Welcome to Buechel Park Children & Family Ministry!
We are a church who loves children. Here, we seek to demonstrate the love of Christ to through care and safety, developmentally appropriate lessons that engage kids where they are, and a wealth of opportunities to be involved in the life of the church beyond children’s programming.
Visitors are always welcome! To find out more, please contact Sara Clarke Turpin, Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation.
Regular Activities & Information
Sunday School / Bible Study
Children’s Sunday School (Bible Study) meets from 9:30 – 10:30 am each Sunday morning. We have classes for infants and toddlers, preschool, and elementary school (K – 5/6), which all meet in the children’s hallway in the education wing of our building. Parents are asked to use the KidCheck system to check in their children each morning.
Children in Worship
At Buechel Park, we believe that children should be welcomed into the full worship experience of the church body. However, we also know that children thrive with additional resources to help them learn and engage.
Children’s Moments are a regular part of our worship experience. Children will be invited to the front of the sanctuary to meet with Pastor Sara or another leader to learn about the Scripture and/or theme of the morning, using developmentally appropriate visuals and stories.
Children’s Church takes place on most Sundays, excluding Communion Sundays, special services, and holiday weekends. Children ages 4 – 3rd grade are dismissed after the Children’s Moment for the remainder of worship time to learn more about the Scripture passage and/or theme of the morning.
Worship Guides are provided for children, which follow the service and lessons of the morning using a simpler format and complete with activities to help follow along. Children’s worship guides are available on the worship cart in the narthex (back of the sanctuary) or where adult worship guides are found (narthex and education wing entrance).
The Worship Cart is filled with resources for children and worshipers of all ages who would like to creatively engage in worship. There are children’s Bibles and books, crayons and pencils, paper and coloring pages, clipboards, quiet fidget and sensory items, along with rotating seasonal items and complete with a canvas bag to borrow all of your supplies in.
Children's Choir & Handbells
Children’s Choir & Handbells meets after worship on Sundays from 11:45 am – 12:15 pm, seasonally. Children of all ages are invited to gather in the Prayer Chapel following the morning service to learn about music and to prepare to lead the congregation in worship through song.
Children’s Choir & Handbells Schedule
Fall 2018 – Rehearsals resume on Sunday, September 30 and continue each Sunday in October and November, following worship from 11:45 am – 12:15 pm. We will lead through music in morning worship on December 2 and 16.
Winter/Spring 2019 – Rehearsals resume on Sunday, January 13. We will be preparing for music and worship leadership on Sunday, February 24, which is our Children’s Led Worship, a service led almost entirely by our children. We will continue to meet in March and the beginning of April to prepare music for Holy Week and Easter.
Nursery & Preschool
Infant and preschool classes are provided during Sunday School / Bible study from 9:30 – 10:30 am in the children’s wing. These are led and taught by Nicole Davis, Preschool Director.
During worship, nursery is provided for ages 3 and younger, though parents are more than welcome to bring infants and young children with them to worship if they wish. During this time, the nursery is staffed by Nicole Davis, Preschool Director and a rotation of trained volunteers.
Children's Ministry Policy
Buechel Park is committed to the safety and well-being of children. Our goals are to 1) Help children to experience the love of God, and 2) Help children to love God, others, and self. The following are the specifics of our policy, updated in September 2018.
Faith and Character – Volunteers should be of the Christian faith and of good character, striving to be an effective teacher by:
- helping children to love God, love others, and love self;
- studying and being prepared to teach the material for their sessions;
- modeling desired behavior;
- communicating care to children as individuals;
- creating an environment for learning; and
- understanding developmental levels of the children being worked with.
Background Checks – Background checks must be made on all workers age 18+, prior to employment or service. This must be repeated at least every 3rd year of service.
Six Months – All volunteers must be a member or steady visitor for at least six months.
Age Requirements – No one under 16 years of age will be responsible for caring of children. At least one of the two adults must be at least 18 years of age.
Training – All volunteers must attend scheduled BPBC training events and/or meet with a pastor, Preschool Director, or designated leader to be trained using this manual before working with our children.
Drug and Alcohol Policy – The possession of and/or being under the influence of illegal drugs or controlled substances is prohibited. The possession of and/or being under the influence of alcohol when serving with minors at BPBC is prohibited. Any illegal substances that are found will be turned over to the proper authorities and criminal prosecution may result.
Smoking – Clothing that is smoke-free should be worn while working with young children, especially infants. No smoking is permitted in the presence of children.
Dismissal – A worker may be asked to cease their service with our children at any time, for any reason deemed appropriate by a pastor.
SAFETY AND WELLBEING
Two Adults – Two adults who are not related to each other must be present at all times in each classroom area. In the nursery and preschool area, there should be at least one adult who is trained in infant CPR.
Adult to Child Supervision – Ratios for volunteers are: 1:2 infants, 1:6 preschool, 1:8 elementary. If the number of children exceeds the number of volunteers, please contact a pastor or the Preschool Director for assistance.
Injury Prevention – Volunteers must help prevent injury to themselves, volunteers, and children. Report any unsafe condition immediately and take responsibility to eliminate hazards that you observe in your routine in order to avoid accidents.
Open Windows/Doors – All rooms where minors are meeting have windows (in doors or walls), half doors, or open doors for all teaching/learning activities. Maintain an open window/door at all times when working with children.
Confidentiality – There may be times that, as a caregiver for children, volunteers will learn personal information about families. All information concerning children, their parents, relatives, or guardians shall be held in strictest confidence. However, if there is evidence or suspicion of neglect, abuse, or a potentially dangerous situation, you must report immediately according to the “Reporting Abuse” procedure.
Reporting Abuse – Any instance of suspected child abuse or neglect must be reported immediately to a pastor and to the authorities. It is a requirement of Kentucky State Law that abuse or suspicion of abuse be reported. Do not rely on anybody else do this for you, but do enlist the help of a BPBC minister. Kentucky’s Statewide Child Abuse Hotline Number is 1-877-597-2331 (Toll Free).
Registered Sex Offenders – Any person who is a registered sex offender, regardless of the circumstances, will not volunteer with minors. He or she is also not permitted in the children’s hallway, youth suite, or other areas when activities are taking place which are intended for minors.
Body Ownership – All minors are the owners of their own bodies. This means that no minor should be forced or excessively encouraged to give physical affection or touch of any kind. If a child is uncomfortable, that is to be respected and arrangements are to be made to encourage body autonomy.
Illness/Accidents – In order to protect all children, parents are requested not to leave a child who is or appears ill. Should any child be found to have an illness or accident, his or her parents will be notified immediately. If an accident occurs or illness is suspected, the “Boo-Boo Report” must be filled out. A copy shall be given to parents and a pastor or Preschool Director.
Disaster Plans – Review the fire escape route for your room and always remain with the children.
Fire: Proceed out the doors by the planned route, or away from the danger, and go immediately to the side lawn (next to the Green Meadows Apartments) to reunite with families. In the case of multiple infants or toddlers that cannot be carried and where the fire is not present in the sanctuary/office area, place children in a rolling crib or stroller, enter the sanctuary by the far entrance and exit out the narthex. Do not use the elevator.
Tornado: In the case of a tornado warning, proceed to the basement youth suite entrance area if possible, with all doors closed. Do not use the elevator.
Strangers and difficult persons: Only authorized volunteers and parents/guardians are permitted in the children’s areas. Seek immediate help in case of trouble with anyone. The safety of the children must be your first consideration.
Elementary Check-In/Out – All children, birth – 6th grade, are to be checked in and out using the KidCheck system, located at the entrance to the Children’s Hallway, or immediately inside the door to the Children’s Library.
Grades K – 3 – Children in these grades must be dropped off and picked up by parents or a designated responsible adult or youth. At no time may parents allow children this age and younger to be unattended when in our church building. Parents must stay with their child if the teacher or leader is not present upon arrival.
Grades 4 – 6 – Children these ages are allowed to go to/from activities in a given area of the church on their own. Instructions must be given to these children so that they know where to meet adults after activities and they must go directly to their meeting spot. If a child is found in an area they should not be in, or if the child is not able to be responsible for oneself in this way, a pastor and their parents will be informed and discussion about how best to proceed will follow. If a child must leave a program early, parents must contact the child’s leader or send a note to the class stating what time the child is to meet and where.
Discipline – Discipline for children should be a positive experience. An explanation of what is expected of the child will be regularly reviewed by leaders and posted in classrooms. The use of time out is used as a last resort, with the maximum time being the number of minutes equal to the age of the child (Example: 3 years old no longer than 3 minutes) and providing positive redirecting activities during this time, such as reading or coloring. If necessary, remove the child from the room and contact a parent. Corporal punishment is never allowed.
Teaching Resources – If resources (paper, crayons, teaching curriculum) are needed, you may go to the resource room and take what you need. Please return items as you found them.
Cleanliness – There are multiple groups using many of our children’s spaces. Please help to keep our areas safe and clean for children by putting away supplies, putting trash in garbage cans, and generally making sure the area is ready for the next scheduled group of children.
NURSERY AND PRESCHOOL SPECIFICS
Nursery and Preschool Check-In/Out – All children, birth – 6th grade, are to be checked in and out using the KidCheck system, located at the entrance to the Children’s Hallway, or immediately inside the door to the Children’s Library.
Shoes in the Nursery – No shoes are to be worn in the nursery room. Anybody entering the nursery shall remove their shoes and wear clean socks or cover shoes with the provided plastic covers.
Diaper Changes – Babies must be checked and changed regularly based on the time they are in your care. The diaper changing pad must be cleaned after each use and caregivers must wash their hands. Keep the top of the diaper changing area free of all items except for those needed for that particular diaper change. Record diaper changes on child’s report.
Bathroom Visits – Young children who are potty trained should be taken to the bathroom at least once during every 2 hour block.
SIDS – SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. Unless other directions are given, babies should be placed to sleep alone and in a crib on their backs with no other objects (blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys) in the crib. Babies who arrive asleep in car seats or who fall asleep in a rocker should be routinely monitored to be sure that their airways are clear and that their heads have not fallen into a compromising position. Clothing that is smoke-free should be worn while working with infants and toddlers.
Used Toys – Sterilize toys using the cleaning equipment available in the nursery or place small toys in the nursery sink or provided bins to be cleaned at a later time.
Food – Nursery and preschool children may only be given food that is provided by or approved by the parent/guardian. Please follow all given instructions if food is to be given and be aware of any allergies for each child in your care.
Reports – Verbal or written reports should be given to parents as they pick up young children. These should include information concerning: diaper changes and/or potty visits, infant naps, feedings, and any other relevant information. Written reports are available on the clipboard on the wall near the changing station.
Christmas Party (Parents' Night Out!), November 30
The Children’s Christmas Party is on Friday, November 30 from 6 – 10 pm and is open to children ages 4 – 6th grade. This event is FREE, but donations will be accepted to support the Parents’ Day Out Tuition Assistance Fund and BPBC Children & Family Ministries. Please note that registration availability is limited and ends on Monday, November 26. To register your child, contact the church office, Pastor Sara Turpin, or Nicole Davis.
6:00 pm – Welcome, Prayer, & Pizza Dinner
6:40 pm – Rotations: Bible Story, Missions, Crafts, Music, Recreation
8:30 pm – Movie: The Star (popcorn and water provided)
Children Led Worship, February 24
Every year, our children lead a worship service almost in its entirety. All children are invited to participate. Join us in Children’s Music and Handbells after worship in January and February as we prepare music, prayers, scripture, and creative elements for this special service.
Children Led Worship, February 24
Following our Children’s Led Worship service, all are invited to join us in the Fellowship Hall for a lasagna lunch and variety show put on by our children. Donations received on this day will support our children in attending Passport Kids camp and other summer activities. All children are invited to participate in the variety show and are guaranteed to receive lots of encouragement. There is something for everybody to do! In the past, children have performed a wide-range of acts, such as singing or playing a musical instrument, dancing, telling jokes, sharing artwork, doing math problems, working a puzzle, saying their ABCs, showing off a sports skill, doing an obstacle course, or even a baby who waved! If you don’t know what to do, Pastor Sara will help you come up with an idea that works for you!
Easter Celebration, April 13
10:00 am – Noon, Saturday, April 13
Our Easter Celebration is an opportunity to learn the stories of Holy Week through fun, interactive stations. Plus, we’ll have egg hunts and a petting zoo!
Passport Kids, June 24-27
Passport Camps is a summer camp for church groups. It is 4 days of high-energy engagement in Bible study and missions, afternoon interest activities (sports, creative arts, etc.), and fun with friends from your church as well as new friends from other churches. Children are eligible to attend Passport Kids during the summers after their 3rd-6th grade years. (We do, however, encourage 6th graders to attend Passport with the youth in order to develop deeper relationships with the youth group.)
Passport Kids 2019 Information
Dates: June 24 – 27, 2019
Location: Lebanon, TN on the campus of Cumberland University
Cost: Total cost per child is $325, which includes registration ($305) and travel fee ($20). The church will cover additional transportation costs as well as group fees and chaperone registration.
Fundraising: Fundraising and financial assistance is available, with priority going to BPBC members and regular attendees. Our annual fundraiser will be Sunday, February 24, when children will lead worship and host the Children’s Variety Show afterward. We will need parent help in preparing and serving lunch. We will prepare for this day following worship each Sunday in January and February.
IMPORTANT! Money is never a reason not to participate in church activities, especially for children and youth. Please speak with Sara about further questions and concerns about finances.
Signup: Registration is $75 and is due immediately (spots do fill up). Please communicate with Sara about your plans. We will close registration on November 18 and make final travel, chaperone, and financial decisions at this time. Please note that all campers will need to be involved in BPBC to an extent that we can get to know them before attending camp.
Questions? Concerns? Contact Pastor Sara for more information or to register!