Worship and Children
Children Always Welcome in Worship
TO ALL PARISH MEMBERS:
- The presence of our children is a gift to the church. They are members of this community, living reminders of the vitality of the church, and teachers of simple and profound things.
- Please remember we want this to always be a welcome and safe place for the children and for all people--how adults welcome the littlest ones, display good boundaries, and practice healthy inter-generational relationships will shape their formation in this place.
TO THE PARENTS:
- Relax! ALL ARE WELCOME--you, the children, everyone! We are an intergenerational community. It is part of what make church unique.
- Sit up front--it's easier for the little ones to see and hear up there! If you do need more freedom to move around, feel free to utilize the open chapel area at the back of the worship space--rocking chairs included.
- Please help your children WALK (not run) in the church--it's safer for them and for older members (who may be more likely to take a fall). This is one easy way we can look out for each other.
- Sing the hymns, pray the prayers, stand and sit, bring even the littlest ones up for communion. Children learn the liturgy by taking part...sometimes they even show us how!
- If you need to step out of the service, feel free...but come back. Jesus said, "Let the children come to me." Just as the children learn from the grown-ups, the grown-ups learn from the children by worshiping together.
- This is public worship--all are welcome. Worship is both an individual and a communal experience, so we do ask each person to consider the experience of other worshipers. If it's just one of those days and your child can't help but be expressive, experiment with taking them for a walk in the narthex or utilize the nursery for children (ages 5 & under). Most importantly, don't give up--this is all part of the process of being in community together.
Our education programs engage children in hearing the stories of the faith and in asking questions about what they mean to us today. Questions and doubts are joyfully explored together without preconceived "right answers" and without instilling a sense of fear, guilt, or dependency.
8:45 - 11:15 AM: Nursery Care (Infant to 5 years old)
Faith has at least two nursery attendants for Sunday worship. It is common (but not required) for parents to bring their children from the nursery into the service for Communion and then keep them there until the end. This is entirely optional.
8:45 - 9:45 AM: Faith by Nature (K - 2nd Grade)
The exploration of God, the Creation Story, and the other biblical texts through the lens of nature, stewardship, and sustainability.
8:45 - 9:45 AM: A Joyful Path (3rd - 5th Grade)
From the publisher: "A Joyful Path is truly progressive curriculum that is nature centered, joy-full, compassionate, and intelligent. This behavior over belief curriculum is non-dogmatic, inter-spiritual, and heart centered."
Seasonally: Junior Liturgists
We feel children should be a part of worship, and we recognize that children often need time to practice some of the skills of being involved in worship. We do this by holding Junior Liturgists gatherings a day or two before a day when children will be serving in worship. During Junior Liturgists, children get to rehearse the words, the songs, and the choreography of the celebration.