunday School volunteers have current background checks on file with the church.
NEW POLICY FOR PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN
We have been updating our policies to keep our children safe. The policy below is provisional, pending approval by the Diocese before it can be finalized.
PROVISIONAL Policy on Supervised Individuals and Registered Sex Offenders
Christ the Redeemer (CtR) is a loving and vibrant faith community. We believe that we are all in need of our Lord’s love and forgiveness. A person under supervision by law enforcement or a person listed as a Registered Sex Offender (each, a “Subject”), like the rest of us, needs acceptance and healing. Even the “greatest of sinners,” like the Apostle Paul, can be forgiven, redeemed, and changed by the grace of God while walking with the Lord. Nevertheless, sometimes our community’s commitment to acceptance/healing and our commitment to the safety of our children and vulnerable adults must be integrated, such as when a Subject seeks to participate in our communal life. That is why we have developed this Policy. We are committed to protecting our community, and we are committed to the Gospel. There need not be a conflict between those two principles. The purpose of this Policy is to place boundaries around a Subject’s participation in our communal life: to protect our children and vulnerable adults, and to protect the Subject as he/she seeks to walk and grow in faith until Jesus Christ returns.
Christ the Redeemer has also developed other child protection policies which are housed in a separate document. Those policies include, for example, having two unrelated adults present in Sunday School classrooms, a hall monitor during worship, and mandatory background checks of persons who work with children. Should any member, attendee or visitor have questions about our child protection policies, he/she should contact the Children’s Ministry Director or the Rector.
The procedures to be followed are:
When any non-leader member, attendee, or visitor of CtR learns that a member or regular attendee of CtR is under supervision by law enforcement and/or is a Registered Sex Offender, he or she may notify the Rector or any member of the Leadership Council. Any member of the Leadership Council, clergy, or employee who learns that a member or regular attendee is under supervision by law enforcement and/or is a Registered Sex Offender must provide notice to the Rector and Leadership Council. This notice should be submitted in writing to the Rector or any member of the Leadership Council, and should identify the Subject and the specific information substantiating the supervised status or identification on the Registered Sex Offender list. An electronic notice form is available on CtR’s website or in paper copy from CtR’s Administrative Office.
The Rector and pastoral staff, to include, but not be limited to, all paid clergy, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and any other pastoral leader designated by the Rector, will meet with the Subject, review the Subject’s criminal record, and may communicate with the Subject’s probation or parole officer. The Rector may request that the Subject cease attendance at CtR until such time as steps 3.3 through 3.5 have been completed. For purposes of steps 3.2 through 3.6, “Rector” shall refer to the lead priest at CtR or the priest’s designee.
The Rector, upon consultation with the Bishops, Wardens, and pastoral staff, will determine whether the Subject will be offered a Participation Agreement pursuant to which, if followed by the Subject, the Subject will be permitted to participate in CtR’s communal life. There may be circumstances, depending on the severity, nature and number of crimes committed, in which a Subject will not be permitted to participate in CtR’s communal life.
If a Subject is to be offered a Participation Agreement, the Rector and Wardens will convene an ad hoc committee drawn from the Leadership Council and, potentially, other covenanted members and pastoral staff to set the terms and conditions of the Participation Agreement. The Subject may be provided the opportunity to give input on his or her Participation Agreement. All Participation Agreements must be approved by the unanimous vote of the Leadership Council.
Upon the Leadership Council’s approval of the Participation Agreement, the Rector and the ad hoc committee will meet with the Subject to discuss the terms of the Participation Agreement. If the Subject agrees to and signs the Participation Agreement, he/she will be allowed to participate in CtR’s communal life under the Participation Agreement’s terms and conditions. Family members of the Subject or others, including a Team of Guardians, may also be asked to enter into and sign the Participation Agreement.
The Rector and Leadership Council will review the Subject’s compliance with the Participation Agreement at least annually. If the Rector and Leadership Council determine any changes are necessary or advisable to the Participation Agreement, the procedures of steps 3.4 and 3.5 will be followed for amending the Participation Agreement. The Leadership Council will establish a schedule and procedure for review upon the Subject’s execution of the Participation Agreement. If the Subject materially fails to comply with any of the Participation Agreement’s terms, or if in the judgment of the Rector and Leadership Council the Subject’s conduct threatens the safety of any CtR member, attendee, visitor, or other individual, the Subject will be asked to discontinue participation at CtR.
New members of the Leadership Council and new CtR clergy shall review all Participation Agreements upon accepting appointment. A copy of all Participation Agreements will be sent to all Bishops of our Diocese for review.
The Leadership Council will review the Participation Agreement of a Subject released from supervision. Restoration is a cause for celebration, and the Leadership Council will consider whether the Subject’s restoration to the public should also result in the ending of supervision by CtR. This determination will be made on a case by case basis.
Each Participation Agreement will be individually tailored to the Subject; however, the following general principles will be addressed in each Participation Agreement, although the specific requirements may vary:
Supervision/Monitoring: The Subject’s participation in CtR worship and activities will be monitored. Such supervision may include monitoring by identified members of the Leadership Council or other designated covenanted members or may include a “Team of Guardians” consisting of individuals who accompany the Subject at all times during CtR worship and other activities.
Access/Participation: The Subject may be restricted from access to certain areas of church property, congregational activities, and/or small group participation. The Subject’s participation in worship may be limited to exclude positions of authority as identified in the Participation Agreement.
Accountability: The Subject will be required to adhere to certain accountability procedures, which shall include, at a minimum, the annual review outlined in step 3.6. The Subject may be required to attend regular pastoral care sessions with the Rector and/or pastoral staff. The Subject may be required to seek outside counseling/therapy. The Subject may be required to permit the Rector and/or pastoral staff to communicate with probation or parole officers.
Interaction: The Subject’s interactions will be limited based on the nature and severity of the Subject’s offense. The Subject may be restricted from interactions with children (i.e., under age 18) or vulnerable adults (anyone who because of disability or impairment CtR identifies in the Participation Agreement as potentially unable to ward off abuse or seek help on his/her own or any other specified populations who fit the profile of a potential victim based on the Subject’s criminal history or otherwise).
Disclosure: Some disclosure regarding the Subject will be made. Varying levels of disclosure may be appropriate to CtR members and visitors ranging from full congregational disclosure to only disclosure to the Leadership Council.
For more information on our Children’s Ministries e-mail our Director of Children & Family Ministry, Jennifer Brown.