A Note on Children in Worship...
They are welcome! Children are not the future of the church. They are the church now. Jesus held them up as examples of faith; they are as much part of the Body of Christ as people of any other age. As such, we believe we are not complete without them in worship, and we believe they benefit greatly by being present.
Parents of Young Children…
We are so glad that you are here, and that you brought your children with you! Thank you! A few suggestions for your worship experience:
- Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house. It can be helpful to sit toward the front where it is easier for children to see and hear.
- Sing hymns loudly, pray, and voice the responses with enthusiasm. Children learn behavior by copying you. If you are excited about God, they will be too!
- There are Story Bibles at the back of the sanctuary —your child is welcome to read, look at, and use this Bible! (If you would like to take one home, talk to Pastor Shawn).
- Teach children some of the basic prayers; being able to join in with the prayers helps them feel they are contributing too. Also, it can be helpful to explain to your child what is happening during the service.
- Attend worship often, children like and need routines where they can participate.
To those who are sitting near worshiping parents and children…
A smile of encouragement is always welcome to parents with small, active children! Jesus welcomed the little children, and so do we. Whether talking, crying, laughing, or singing, the sounds of children in worship are joyful songs of praise. If you see a parent struggling, be sure to reassure them and tell them how glad you are that they brought their little one to church.
St. John practices "open communion". We believe all who are baptized and instructed in the Christian faith are welcome at Holy Communion. Baptized children begin to commune on a regular basis at a time determined through mutual conversation that includes the pastor, the child, and the parents or sponsors involved. If you would like more information about baptism or communion instruction, please speak to Pastor O'Brien.
Children whose parents wish to wait for instruction are invited to come forward and receive a blessing.