Rev. Ginger Barry Brandt
Associate Minister Family Ministries
Your little ones: They're as valuable here as they are in their own families -- because God loves them first, because Jesus calls them by name, and because all of us are called to make room at the table.
For all this and more, we at First Christian welcome children into the life of the church. We recognize that children often bring the most life to our church! And we pray for our ever-growing community of young people to experience this life most abundantly. We want them to grow in wisdom, to speak in truth, to live and love out loud, and to be all God created them to be.
THE SUNDAY EXPERIENCE
Children are welcome in all our worship services. We are not bothered by ordinary noises and disruptions. Particularly in the Contemporary Worship Space, a group of young children is often found together, up front, dancing during our opening songs.
If children stay through either worship service, we offer a clipboard with readings, coloring and activities that track through the church year and change out weekly.
Children ages 4 through 2nd grade may also choose to attend pull-out Children's Church, so they worship with shorter stories and more movement during our Message time.
Even if exiting, children begin the worship hour with parents -- because we think it's important for children to be part of communal worship, to feel our rhythms and traditions from their earliest ages, and to experience as much of church as possible within their own families. After prayer time (in Contemporary) or after Doxology (in Traditional), one of our teachers will meet exiting children up front to escort them to the Children's Chapel. They'll sign in upon arrival, stay together as a group, then return with an escort to the same room they left before worship is out.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT
After worship comes family fellowship time in Disciples Hall, then an Education Hour during which we welcome children to begin with a large group gathering in the Children's Chapel. Any adult teacher can check a child in as she or he arrives.
With the help of our loving, generous, gifted Children's Ministry team, under the direction of Assoc. Minister Ginger Brandt, our elementary-age children gather together each week. They hear new ideas, they watch a short video, then they transition from large-group activity into age-grouped classes for more play, guided interaction or study. Children remain in classrooms for pick-up at 11:45 in the children's hallway.
The curriculum we use has a popular video series with the same group of cartoon kids each week. Your own kids may want to tell you all about them -- and more information is found here: http://wearesparkhouse.org/kids/whirl/lectionary/