Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me . . . for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs" (Mark 10:14)
Jesus clearly valued children. He blessed them and he told his followers that they must "receive the kingdom of God as a little child." The 10am Sunday service, because it includes music and is held in our main sanctuary is the best service for children to attend. We encourage keeping children with you throughout the service, so that they may become accustomed to the rhythm of the liturgy, to the music, the words of the prayers, the silences, and receiving communion. The worship service is structured in such a way to encourage us to connect with one another and to God as we gather, give thanks, pray, receive communion, and go out into the world to love as Jesus loved.
We provide special "activity bags" to help keep children occupied; they contain white boards, coloring books and colors, stickers, colorful paper, and word puzzles for older children. We understand that children's attention spans make it hard for them to sit still. Please do not worry if your child makes a bit of noise, squirms, or asks questions about what is happening. We find that over time children become more comfortable sitting through the service. We also have an upstairs area created especially for parents to bring their children to during the less participatory parts of the service such as the sermon. The "Loft" as we fondly call it has couches and chairs, games, books and art supplies; you are welcome to use it throughout the service. We ask that a parent or relative always accompany their child in this area, regardless of his or her age. There is a changing table in the restroom located on the north side of the main sanctuary.
We are all God's beloved children. If your child has special needs, he or she is most welcome in our community. Please speak with Rev. Elizabeth if there are steps we can take to better welcome your child in worship.
Children and communion
We believe that in the sacred meal of bread and wine we encounter Christ; we also believe we encounter Christ in one another. Indeed the community of all Christian people is often called "the body of Christ." Our standard practice is to offer communion to children who have been baptized, though always at the discretion of the child's parents. You will notice even very young children (as young as one year old) receiving communion. We do so because we trust children's capacity to grow in their understanding of the sacrament over time through the experience of receiving. Jesus after all did say, "let the little children come to me." This is a change that has occurred in the last twenty years - it used to be common for children to go through a formal process of instruction before receiving communion. If your child is baptized but has not yet begun receiving communion and you would like explore how to introduce him or her to receiving communion, please speak with Rev. Elizabeth.