◾A time for the gathering of our church family.
◾A set-apart time to consider things of worth and value.
◾A time to come home to ourselves.
Children are full, important members of our faith community. They are welcome here. Just like adults, children learn by doing and experiencing firsthand. We believed it is important for children to participate in whole church worship. Regardless of whether they understand everything that happens, we believe they will absorb bits and pieces as well as the sense of being valued and welcomed.
We also know that it is tough for children to sit still for long! Thus we offer the following suggestions to parents about how best to introduce your child(ren) to the worship service and make them feel comfortable:
◾Get settled with your child(ren) as early as possible. Consider sitting near the front – children who can see what is happening feel more involved.
◾Introduce yourself and your child(ren) to the people sitting nearby.
◾Review the order of service and help children understand what will be happening.
◾Share the hymnal and order of service at your child’s eye level. Line words with your finger for younger readers or whisper each line before it is sung.
◾Take advantage of the “Worship Notebooks” available in the foyer. These notebooks contain reading materials and coloring pages. There are also zippered pencil bags with activities.
◾Feel free to whisper instructions to help children learn ‘worship etiquette.’
◾During the Words for All Ages (storytime), feel free to come forward with any young or unsure child.
◾If your family has experienced a significant joy or concern, you and your child(ren) are welcome to come forward to light a candle during the Joys and Sorrows portion of our service. Significant events in your family’s life may be recorded in the Community Book of Joys and Sorrows, located on a table in the foyer near the main entrance to the Sanctuary. Comments in the book will be read aloud during this portion of the service.
◾If you have a nursing infant or toddler, they are equally welcome in our service. If you prefer, you may be seated in the Wiggle Room, located just to the left of the main entrance.
Several times a year, usually in conjunction with a traditional or church holiday, children will remain with their families throughout the main Worship Service. The playground will not be monitored during this time. These services are designed to appeal to the full span of ages in the sanctuary, with music sung more easily by children, a shorter homily in place of the sermon, and sometimes special activities designed just for the children.
You and your family are important here!