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Bellingham, WA 98225
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Children at Church and ABC's for Parents and Other Adults
Children at Church
When little children come to church, adults sometimes
wonder why! Actually, bringing children into the sanctuary is
something like letting them eat at the dinner table. Even
though their manners are far from elegant, it's done in the
hope that, given time, they'll begin to feel a part of the
Children giggle, they poke, and they swing their legs simply
because they're children. But they also sing, pray and give
with us. So this page is written to suggest that we adults
should accept - even value - the children's restlessness during
worship, trusting that they are also learning:
Bringing a child to church can be a real exercise in
aggravation. But then again, so are many other facets of
parenting, and the rewards are well worth the effort. While
we do not want our children to be disluptive or bamper the .
church's worship, we must remember that baptized children
are members of the church. Children should be among the
worshiping people. They may not participate in just the same
way adults do, but they are growing in understanding and
learning to take their places in the church family.
- That it's important to come to this place each Sunday
- That they belong to this special company of people
- That the sights and sounds and feels of the sanctuary are good, though not always understandable
- That something is expected of them in this place, and that they may respond in song, in prayer and in offering
Young children in worship may have bad moments, but it is
their birthright as Christians to worship. Our satisfaction
comes in later years when we see them stand in the midst of
the church with a faith of their own.
ABC's for Parents and Other Adults
- Arrive in time to find a good place to sit. Make sure your children can see. Let them sit on the aisle or the front pew.
- Bring something soft and quiet for little ones to hold or look at: soft toys, crayons and paper, books.
- Call a "practice session" at home. The Hymn of Praise, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and many hymns can be practices to help children see that they are an important part of the worshiping community.
- Decide on a cue to let children know to settle down.
- Express joy at having children worship with you. Send an occasional smile in their direction.
- Free yourself of anxieties. Relax!
- Give prayers and thanks to God for a child's presence.
- Help parents of small children by showing your appreciation and your support of our community's children.
- Invite parents to sit with you so that you may assist with bottles, dropped toys, and teaching kids how to worship. Often the presence of another adult alerts a child to worshipful behavior.
The Parish Ed Committee