Children are very important to all of us at EPC. We treasure them as the gift of God that they are, and we take a vow at their Baptisms to support their families as they raise them to be followers of Christ. We also value having little ones of any and every age with us in the worship service. Their voices are important as they learn to worship and cherish the faith we all hold dear.
Of course at the same time we do realize that infants and little ones also have different attention spans and levels of comprehension than adults. To this end we have always offered a Nursery for children ages 4 and under at EPC, both to serve the parents of these children and the children themselves. However we do feel like we can do more both for our children and their parents.
On Sunday, Aug. 11 we will begin a 4 week trial of providing an optional Children’s Worship service during part of our regular service. Children ages 3 to 7 will be dismissed to Children’s Worship during the Welcome (when we pass around the Blue Contact Folders) and will return to worship at the Passing of the Peace. This means they will miss the Intercessory Prayer/Lord’s Prayer, the Sermon, and the Confession of Faith. However, they will have their own age appropriate Children’s Message based on one of the lectionary readings of the day from the Hearts Alive Gospel Lectionary Curriculum. They will also recite the Creed and say the Lord’s Prayer so that these important elements of Liturgical Formation will be inculcated in them during Children’s Worship. Further, they will be present in the rest of the worship service (both before and after Children’s Worship) including the Sacraments. Children in the nursery that are old enough will be also be able to participate in Children’s Worship and then return to the Nursery for the rest of the service. The goal of all of this is to help our children grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that they can more fully participate in worship and make our faith their own. Finally, providing Children’s Worship is a service to parents enabling them to better focus their attention during the sermon.
We would ask that you prayerfully consider the following:
Assuming that our trial period goes well, we plan to incorporate this brief Children’s Worship into our standard Lord’s Day worship from here on. If you are interested in helping in any capacity, please contact Monica Dziuk or Pastor Ward. If you have questions, you are more than welcome to ask either of us. It is our sincere hope that Children’s Worship will be a blessing to all the families of our church as we help our children grow in their faith and worship of our our Lord.