Recently, a nine year old peered up at me and asked: “When do kids get to lead the worship service?”
Good question, I thought. It caused me to ponder whether our children know that they are welcome if there aren’t any children participating in the worship service.
One father recently approached me, sharing that his 7-year old son, Callum, was very service oriented. He needed a job. So Callum became an usher. I worked in advance to prepare the adult ushers (who were delighted), and I gave Callum specific tasks. He would put the songbooks on the chairs, hand out the attention bags to entering children, count attendance using the magical clickers, and help count the offering. Callum entered our sanctuary that morning beaming. He took his job very seriously, and he made two adult friends who now welcome him by name. They are a team!
As I looked out into the congregation last Sunday, I noticed that Callum brought the offering forward with a huge grin on his face. I noticed seven year old Shelby sitting in the row ahead of her mother, eyes closed and breathing deeply through the meditation. I listened to our fifth graders deliver powerful messages about kindness, respect and inclusion. For example, ten year old Miles shared how unfair it is when he doesn’t get a vote in his family and then, shared empathy with all those around the world whose voting rights are limited or denied. Then, our 10th grade worship associates, Lauren and Harley, reminded us to go out into the world and shine our light for our benediction.
I smiled to myself, thinking, “Well, I guess, the kids are leading the service.”
No matter what your age, when you can participate in creating and shaping a service, it will become your home.
If you missed last Sunday and you’d like to see children and youth participation in action, come to our 4 pm Christmas Eve service. We’ve got college singers, middle school songleaders, 5th grade liturgists. Not to mention, a full cast of characters from 5 to 16 acting out the Christmas story.
Looking ahead to January! Make sure to register for our January 13th Family Breakfast….
Dates to Remember:
Sunday, December 16: Junior Youth Group Snowflake BBQ
Sunday, January 6, 9:30 am/11 am: Don’t miss Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem’s bluegrass band!
Sunday, January 13, 9:30 am/11 am: Family Breakfast
Sunday, January 20, 9:30 am/11 am: SpiritLab returns
Sunday, February 24th through Sunday, April 7th: Spring Series of Children’s Small Groups
Saturday, April 27th evening: Passover Seder
Sunday, May 5, 9:30 am/11 am: Coming of Age (9th grade) Sunday
Sunday, June 2nd: Flower Communion Sunday