Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” Matthew 19:14
How do we feel about children in worship? Simply, they belong. We do not segregate the little ones among us into a separate room when our community gathers to pray. They are not a distraction. They are not a problem to be solved. Their presence in worship reminds us of the fact that God came among us as a little child.
Children are allowed to be children here. Children sometimes cry and make noises and need to walk around. They take bathroom breaks and need snacks. They sometimes have bad days and are really cranky. (Some of our adults have this problem too).
Worship is not our private devotional time with God. It is the gathering of a community around God’s love in word and sacrament. A community is not really a community if some of its members are not encouraged to be present.
If children (or parents) need a little “time out,” they are welcome to go into the Chapel’s Lower Level fellowship room, where there are bathrooms, a kitchen, and toys in the furthest closet from the door. The sermon can also be heard from this room. But we want to be clear: children are welcome in all aspects of our worship.
Each Sunday liturgy, the Pastor/Priest leads a Children’s Time for any children that wish to come forward. Children’s worship bulletins and crayons are also available. All baptized children are welcome to receive Holy Communion as soon as they show a desire and their parents agree.
As soon as they are able, children can help in worship leadership, as readers of scripture, as ushers and offering bearers, and as music leaders. The participation of children in worship leadership deepens the faith of the whole assembly.