On Sunday, August 6th, we will return to our normal Sunday morning schedule. While we will continue to offer the same quality Christian education options for all ages, the locations of those classes might be different than they were in May. In our original communication with the church concerning Above & Beyond (which was formerly called Project: Next), we discussed doing as much as we could to use our facility in the best possible way for as long as God has us at our present location. So for the last 8 months or so, we have been evaluating the classroom space and how we can make better use of the facility. The conclusion of that evaluation was to move all the adult classes upstairs and all the children’s classes downstairs to create a “children’s wing.” Practically, what this means is moving our children’s classes out of room 301, 302 & 303 and moving our adult classes up from Room 107 and the gym. While this may or may not impact your particular adult class, I wanted to share the thought process behind the change.

Reasons for the Room Changes

To create a 'Children’s Wing'

In all of the research we have done to provide the safest children’s ministry environment we can, we have found one of the best ways to accomplish this is to locate all the children’s classes together in a separated location. We spend a lot of time and energy recruiting, screening & training our staff so that all of our children’s classes are led by talented and loving individuals. We ask our staff to wear name-tags to identify themselves as official ABEFC children’s ministry staff so that parents are confident in leaving their children with those individuals. A 'Children’s Wing' helps ensure that the only adults that are with our children are those that we have approved.

To make it easier for visitors

When visitor arrives on campus, there is much they feel confused about. By having adult classes upstairs and children’s classes downstairs, we eliminate one of those confusing details. If they have children, they are informed to go downstairs, check in and drop off their children. If they are looking for a class for themselves, they then go upstairs where they have 3 to choose from.

To provide an overflow for the toddler nursery

If you have stopped by the toddler nursery and looked in during one of the services, you have quickly noticed that it is full of adorable toddlers. Those toddlers are often there from 8:45am till 11:35am. By removing the adults from the gym classroom, it allows us to use the gym as an overflow room so that the nursery staff can take the toddlers into the gym to get their “wiggles” out.

To provide a better and safer classroom for our 3 & 4 year olds

Presently our 3 & 4 year old classroom is located upstairs in Room 301. Each service the children’s ministry staff has to take the entire class downstairs to use the bathroom (which takes about 15 minutes). By repurposing the gym as a children’s classroom, the staff will not have to take their children down stairs to use the bathroom because there is one in the gym. It makes it much easier for the staff to adhere to the safety policy concerning taking children to the bathroom and the children will have a much bigger class for both learning and doing age appropriate activities.

While we understand that this will require adult classes to move locations and change how they set up their rooms, the benefits seem to outweigh the burden of change. We ask for your patience and flexibility as we continue to use this facility as best we can. We also ask you to continue to pray that God would provide a new facility through the Above & Beyond endeavor. If you have specific questions about which classes will be in which rooms and how we plan to utilize the different classroom, please speak with Amy Hanson or myself. We will be providing maps and getting the classroom assignments out by July 30th. May God continue to use our church to glorify Himself through evangelism and edification!