At Robbinsdale Parkway United Church of Christ, we believe children are a very important part of our church family. We invite families to include small children in worship. Each service includes a time when children are invited forward for a special lesson with the minister. While we want parents to feel children are welcome in worship, some families may prefer to check their infant or toddler into our child care room instead.
Children worship with their senses. Religious symbols, church furniture, posters, banners, stained glass windows, and colors are objects on which children think and imagine. Ancient churches were rich in visual stimulation, in sharing the biblical story with those who could not read or were uneducated. The colors of vestments worn by the minister(s) is often a point of interest and imagination among children.
Children worship by imitating. They imitate the adults who fold their hands, close their eyes, sing their hymns, and offer prayer concerns.
Children worship by writing notes and drawing pictures and daydreaming. Even adults’ minds wander in and out of sermons after three minutes of concentration. Children need acceptable physical movement in worship, looking up and standing for hymn singing, greeting others around them, finding scripture in the Bible, watching the choir, drawing on paper, and working on the bulletin.
Children belong in the worship community. They worship by belonging. Covenant relationship is one of the core biblical experiences in which a child can participate. They feel a sense of belonging when they are included through smiles, handshakes, Holy Communion, and stories.
—Thank you to our friends at Falcon Heights UCC for this reminder of the important role of children in our worship.