We work to incorporate children and young people fully into parish life and show them that they’re loved, wanted, and needed within our times of worship.
Young people serve independently or alongside older children or adults in many leadership roles in worship. At least once a month we have a Full Community Sunday, and we offer family services on many holy days throughout the year. These services remove barriers to full participation by children and enhance the experience of us all.
Our programs for young people include the following:
LIFT EVERY VOICE
Sunday morning for families (and anyone who enjoys singing and learning the hymns, prayers, and other worship elements of our tradition) begins at 9:40 a.m. in the sanctuary. The music chosen for this time is easily memorized and taught without reading material. This enables these expressions of faith to live in our hearts and minds long after the service is over. When the music is sung in upcoming services, LEV participants don’t need a bulletin or hymnal, because they already know it by heart!
The Montessori-based program Godly Play uses tactile materials to explore sacred story, liturgical action, and parables. Class time follows the rhythm of a Sunday service and creates a prayerful environment through wondering, creative response, and play, so that the Holy Spirit can work through the community to help children discern meaning. On the Sundays when it meets , Godly Play serves as the children’s Liturgy of the Word and Prayers of the People. They then join the rest of the congregation at the Offertory. Right before the 10:00 a.m. service, the children process with one of the altar torches from the sanctuary to the Godly Play room. When they they later process back, the presence of both torches symbolizes that, with the children present, the full community is now gathered for communion.
NURSERY + DROP-IN PLAYSPACE
On Sunday mornings, the nursery is staffed by Safe-Church-trained, experienced adults and is available to young children so they can experience care from the community while their parents/caregivers worship. Please know that children are always welcome in our services! The nursery is there, though, to give caregivers a break when needed. Our nursery features books and toys carefully chosen to reflect the values of our worshipping community as well as a lofted gathering space, a hidey-hole reading nook, art supplies, soft sculpture elements, and comfortable seating for adults. The playspace is also available to the wider community for use under parent/care-provider supervision during non-holiday weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.