Prepared by: Cindy Halmarson
Theme: Including children in the worship service
- Worship planners who want to create an experience that is welcoming to children.
- Parents and caregivers who wish to worship with their children.
- To explore assumptions about children and worship and to examine our practice.
- To share practical ideas for supporting children, parents and other caregivers and congregations in worship that is inclusive and hospitable to all.
- To model an inclusive style by incorporating movement, music, and visual arts with verbal presentation and discussion.
Time required: 90 minutes
Materials or Resources (required or *recommended)
Welcome, Introductions and Greetings:
With One Voice #649, "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light"
Ask "What makes worship welcoming to you?" Listen to responses, list on chart paper. Break into small groups to share if the group is too large, but still collect their ideas.
Ask: "How can we plan worship and support parents and children to make worship hospitable and welcoming to all?" Look at the chart you have just created together and divide it into two areas (use a colour code instead of rewriting).
Responsibility of the worship leader.
Responsibility of the caregiver.
(If the audience is worship planners, use option A. If the audience is caregivers, use option B. If it is both, divide up for discussion time.)
Option A. Present and discuss" Supporting congregational planners for worship" (Appendix A pages 1 & 2), "With One Voice songs especially suitable for children in worship" (Appendix B)
Option B. Present and discuss "Supporting parents and caregivers of children in worship" (Appendix A pages 3 & 4), "With One Voice songs especially suitable for children in worship" (Appendix B)
If the audience is a mix of worship planners and caregivers, come together again to discuss ideas that belong in both categories, and present and discuss "Supporting children to participate in worship" (Appendix A page 5).
Option A. Ask, "Is your worship already welcoming to children? What are you doing? What ideas did you hear today that you would try to use?"
Option B. Ask, "What has worked well for you already? What ideas from today will you try to use?"
For either group or a combined group, ask, "Who in your family/congregation are your supporters as you try to worship with children? Who could you enlist?"
Present the chart "Assumptions about Worship and Children." Look up the Bible references.
Pray together for your children, parents and caregivers, worship planners and leaders.
Ideas to Take Home and Try – hand out copies of "Ideas for Supporting Children and Worship"
Sing, With One Voice, # 721, Go My Children, With My Blessing.
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