Baby Welcome: Caring for the tiniest members of our church family
WEFC’s “BABY WELCOME" MINISTRY BEGAN approximately 33 years ago. It used to be called “Cradle Roll” when Arlene Coy and Valerie Skaanning were directors in past decades. Kim Cornwall has been serving as the director of this wonderful family-centered ministry for 10 years. Kim is a nurse case manager at Middlesex Hospital and serves our church family in a very special way, caring for our precious newborns’ families
“Baby Welcome” ministry provides 3-4 meals for families with newborns, keeps the church office updated when babies are born, and coordinates baby’s first visit to church with Pastor Scott. At that first visit, the church family gets to meet the baby as he/she is introduced during the service and prayed for by Pastor Scott. The church also presents the parents with a CD (usually of lullabies) for the baby.
Kim says, “It’s a good way to help the moms and to give them a little bit of a break at the beginning because they’re busy. I get to meet some of the younger moms that I wouldn’t normally meet. “ Kim enjoys meeting all the babies in our church and then watches them as they grow up over the years.
Our church is blessed to have a seasoned mom like Kim reach out and care for the younger moms. Her nurturing spirit and contagious laugh make young moms feel right at home. Kim also prays for all of the expecting mothers and their families. She knows that there are often difficulties that arise and Kim is a faithful woman of prayer during this special time in a family’s life.
“Baby Welcome” is a ministry for the regular attenders of WEFC. Here are the steps that the “Baby Welcome” ministry takes once Kim is made aware of an expectant mother: She contacts the mother to find out details like the baby’s due date, what hospital, if they want to receive meals after the birth and any dietary restrictions. Then Kim contacts her cooks who are all volunteers from within the church. Kim tries to organize her cooks by proximity to the newborn’s family. Once the baby is born Kim contacts the church office and Doug Wisneski from the visitation ministry. She also coordinates dates for the meals to get to the family. In addition, Kim helps with orienting families to the nursery and nursing rooms that are available in the church.
Kim understands that flexibility is key with new parents. “You don’t have to invite me into your home. Some mothers want me to drop off the meal and go. Other moms want to invite me in, let me hold the baby and talk for a while. Sometimes I’ve even played with another child for a while so the mother could tend to the baby.“
“Meals are sometimes delivered warm and ready to go or with easy oven instructions. Meals can also be delivered frozen or even picked up in the church kitchen. Sometimes the meals are scheduled for the week after the birth; other times we wait a few weeks until visiting family goes home. We want what’s most beneficial to each family. We’ve even had requests for gift cards instead of meals and that’s fine too.”
“I have cooked pretty much for everybody, except a few. I may not be the best cook but they get something to eat. There may have been a few people who have slipped through the cracks.” Some of the favorite meals that Kim has cooked are: pulled pork, make-your-own tacos with all the fixings, and chicken divan (with rice and broccoli.) She always tries to include something fun for kids in the family like ice cream or popsicles.
How you can help:
Does this ministry sound like something that you would be willing to participate in? Making one meal for a family or even just delivering a pre-made meal? Kim is always looking for cooks or people to help deliver meals. Contact her via email or on her cell phone at 860-970-8041. Please also let her know if you are expecting!
Kim will be preparing another meal this month for a new baby. She laughs as she knows her neighbors will exclaim, “You’re making another baby meal? I’ve never heard of a church having so many babies!”
Kim is happy to help ease the burden and provide a small blessing to new families. “Besides, who doesn’t want to hold a new baby?” she asks, smiling.