What about children and worship? All children are welcomed to worship. For the youngest children, the nursery is available (for children up to kindergarten). For those children in kindergarten through third grade, “Sermon time” will be available at the 10:45 worship service to allow the children to experience their own message in their own way. Here is what happens each Sunday:
- After the passing of the peace during the worship service the children will be called forward for a prayer and a blessing.
- They will then go to room 210 (close to the Gathering Place) to hear a Bible story using a method of storytelling called “Godly play. Godly play is a contemplative way of telling God’s story using minimal words, times of silence, and wondering questions.
- After the Bible story is told, the children respond to the story through art work of their choosing. It is a quiet, prayerful time for them to listen to God.
- They will return to the worship service after the sermon.
What is Godly play?
Godly play is a method of sharing Bible stories using simple materials, simple words, and simple movements that draw children into the story. The story is told, not read, in a way that invites all the children to hear the story as if it were happening in the present time. Silence is woven into the story to allow space for the Holy Spirit. This style of storytelling allows children to encounter God’s mysterious presence.
How do the children reflect on the stories after they are told?
After the Bible story is told, wondering questions are asked that invite the children to reflect on faith issues, not just remember facts about the story. Sometimes the wondering time is silent. The wondering time can stimulate children’s creativity and encourage a response.
How do the children respond to the stories?
After the wondering questions are asked, the children are invited to use art materials of their own choosing to express their understanding of the story. This is their time to work through life issues that cannot always be expressed verbally. The artwork functions as a spiritual journal and provides a way for the children to remember and build on other experiences with stories.