At every baptism, the whole community reaffirms our vows, including: "Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support this person in their life in Christ?" Baptism is, of course, a welcome and a beginning to a life-long commitment to spiritual formation. We take our baptismal vows seriously, especially with children as we both teach and learn from them.
We encourage young people to be a mainstream part of our worship, fellowship and misson and to find involvement in keeping with their God-given gifts. Children's program is offered from from September to May. We provide a safe, age-appropriate venue to engage with tradition, scripture, reason and prayer/worship as the touch-stones for Christian living and a sense of belonging to the whole Church: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
At the 10am service, children are included in gathering and opening prayers in our church home. The people sing as the children are invited to a focus time at the altar. Candles and a Bible are then carried out by the kids as a visible reminder of Psalm 119:105: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." In their program, teachers greet children grades 1-6 for age-appropriate lessons and discussion based on the Illustrated Children's Ministry curriculum: "Joining God at Work in the World".
At the time of the exchange of the Peace and the Offertory Song, we welcome the children back to be a part of the Eucharist. This is the place we hear, together, the grace and unconditional welcome of Christ at the "family meal"... sacrament of bread and wine, and teach us to love God and love one another as the whole people of God.
During the summer months (June - August) we provide a collection of crayons and colouring sheets, some 'quiet' toys and a variety of children's books on the left side of the church at the back as you enter. This area is a "Quiet Space" where parents and young children may be together during worship and yet still be engaged in collective worship.
We also encourage young people to be a part of the ministry of reading scripture in worship, in greeting people, or other ministries of the worshipping congregation. Our director of music, Evan Thomas, welcomes adults and young people alike to be a part of our music collective, maybe beginning by learning to play one of our hand drums or another instruments, or to be a part of leading singing. All God's children have a place in our worship, of any age!