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Victoria Paul

The week before Thanksgiving, tighter restrictions were placed on all of Chicagoland, which meant that the newly launched Vernon Hills congregation would have to cease meeting in person for the foreseeable future. It was a huge disappointment to the congregation, who had only recently started to meet in person at a temporary hotel site. During this time, a child in Orchard Kids asked her dad if there were going to be kids her age at their new church when it opened. When I heard that, it dawned on me: Because many of them are coming from different congregations of The Orchard, many of our Vernon Hills kids have never met each other. For some of our little ones whose first year of preschool has been online only, they had never made a friend at church! To answer the need of our Vernon Hills kids, we hosted three online Storytime and Show & Tell events on Zoom. More than half of the kids in our congregation attended a Storytime, and we had a blast! We shared a Bible story and connected it to the Gospel of ChristFor many of these kids, it was their first time seeing faces of other kids from Vernon Hills. For many, it was their first chance to introduce themselves and show off something cool to some new friends.