Children & Worship
ALL CHILDREN BEGIN THE MORNING in the main worship service at 9:30. Then children ages 3 through second grade are dismissed to continue their worship in one of two worship centers, Children and Worship (3’s and 4’s) or Following Jesus (K–2nd).
Young Children and Worship
We believe that God grants children the ability to know, love, and worship Him, which is one of the reasons we regularly welcome children into our main worship services. However, the format and structure of our worship is centered around biblical stories, words, and symbols with which children are not yet familiar. In order for our children to participate meaningfully in all-church worship, we provide the opportunity for them to first experience these elements of worship in our Young Children and Worship centers each week.
Within the setting of a quiet, reflective, and reverent Worship room, the children learn through a variety of developmentally appropriate multisensory experiences, where repetition leads to familiarity, confidence, and understanding. We trust the Holy Spirit to work through Biblical stories and children’s personal experiences so that our children come to know and love God on their own.
CHILDREN AND WORSHIP
[ Ages 3 and 4 ]
The Children and Worship program begins the year with the Creation story and works through selected passages of the Old Testament which focus on the great story of Redemption. The second part of the year focuses on the New Testament and progresses through Jesus’ ministry and parables, Lent, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost.
[ Ages Kindergarten–2nd grade ]
The Following Jesus program is an in-depth study of the life of Christ. Based on the gospel of Mark, it begins with the birth and baptism of Jesus, follows his ministry in Galilee and Jerusalem, walks through his death and resurrection, and then ends with a look at the ministry of Jesus’ disciples after the Ascension and Pentecost. These stories help children to understand:
Who Jesus is
What he is teaching about the kingdom of God
Why Jesus is calling people to follow him
What he is sending them into the world to say and do
What goes on in the Worship Centers?
Both of our Worship Centers follow an order of worship commonly used in Reformed churches: assemble in God’s name, proclaim God’s Word, give thanks to God, go in God’s name.
Assemble in God’s name: The worship time begins with a time of greeting between the children and the Worship Leader, followed by singing to God in worship, and then preparing our minds, hearts, and bodies to listen to God’s Word.
Proclaiming God’s Word: The Worship Leader presents a story from the Bible using simple wooden figures and various textured cloths. The children are invited to listen, reflect, and then respond.
After the story, the children and the Worship Leader reflect and wonder about the story they have just heard. This encourages children to enter into the story by making connections with their own experiences, and allows space for the Holy Spirit to stir their hearts and minds.
After a time of reflection, the children are dismissed one by one to respond to God individually. They have the options of retelling the Bible stories using the wooden story sets, responding through painting or coloring, reading the story in their Bibles, or praying behind a prayer partition.
Giving Thanks: The children and the Worship Leader then gather together again for a Feast, which mirrors the sacrament of the Eucharist. This is a time of sharing prayer requests and praising God, and closes with the reading of the morning’s story directly from the Scriptures.
Go in God’s name: The worship time concludes with a blessing given to each child individually by the Worship Leader.