Children in Worship
At RBPC, children are not only welcome in our worship service; they are vital participants. We invite families with children to sit near the front so they can get a good view. When the adults sitting near the children share the bulletin, the hymnbooks, the communion elements, and the collection plate with children, the children learn how to worship and add their gifts to the mix. About once a month the children share a song they learn in their Sunday workshops. At special point in the church year they lead significant portions of the service with readings, songs, and other functions. Children are sometimes invited to pour the waters of baptism into the font, to bring forward the monthly food bank collections, or to pass out bulletins. After about 20 minutes into the service the children are invited to the front of the sanctuary for the “Children’s Blessing”. After this point, the children and their teachers leave for their workshops in the lower Christian Education wing of the church. Our children return to the service for communion (every first Sunday of the month).
Although our children are extremely cute, we want to emphasize that they are full-fledged worship participants, not novelties. We try to laugh with them, not at them, and we recognize that they teach us as we watch their enthusiasm and honest expression of feeling.
Children leave just after the Children's Opportunity for their Sunday workshops. The curriculum we use, "Faith Alive" teaches Bible stories and Christian practices to the kids, who are divided into small age-based groups. The Middle School group meets in the Youth Room and engages in a discussion-based Bible Study. All the kids meet together at the beginning of the workshop time to sing songs that are occasionally presented in the worship service.