We see Sunday morning worship as a community activity to be shared by all of God’s children, both young and old. Children contribute to the life and ministry of the congregation simply by being present.
All children are invited to come forward to the front of the sanctuary during the 11:00 am service for the Children’s Blessing. During this time, they will hear and interact with the minister during a short lesson or Bible Story relating to the worship service.
While we believe in the importance of having children in worship, we know that sitting through an entire worship service for many young families can present a challenge. In order for our children and their families to have a positive worship experience we offer the opportunity for our younger members and visitors to be dismissed following the Children’ Blessing.
Preschoolers in Worship
Following the Children’s Blessing, the younger children may be dismissed from the sanctuary, when they will be accompanied by parent volunteers to Room 002 on the lower level of the Children’s Education Wing. During this time, they will have a snack, and a shortened Sunday school lesson and activity followed by free play. Children may be picked up by their parents immediately following the worship service.
Kindergarteners and 1st Graders in Worship
Participating in worship is important to younger elementary aged children. They learn by our example what corporate worship means. But like the younger children, it can be very difficult to sit through the entire worship service. On Sundays that we do not celebrate Communion, Kindergartener and 1st Graders may be dismissed from the sanctuary following the Children’s Blessing to Room 204 on the top level of the Children’s Education Wing. During this time of fellowship, the children gather to hear the story from the Revised Common Lectionary, and learn Bible Basics through stories, games and activities. Parent volunteers are with the children until they are picked up by their parents following the worship service.
OLDER CHILDREN IN WORSHIP
Welcome to Worship
By the time children are entering 2nd grade, we hope they will begin to worship regularly with their families. To help in this transition, they are invited to attend the Welcome to Worship class. In this time between the Children’s Blessing and the end of the 11:00 am worship service, we hope to help create an understanding that will strengthen their participation in worship. After they have participated in Welcome to Worship, it is expected that children will remain in the sanctuary to worship with their families.
Worship Bags are available in the Narthex. These bags include a children’s worship bulletin, paper and crayons to help keep children occupied if their attention starts to wander during the service. Please return these bags at the end of the service.
CHILDREN AND THE SACRAMENTS
Children and Communion
On the first Sunday of each month, we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion. All baptized children who have been and are being instructed in the meaning of the sacrament are welcome at the Lord’s Table. All who trust in Jesus a little and would like to learn to trust him more are invited to be present and participate in Communion. For this reason, only the Preschoolers are dismissed from worship on these days in order for the older children to participate in Communion with their families.
Children and Baptism
The Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (USA) states that “in Baptism, we participate in Jesus’ death and resurrection. In Baptism, we die to what separates us from God and are raised to newness of life in Christ.” At baptism we recognize God’s claim upon us as we begin the thousand single steps in our journey of faith. In addition to baptizing adults, the Presbyterian Church welcomes children to the waters of baptism, believing that they witness to the truth that God’s love claims us before we are able to respond in faith.