So says Jesus in Matthew 19:14! Chrst Church has a robust children's program that balances learning about God through tradition, exploring our relationship with God, and serving others in Christ's name. And, of course, we have a lot of fun, too!
Our goal is that every child will coCheck out some of our programs below.
Many parents are a bit anxious bringing their young children to worship. Children can be loud, they move around a lot, and (parents worry) irritate others around them. Children during Jesus' time, however, were just as loud and active as they are today, and Jesus still invited little children to come to him and learn from him.
Our message to young parents is: please don't worry. Bring your children to worship with you! If they are loud, no problem. If they wave to other folks in the pews, they'll probably smile and wave back. Laughter, a bit of noise, and active kids are some of the ways that God shows love for us!
One way to help your child focus is to sit up in the front pews. Yes, this sounds odd, but kids love to watch what's going on, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer. Sit your child on your on your lap and whisper to them about what the priest or lectors or acolytes are doing. The best way to learn how to pray is to watch others pray.
If you as a parent feel that your child is getting a bit too rambunctious, we have many rooms open for a bit of calm and quiet. Our nursery is currently open to any parent who needs a bit of quiet space.
Christ Church offers a full nursery for parents to use for their needs. Our nursery is usually staffed by a professional caregiving (we're currently looking to hire someone). Activity bags are available for all children during worship, and we have some extras for visitors as well.
Our youngest group enjoy learning about God, Jesus, and the big stories of the Bible (like Creation, Noah and the Ark, and Jesus' birth). Children are encouraged to talk about their relationship with God and to ask questions about Bible stories and liturgical worship. They also have a ton of fun coloring and playing! Church school is from 10:15 until around 10:45, when all children join their parents for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Our elementary-aged youth continue to learn about the Church, God's love in Jesus Christ, and their own relationship with God. We use video, discussion, hands-on activities, and other student-centered projects. At these ages, friendships begin to form between students, and teachers encourage the children to share their own experiences and thoughts about God, Bible stories, and their family's prayer life. Church school is from 10:15 until around 10:45, when all children join their parents for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Children continue to learn about God's life in Jesus Christ but also begin to take a more active role in church life. Middle-schoolers help lead Chapel Church (see below) and take part as Acolyte and Crucifers at the Altar with our priest. Youth are encouraged to start thinking about what their particular call is in worship and the church. Bible stories are studied in fun and contemporary contexts as their faith and friendships are deepened and strengthened. Church school is from 10:15 until around 10:45, when all children join their parents for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
High school-aged students are encouraged to find a place in the life of the church as they prepare for Confirmation. Many of our youth take active roles in the church choirs and join volunteering and local mission trips. Eventually, high schoolers are gathered and asked to consider making an adult affirmation of faith in the sacramental rite of Confirmation.
Once a month we offer a "Children's Chapel" for PK-5th grades. Older students often help in leading this chapel service. Children learn the liturgy, hear a reading from Scripture, and enjoy a lesson in the Godly-play style - an interactive approach to religious education using imagination, manipulatives, and play.
This year, Christ Church began a children's lending library. It has grown into not just a great collection of books but a place for children to gather for play during coffee hour. Take a look at some of the books we have for children of all ages!