Signed in as:
Signed in as:
"Let the little children come to me: do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Like many faith communities, St. Paul’s is working to discern who we are as a congregation as we recover from the COVID epidemic. Many of the ministries and opportunities we had before COVID have shifted and the makeup of our congregation has shifted as well.
Our Youth and Children’s ministries have shifted as the number of families with children have not returned in the numbers we have enjoyed previously. St. Paul’s is deeply interested in the spiritual life of young people and as such, though our ministries dedicated directly to our children are on hold, our focus is on creating a worshipping community that is deeply hospitable and welcoming of families with children.
We hope that you will find that value reflected in the context of how we shape our worship each Sunday and in how we all take a part in the nurture and spiritual feeding of the children and youth in our church. So, the burning question before us now is, “How can we become a worshipping community that holds and lives out a true place of welcome for the children and youth in our midst?”
The ways in which we shape this advocacy are numerous. First, we want to ensure that our church is “user friendly” for parents with children. At St. Paul’s, a baby cooing or a toddler exploring its surroundings during worship is not, we repeat nota disruption or interruption---for me these are the sounds of life and community---a sign of future generations who are discovering the love of God. We encourage all parents with young children not to feel tense in these moments, we do not want to communicate to these tender young ones that church is a place to feel nervous or constrained! We want our young ones in worship because worship is one of the basic ways people learn what it means to be the people of God. Children learn worship by worshipping with the congregation Sunday after Sunday.
* They learn they are loved by Christ and are welcome in the Church.
*They learn to know the Lord’s Prayer and other parts of the liturgy from memory.
*They build a fund of memorable, shared experiences of Christian community against which they may draw when they are older.
*They are enriched by the beauty of music and art as expressions of praise and as human responses to God.
*They hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted and begin to see worship as one place where God may speak to them.
* They witness the drama of Baptism and Eucharist as signs of God’s kindness and favor.
*They discover that they are valued as persons by God and by the people of God at Church.
We invite all youth and children who desire to do so to serve in our worship services.
Bringing and welcoming children and youth to worship calls for us to use creativity, imagination, and foresight and it is an essential part of their spiritual growth. The Body of Christ assembled is incomplete in their absence. We need children and youth with us in worship so that we fully reflect true community.
Families and children are deeply welcomed at St. Paul’s Wilkesboro, NC