Our challenge is going to come from the timing of things. Our state's lockdown is until the end of May--unless our governor makes it even longer, again. We don't do Sunday School over the summer, so that means no Sunday School from mid-March when the lockdown started until September. That is 5 1/2 months!
I feel your pain about the effect of so long of a "lay off" from church, not only for the children, but for family habits, and church finances (among other things). I know some churches have not done much so far. They seem to be in a holding pattern doing the minimum. I suspect they will be worse off the longer this thing continues.
"We are literally building the plane as we fly it right now."
-- a pastor in Geneva Illinois
Those who get creative and continue to adapt as things change will rebound more quickly (and win the respect and relevance of their members. To wit: See Amy's church photo of worship in their tent!)
I was struck by the phrase "we don't do" in your reference to past practices of not doing summer Sunday School. There being nothing "normal" about this year, I would ask, "what do we NEED to do?" What will give hope? What will help people reconnect in some responsible way with their faith friends? (which to me seems to be the most important short-term need).
What could this look like?
I would begin the brainstorming by dropping the words "program" and "school" from our vocabulary and replace them with "reaching out" and "connecting." There are some good ideas over here in the alternative-VBS discussion.
One of the things churches are discovering is that many of its people want to respond and serve. It is not only a Christian reflex, it a way of coping with our own sense of loss and anxiety. How can children serve? The answers are probably LOCAL to where each of us lives.
In my community:
- A church has been making and distributing home-sewn masks for children. Kids can help make and distribute to their friends.
- A church on Main street put out a sign asking for canned goods, and there are cars there every time I drive by. Kids can put on gloves and sort.
- My granddaughter's best friend (and her mom) showed up on their doorstep last week with a cooler full of ice cream sandwiches in a wagon. They were wearing masks and gloves, stayed outside, and only stayed for 5 minutes because they had other neighbors to visit.