We are a Family Integrated Church. This means that we love every member of our congregation and desire the young and the old to fellowship, worship and serve together. Because of this love, you will rarely find our congregation separating the young from the old, though at times we may choose to run certain events for specific age groups in order to serve the unique needs of our members.
One of the first things you will notice in attending our services on Sunday mornings is that all of our members, from infants through elderly, are in our service singing and worshiping. We do not have a nursery or a separate gathering for our children. We believe that Disciples of Christ learn best when they are in regular and consistent fellowship with the vast diversity of God’s people. Sometimes a baby will cry, or a child will make a sound, this is fine. We welcome the occasional sounds of children as a reminder that God has blessed us with the presence of children.
In our worship services, we do not expect our children to stay seated and stationary. We recognize that God has given children great amounts of energy and so we encourage our kids, and those adults wishing to worship not only with their heart and mind abut also their body, to dance and sing and move in ways that are reverent but also free and artistic.
Another unique aspect of our congregation is the prayer partnerships we have established between youth and those of more advanced years. Each child, with parent approval, is matched with an elder member of our congregation and they are encouraged to pray for each another, to share stories and to write notes of encouragement to each other. We have found this to be a blessing to our body.
We have found that it is still best to have age-segregated Sunday School classes. We have found this to be helpful in teaching to the unique needs of each age so that the questions of the youth can be answered in age-appropriate ways without diminishing the robustness of the answers we would give to the more mature. Our Church offers Sunday school classes for those age 3 to 99.
Boys and Girls Clubs
Additionally, we host a gender-segregated girls’ club and hope to start a boys’ club in the future. This will allow our boys to develop relationships with the men in the body and to learn about some of the unique things God calls males to be and do. It also allows our girls to fellowship with the women of our church and gain strong role models in the faith.
In short, we hope you will find the presence of our children and yours within the service to be an encouragement and a delightful expression of family-friendly worship. If you have any questions about how to help your child engage the service or have any tips to help us structure meaningful participation of children in the worship of the Church, we would welcome such a conversation with you.