Children Worship & Wonder is a faith formation worship-centered approach with storytelling, ritual, and fellowship that helps children deepen their relationship with God. We invite children age 3 through Grade 5 to participate.
Children come into our special Children Worship & Wonder Sanctuary, a space designed especially for them, to a Storyteller waiting to greet them. They sit in a circle, surrounded by Bible stories made just for them, with all materials at their height. Everything in this special place is accessible to the children. The Storyteller and children greet one another and sing songs of praise.
The children then hear one of God’s stories with multi-sensory materials that children of different ages and with different learning styles can enter into and enjoy. As the story is finished the children are invited to share in a time of wonder about the story. They are asked “wondering questions” to help them dive deeper into the meaning of the story and to listen for God’s still voice that is found there. These wondering questions ask the children how they are part of the story and how they are a part of the bigger Christian story. They begin to see that the stories in the Bible are their stories too.
Children choose from a variety of ways to respond to God’s story. They might use the story materials to tell the story they just heard or they might work with a story they heard on a previous Sunday. They might choose to work with art materials or clay. They might read or sit in silence. Response materials help them express their relationship with God.
After they respond in a way they choose, the children come back to the circle. Here the storyteller lights the Christ candle and shows the children where the story they heard is found in the Bible. Together they hear God's story read from the Bible. Then as a community they pray together and share in a feast.
As they leave the CW&W Sanctuary, the children participate in the last order of worship - the sending out of God’s people into the world. Each child is given a special blessing by the Storyteller as they leave to be God’s disciples in their homes, schools, and activities.
This order is followed every Sunday. Because there is a ritual to this time together the children are free to relax into the space and go deeper into the stories. They can truly enter into a time of listening and talking with God. As children move from CW&W into worship with the whole congregation, they are familiar with the rhythm and joy of worshiping. They bring this with them as they continue participating in worship with the whole congregation.
In Person in the CW&W Sanctuary. On the weeks when your family worships in person in the Sanctuary (see the Sanctuary Worship Schedule), your child(ren) are welcome to participate in Children Worship & Wonder in person as well. After the Children's Message (during which they will remain seated with you in the pews), children will put on their face masks and walk to meet Pastor Gena at the front right of the Sanctuary. She will direct the children outside and have them space themselves out at 6' markings along the sidewalk. Children will enter the building again via the main back entrance. They will remove their shoes, sanitize their hands, and proceed to sit in the CW&W Sanctuary on markings 6' apart. Doors to the room will be left open for ventilation. Children will leave their masks on except during the Feast. Children will each have their own shelf with their own art supplies. A prepackaged Feast will be provided on their shelf. When CW&W is finished, the children will line up 6' apart and exit the building via the back door after sanitizing their hands and putting on their shoes. You may meet your child(ren) outside the back door. Five children will be able to participate in person in the CW&W Sanctuary each week. Pastor Gena will contact families ahead of time so that children are prepared to go to the CW&W Sanctuary in person or join via Zoom from the pews should there be more than 5 children present on a given Sunday.
In Person via Zoom from the Pews. If you would prefer that your child(ren) remain with you in the pew, you may bring a smartphone or tablet with headphones / earbuds and connect to CW&W via Zoom. Children will be able to see and hear the story and discussion but will not be able to participate by speaking.
From Home via Zoom. On weeks when you worship from home, login to CW&W on Zoom by 10:30 am. One Zoom window will show the CW&W Sanctuary and participants and another will show the story materials from above so they can more easily be seen. The children present in the CW&W Sanctuary will be able to see/hear your child(ren) on Zoom as well.
An orientation video will be provided to you once you register your children. Please watch this video with your children prior to their first visit with us (even if they have participated in CW&W before). It will allow you and them to see how we plan to keep them safe during Children Worship & Wonder and how they can prepare at home and at church to be in "such a special place with God."