How to Help Children Experience the Sunday Service at the UUFCC
For the Members of the Fellowship:
- Greet children as well as adults. Be as intentional about knowing children’s names as you are about knowing the adults’ names.
- Invite a family to sit with you during the service.
- Be understanding if parents need to take younger ones out and then return during the service.
- Open yourself to what you can learn from the children as well as what you might be able to teach them.
For the Parents of Children in the Fellowship:
Before the service begins:
- Worship really begins as you enter the sanctuary. The period before the chimes is when we are able to center ourselves. Quietly go over the Order of Service with your child. Mention the sermon topic, and encourage your children to listen to the story, and the sermon if they are staying in the sanctuary. Then you can talk about it on your way home.
- Briefly explain any special events in the worship, such as Child Dedications, an installation or recognition of leaders and special days of the year.
- Explain why we light the chalice and that the words for lighting the chalice, opening and closing words and the sharing of joys and sorrows are ways we celebrate our faith with each other and make the Fellowship stronger.
During the service:
- Help your children locate the hymns in the hymnal and the readings.
- Feel free to remain seated (if this is easier) with your children to sing or to point out words in the Order of Service.
- Emphasize by yours words and actions that worship is a positive, important and happy experience for you.
- Instead of being a distraction, hand activity can help a child concentrate. They are welcome to draw or color, but we ask them to refrain from using electronic games.
- Say “time to be quiet” or “time to be still” when you need to, but know that your fellow worshipers understand that children need to move (quietly and with regard to those around them.)
- Help your children participate by giving their own offerings, no matter how small.
- If you or your children need a break, you may go to the lobby, social room, or toddler room where the service can be heard through speakers. There is a changing table for your use in the toddler room.
- Let the spirit of each Sunday’s worship and Religious Education program be evident during the entire week.
- If you pray or meditate in your home, remember the people, needs, and events of the Fellowship.
These suggestions are common in most worship settings. Your children’s participation here will help them to participate in other worship settings.
We hope that you and your children will be worshiping with us for some time. Know that the Fellowship supports you in your important ministry as parents. We value the children in the Fellowship. They are not just the future, they are the present. We hope they will grow in their appreciation of the Fellowship.