Jesus said: “Let the children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14)
Why Should Children be in Worship?
We encourage you to bring children of any age to worship. In the Episcopal Church children are necessary in worship. John Westerhoff, a leading Episcopal Christian educator believes that faith is “caught” not “taught” and what better way for children to know what faith is about than to be a full part of the community.
He says, “When a child is baptized in our midst and made a member of the church of Christ, the adults of the congregation promise to be active in nurturing that child’s faith. We need to work together to nurture our children in their faith and be nurtured by them in return. Children give us the gift of trust and a fresh point of view; adults can share the gift of acceptance, experience, and the wisdom of the church though the ages.”
When You Come to Church with Your Children – Just Relax!
Don’t worry if your children won’t sit still. God put the wiggles in children. Don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house.
If your child needs to take a walk or get a drink of water, please feel welcome to tend to those needs.
Use a gentle touch: an arm around your child’s shoulder; use your hand in his/hers to give reassurance and appropriate attention.
Explain quietly the parts of the service.
Help your child with the bulletin and hymnal.
Sing the hymns, pray, voice the prayers we say. Children learn good behavior in church by copying yours.
If your child wants something to do during the service, ask an usher for a “busy bag.”
Always remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church, and to God. Let them know that they are at home in this place of praise, prayer and great thanksgiving.