Children & Families

There are many ways for your family and children to participate and get connected at Shady Grove through our Children and Family Ministries! Check out some of our offerings below:

Nursery

Nursery is offered Sundays at 8:15, 9:45, and 11:15 a.m. for children ages infant through 3 years of age. During the 9:45 a.m. service, any 3-year-olds in the nursery will have the option of joining the PreK-K class (school year in room G210, summer in room G217). During the 11:15 a.m. service, 3-year-olds have the option of participating in Children’s Church (room G217).

Child Protection Policy: We follow the Safe Sanctuary policy of the United Methodist Church. Our specific policy document can be found here. Please check-in at the kiosk outside of the nursery when you arrive with your child(ren). If this is your first time with us, one of our Nursery staff will assist you to register. Upon subsequent visits, you will use your child’s name to sign in using the kiosk – a sticker for each child will be printed, which needs to be placed physically on the child or on their diaper bag. If you are ever needed in the nursery, you will receive a text message.

Allergies & Children’s Belongings: Please label all bottles and sippy cups with your child’s name. Due to allergies, we ask that your child not bring anything containing nuts into the nursery. Small snacks are provided by our nursery staff (ie. Animal crackers, etc.). Please make our staff aware of any food allergies your child has – these will also be indicated on their check-in sticker once registered. Except for infants, we ask that children not bring stuffed animals or blankets into the nursery.

In Case of Illness: If your child is showing any symptoms of any illness, please do not bring them to the Nursery that week for their health and the health of our staff. We look forward to seeing them once they feel better again!

COVID-19 Precautions: We follow the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 and childcare. Our nursery staff are all fully vaccinated. We have hand washing and sanitizing stations immediately outside and throughout our Nursery rooms. All toys are sanitized after events and throughout the day as needed. If you have questions regarding our nurseries, please contact Becky Roberts, our Director of Children and Family Ministries here.

Sundays

Children are valuable members of our congregation! There are a few options for children to participate on Sunday Mornings. Children can attend services with their parents. There are Children’s Bulletins available from our Ushers as you enter the Sanctuary prior to service – these follow the scripture lesson and theme each week and will encourage children to connect with the Pastor’s message. There is also a ‘Kids Connection’ portion of each service where children can gather at the front of the sanctuary for a brief lesson and take-home item. During the 9:45 a.m. service (and 11:15 a.m. service during the school year) children have the option of joining the Sunday School class(es) after Kids Connection. We offer Sunday School for ages 3 years through 5th grade each Sunday, except on public holiday weekends such as Memorial Day and Labor Day. Please refer to our calendar for any changes. During the school year, we offer options during the 9:45 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services.

9:45 a.m. classes: There are three age group classes:
– Pre-K through K students meet in G210 with Mrs. Brooke
– 1st through 3rd grade students meet in G218 with Mrs. Elizabeth and Mrs. Julie
– 4th through 5th Grade students meet in G220
– 11:15 a.m. class: All ages (Pre-K through 5th grade) meet together in G217 with Mrs. Becky.

During the summer, we have a special class for Pre-K through 5th grade at 9:45 a.m. in G217.

Child Protection Policy: We follow the Safe Sanctuary policy of the United Methodist Church. Our specific policy document can be found here. Please check-in at the kiosk on the Welcome Center balcony when you arrive with your child(ren). If this is your first time with us, one of our volunteers will assist you to register. Upon subsequent visits, you will use your child’s name to sign in using the kiosk – a sticker for each child will be printed which needs to be placed physically on the child before coming to class. All students will be held in the classroom until picked up by a parent or guardian; however, 4th and 5th grade students have the option to leave by themselves after class if given permission by their guardian.

Music: Shady Grove’s Music Ministry has a Cherub Choir (Pre-K through 1st grade) and a Trinity Choir (2nd through 5 h grade) which practice on Sunday afternoons at 4 p.m. and sing in Sunday morning services periodically throughout the year. Please contact our Bryan Greer, our Music Minister, here for more information.

Mid-Week Programs

We are excited to offer two mid-week programs throughout the school year:

Mommy, Me and the Bible: Don’t let the name fool you – it’s not just for moms! This is a small group for parents, grandparents, foster parents, and other primary caregivers and their young children. Meeting in G104 on Mondays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., this is an opportunity for children aged 0-preK to get an introduction to the Bible on a beginning level. Bible stories are made memorable and fun with the help of finger-plays, songs, felt boards, games, activities, crafts and more! Established in 2018, Mommy, Me & The Bible has served over 60 families and taught a new group of children the songs that generations before learned when they were growing up in church. All are welcome! This group follows the Hanover County School calendar when meeting, so if school is in, so are we. Registration is not required to participate – just show up! Contact Becky for more information here.

Bible Buddies: Starts in October and runs throughout the school year on Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. Children 3 years through 5th grade will be checked in at the balcony kiosks before meeting in G217. Each evening will start out as a large group for our Bible story and then split into smaller groups by age for targeted activities, crafts, snacks, and fun! Everyone will meet back in G217 for pick-up at 7pm. Bible Buddies isn’t the only program happening on Wednesdays – there is something for everyone! Each week families are invited to join us for a light meal at 5:30 p.m. in the gym. Our dedicated nursery staff will be there from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to provide childcare for children 6 weeks through 2 years of age. There will be a Bible Study for youth 6th through 12th grade, and various Small Groups for adults too. Click here to go to our Small Groups page for more information, or contact our leaders below.

Director of Discipleship Mary Elder
Youth and Young Adults Coordinator Aubrey Hill

VBS

Every summer we hold a week-long Vacation Bible School event! VBS is for current Kindergarten through 5th grade students. The registration window runs for 4 weeks and closes 2 weeks prior to our start date, allowing us to plan and prepare accordingly. Stay tuned for Summer 2023 dates! Did you participate in our last VBS? We would like to hear your feedback! Click here to complete a brief survey – you can remain anonymous if you choose. To put on a great program, we need youth and adult volunteers! There are many ways you can help even before VBS starts. Click here to sign up to help or get more information for next year.

Special Events

We have many special events that take place throughout the year! Check our calendar for specific dates and details. Here’s a snapshot of our annual events:

January: Songs and Stories

February: Love Mugs Outreach project

March: Westview Weekender

April: Easter Egg-stravaganza

May: Volunteering at Shalom Farms; Parents’ Night Out

June: VBS

July: Family Bowling

August: Burkwood Pool Party; Blessing of the Backpacks

September: Promotion Sunday; 1st Grade Bibles; Helping Hands outreach project kickoff; Cupcake Wars

October: Wednesday Night Kickoff; Trunk or Treat

November: Paint and Potatoes

December: Parents’ Night Out; Birthday Party for Jesus

Getting Connected

For children: Participation in events – Per our Child Protection Policy, all children must be registered in Realm and then checked in prior to participation in regular weekly events such as Sunday School and Bible Buddies. For some of our special events (such as VBS) registration is required to participate. For others (such as Family Bowling), registration is not required but encouraged to help us plan effectively. Our newsletter and event calendar will have registration links if required or suggested. Otherwise, feel free to show up as your schedule allows! Participation as volunteers – There are several opportunities for children to participate as volunteers! There are missions events such as “Be the Church Day” that allow our children to serve at the church and beyond in practical ways. Children are also valued members of our congregation and can serve on the Hospitality Team as greeters and on our Worship Team as Ushers or Acolytes.

For youth: Many of our events throughout the year are open to youth to participate either with their families or as volunteers: see our calendar for details. Check out the Youth page for information specific to our middle- and high-school age groups.

For adults: We have many events through the year that are geared toward whole families. See our calendar for details on these! We have a thriving and effective Children’s Ministry (SGKids) only because of dedicated adults who give of their time at least once a month to help run our Sunday morning and Wednesday evening programs. Are you interested in helping as an adult volunteer? Training is provided, schedules are flexible, and there are multiple positions to fill with varied level of responsibility. Contact Becky Roberts for more information here.

Have Questions?

Send Becky an e-mail using the button below.

"But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'”
-Luke 18:16