Worship and Community
Our congregation aims to nurture faith in children through including them in a welcoming, safe community where they are known, cared for, and reminded of God’s love. Children are always welcome in worship—it’s one of the ways they learn some of the rhythms of the Christian faith. And we don’t expect them to be silent!
Families should feel free to use the play space in the sanctuary during worship. There children will find some quiet toys as well as paper and pencils for coloring. This area is meant to give children an engaging and interactive experience of worship—a place where they can listen, play, and participate in the service in their own way.
The play space will work best if parents are nearby to model participation in the service and to engage the children—to help them sing and pray along with the community as they are able.
The nursery on the first floor is also available for families to use at any time. A speaker system allows parents who stay there to hear the service.
During the school year, we also offer church school for children between the ages of 3 and 11 during a portion of the worship service. Children begin worship with their families, are invited to attend church school for about 40 minutes during the scripture readings, sermon, and prayers, and return to the service in time for Communion. Each week’s lesson is based on the same Bible texts used in worship.
March 2020 update:
Change in Church School Schedule
Since September, the congregation has been trying out a new schedule for church school, with children participating in the service until Communion and beginning classes at about noon. In January and February we took some time to evaluate our experience with the schedule; many attended a forum on this topic or filled out an online survey.
After considering the feedback and the options available, the Congregation Council voted in February to slightly change the schedule of church school for the remainder of this year:
Children in the 3-5 year-old class will begin church school at 11h00 and will rejoin their families in the service prior to Communion.
Children in the 6-8 and 9 and up classes will continue on this year’s schedule–attending worship through Communion and then beginning class at about noon.
We are aware that there is no arrangement that works perfectly for everyone, but the Council felt this approach both honors our congregation’s broad commitment to include children in worship and recognizes that the ability to engage with the service increases as children grow.
Thanks to all who contributed feedback over the past weeks!