CHILDREN AND WORSHIP

We believe God put the wiggle in children, and we don't feel it has to be suppressed in God's house. The way we welcome children in worship directly affects the way they respond to church, to Christ, and to one another. We also know kids like and need routines where they can participate. If you have a young child, we recommend you bring them to worship often--these are their most formative years! Once you're here (congratulations, by the way), we suggest:

  • Sit toward the front where it is easier for children to see and hear.

  • Sing the hymns loudly, pray, and voice the responses with enthusiasm. Children learn behavior by copying you. If you are fired up about God, they will be too!

  • Teach your child some of the basic prayers; being able to join in with the prayers helps them feel they are contributing too.

  • For those who wish to color, draw and create during the service, a cross+generational activity station is located in the overflow area of our sanctuary. Don't be afraid to get up and move there.

  • Use our recently renovated cry room if your child is having a hard time. You can still see and hear what's going on in the service.

KIDS EAT FREE (CHILDREN AND COMMUNION)

When you come up for Communion at Grace, you may notice that some young children will receive the sacrament while others will have their hands folded for a blessing. That's because we believe your child's readiness is best determined by you--a parent or caregiver--in consultation with the pastor. Each child is different, and each will pick up on the significance of the Meal at a different point. One important cue for readiness is your child showing signs of feeling excluded. Use questions like these to help you understand your child's sense of belonging in the faith community, so you can make a decision about readiness.

  • Has your child been baptized?

  • Will your child extend his or her hands when asked to do so?

  • Is your child aware enough of others in the congregation and their needs to show a degree of respect for their communion experience?

  • Are you prepared to help make the process positive and reinforce its importance to the life of faith?

 

Only the first question requires a yes before your child can be considered ready. Use the others to generate discussion in your home. Pastor Mark will be glad to aid and resource you for your child's preparation to begin receiving the sacrament and the gifts it brings. We also encourage you to take part in the Communion family milestone event we offer for third graders, and the sacramental instruction we offer at a middle school level in our confirmation program.