On two occasions in the Bible, Jesus takes something, places it in the midst of the disciples, and says “this is how you experience the Kingdom of Heaven.” One time, it was bread and wine. The other time, it was a little child. We place the bread and wine of Holy Communion at the centre of our worship life. We aim to put children and families at the centre of our community life and we recognize that children have a tremendous capacity to help lead us into greater appreciation of mystery, the sacred, and the divine.
Every Sunday morning, we offer children’s programming using the curriculum The Whole People of God. It’s run as a “one-room schoolhouse” model in the Bracken Room, a program space down the hall from the worship space. Children have the opportunity to learn about the same scripture passages read in church that morning in a fun and age-appropriate way.
In our worship space, there’s a niche area on the north side. It was once the baptistry, where babies and children were presented for baptism. Today, we continue to use the space with a focus on children , with a round activity table, a rocking chair, colouring supplies, some toys, and books. Sometimes children and their families gravitate to this space during worship services.
Throughout the year, we include children in our worship in playful yet reverent ways. Examples include Good Friday, where children and parents lead us through the Stations of the Cross. On Easter Day, the children lead us in drama, inviting us to discover the empty tomb. Last Pentecost, children dropped balloons from the balcony, symbolizing how the Holy Spirit came from the sky as floating tongues of fire. At Christmas, children tell the story through drama and music. Children are also leaders of worship on a more regular basis; you’ll see kids serving alongside adults greeting, taking up the gifts, and preparing the altar for Holy Communion.
Our priest Megan has extensive experience working with children. She worked in children and youth ministry before ordination to the priesthood. With her direction, we continue to expand our ministry with children and youth, sometimes partnering with other church communities to offer more opportunities for the faith formation of children and their families.
Many of our community events are geared to children and families. There’s a place for families at our Community BBQ, our Fall Sale, our Parish Picnic, our Halloween welcome to trick-or-treaters, our pancake supper, and other seasonal events.