Safe Sanctuaries and COVID-19 Procedures

COVID-19 has impacted churches on many levels, including children's programs. Many churches are wondering how to safely bring back their Sunday Schools and Children's Church for the kids in their congregations.

Shea James, Director of Young Disciples and Outdoor Ministries, and Christie Hill have put together five videos covering some of the important topics involved in children's ministry - Snacks, Space, Supervision, Safety, and Sanitizing. These tips will help you think through special programs like Vacation Bible School, day activities, and more! There's also a handy flyer you can print out that will help remind volunteers and staff to follow COVID-19 procedures.

Check them out below!

Download the WVUMC Safe Sanctuaries and COVID-19 flyer. 

Snacks: Snacks are an important part of ministering to young people! We can still offer snacks and good food to our communities, but we need to think through how we provide them. Watch Christie and Shea learn how simple this can be!

Quick takeaways:
-Wash your hands before and after snack time.
-Food should be individually packaged (homemade goodies are great, be sure to package them appropriately).
-No sharing or buffet-style serving.
-Leave space between seats.

Space: Proper spaces allow us to spread out and distance ourselves from others. Being outside will enable you to be creative and try something new, so invite your church to a “camp out” or a bonfire. In this video, Christie and Shea explore how hula hoops can help kids keep appropriate space.

Quick takeaways:
-When indoors, find the largest space available for your group.
-When indoors, observe distancing recommendations.
-Mark spaces on the floor for children if they need to wait in line.
-The best space is the great outdoors!

Supervision: You can never have too much supervision! When we break young people into small groups, we need MORE adults to help supervise them and ensure they stay safe. Christie tries to help Shea by finding “more” volunteers.

Quick takeaways:
-Remember, you need at least two unrelated adults.
-Doors should have windows that are not blocked by curtains. For more information about grants to install new doors or windows, visit INSERT LINK HERE
-Ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Safety: Safety first! Christie has a beautiful singing voice, so Shea and Christie talk about the safest ways to enjoy music.

Quick takeaways:
-Always wear your mask (above your nose and under your chin).
-If you’re going to sing, singing outdoors is best.
-Supervision (at least two unrelated adults) is key to safety!

Sanitizing: There are so many fun things to do! Christie and Shea play with the toys in the nursery and discuss how to sanitize spaces and objects.

Quick takeaways:
-Wash hands or use hand sanitizer.
-Sanitize hands when entering space, before and after snacks, and after using the restroom.
-Sanitize rooms before and after events.
-Sanitize frequently touched surfaces like toys, doorknobs, etc.