Slideshow image

New Life News - Week of August 28, 2022 

This is the first of regular communiques coming your way to keep you up-to-date on the goings on in our church family. We will be stealing, with permission, the monicker New Life News as that is the heart of what we will be seeking to accomplish, though without the high-quality design by Diane Henderson, Court Patton, and others!

This week’s Focus: policy and campus changes related to Children’s Ministry.

Sunday School Starts September 11-

Allison Dossett and Pastor Connor Underseth have been diligently working on all of the updated paperwork required by the State of California as a Youth Service Organization, for the purposes of Child Safety. This has taken longer that anticipated, with more steps than initially thought. Consequently, we are in a holding pattern until we can provide finger printing and background checks for all of our adult volunteers for Sunday school and Midweek ministry. We are working to get all of those boxes checked to be in full compliance.

Thank you to so many who have volunteered and helped to recruit others. We still need a teacher and teaching assistant for the 5th & 6th Grade class.

Intermission: A Midweek Ministry Night

Once Sunday school has begun, and we are in full compliance with the new California child safety laws, we will begin our midweek ministry night with a special emphasis on kids and youth. This is part of our “Outward to 60” Vision. Intermission will be an opportunity for many to invest in our next generations. A simple meal will be served each week at 6p, with classes & events from 7-8p. We plan on offering the following opportunities:

  • Kingdom Kids for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
  • Club Progress for 3rd & 4th Grade, which takes students through Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • Club 56 for 5th & 6th grade, which focuses on memorizing the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
  • Newth Group for 7th - 12th grade, where we will be studying God's Truth for their lives, then praying for and encouraging one another in youth L.I.F.T. Groups.

For adults, we will also offer:

  • Women’s Bible Study - Evening Section. This is the same study done during the day.
  • Call to Prayer - A time of reflecting on God’s Word and spending time talking to God about the needs in our homes, communities, church, and world.

Nursery Updates & Policy Changes

As the church staff has examined California’s updated Safe Child Policy, interacted with our Church Mutual Insurance agent, child education professionals, and sister congregations in our Presbytery, we have found it necessary to make some policy changes for our child care ministry. This, combined with best use of space for the day in/day out life of ministry at New Life, led to the change of rooms for our nursery. If, by God’s grace, we have a baby boom, we are prepared to take the Kindergarten room for nursery space also, returning to our historic practice of having multiple rooms for nursery. May we have that trouble! In the meantime, the “Sonbeams” room is more than sufficient and offers a good, accessible, convenient place for our little ones to receive supervision by volunteers and access by parents. Our Insurance agent has been a real help in targeting this space for this particular use.

Here are the policies that are changing for our Nursery:

  1. Nursery workers will no longer take children to the restroom. Ideally, by the time a child is potty trained, he or she would be able to sit in worship with their family. Even when a restroom was in the nursery, visibility was still limited. The best practice, at this time, is to have a parent take their child to the restroom.
  2. Nursery workers will no longer change diapers. There is no denying that the perceptions in our world have changed drastically in the last few years. We have always known that evil can lurk in the church halls, but, with our era of access to news and information, we see it all the more clearly: a handful of people can come to church to do bad things. This is no accusation against our own New Life family but simply acknowledging the world in which we live and the lens through which matters are seen. Best practice, at this time, is for a parent to take care of the needs of their own child in this area.

    Each of the restrooms on the main floor of our facility (men’s & women’s restrooms near the Sanctuary and men’s & women’s restrooms near the fellowship hall) will be stocked with varying sizes of diapers and basic wipes for any unexpected need on the part of families taking care of their little ones. We believe this is a basic service we can provide to help.
  3. Parents will need to provide their mobile number to Nursery volunteers. There is no need to purchase a high-cost paging system. In our cellular world, we can simply use the already-available communication devices we already carry. Nursery workers will do their best to contact the parents in a timely manner. We ask that parents keep the mobile device connected to the given number out and noticeable (set to vibrate) during the service in case they are needed.
  4. Parents will be contacted if their child is inconsolable. If basic measures do not settle a child in the Nursery environment, Nursery volunteers will contact the parent to ask them to come take steps to calm the child. The luxury of having subdivided space and the practice of taking children outside without parents’ knowledge to separate them from the rest of the group is no longer a safe option.

Any questions or concerns about these policy changes can be addressed to Pastor Joel Wood. He is more than happy to take time to explain any further why these changes are  necessary.

There are many things to be praying for. Some of these matters are stretching. However, these opportunities are upon us due to God’s hand of blessing. The Lord has sustained us over these years and is now situating us for effective ministry in the years to come. I’m thankful that we really are a gospel community joyfully loving God & others. He is good! And we look forward to serving Him more, together, with you.