Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
Kids are important to Jesus
He told us that children are a sign of the Kingdom of God (God’s dream for the world), and that they are to be welcomed in our Christian communities.
We take this call to welcome seriously. We want to create a space where children are co-participators in our congregation, both on Sunday and throughout the rest of life. At the same time, we understand that some parts of the liturgy are just a little too inaccessible for young children (long sermons, for example!). We want everyone to be able to learn about Jesus in a way that makes sense for them, while still valuing our communal identity as a church.
In Eucharist, this means we have kids classes that run alongside some of the gathering.
After the first song we call he children forward and bless them, and send them out to their classes. While they are in class we will sing another song, hear some congregational announcements, and receive the sermon for the Sunday. After the sermon we have an open time for singing, giving, and writing out our prayers of the people.
It’s during this time that the kids come back into the gathering to join us.
We all come together for the rest of the liturgy. This allows for the children to participate in the prayers of the people, the eucharist, and the last songs we sing together.
Inter-generational life is a gift to the church. We teach these children how to pray, how to receive communion, and how to grow in their walk with God. God uses them to teach us even more.
Our kids classes are a great experience for both parents and children, and are excited to be the church with our youngest brothers and sisters!