Worship Anew

Lara Schopp Articles, Catherine Stark-Corn, Children & Families

Rev. Catherine Stark-Corn, Interim Minister to Children, and Families

Seeing parents help a child find the page in the hymnal to follow along with the rest of us…

Noticing a dad walk with his young daughter in the back of the sanctuary giving her space to be part of worship in a way that works for them…

Watching a young child stand on a pew to get a better view of the bell choir and all the shiny bells being used…

Smiling as I hear the gasp of a young worshipper near me when the music reaches a crescendo and envelopes the sanctuary with glorious notes….

Delighting in a younger child greeting an elderly church member during joyful communion…

These are all moments that help remind me why encouraging parents and families to bring children into worship is so important. Young, wiggly, energized worshippers are central to our church, to our congregation and most importantly to living God’s love. Even though my boys are teens, I can still recall the years when they were young and restless and had many questions about ‘what is happening.’ But in time and with practice they eased into their way of worshipping and found parts of the worship service with which to connect. I miss being invited into the wonder with which they saw the sanctuary with its high ceilings and beautiful stained glass. I long to experience the music through their fresh ears as they would suddenly stop whatever they were doing, lift their heads and open their mouths as the organ melodies danced across the pews.

Worship is a central part of who we are as a congregation and should be experienced by all. It can feel a bit challenging having children in worship – particularly for the parents. Yet seeking to make the worshipping life of the congregation accessible to all ages is vital to the faith formation of both young and older alike. It is when we gather as a community of many ages, various backgrounds and diverse family units that we fully embody the love of God and share it with one another.

If you are a parent with children, I invite (encourage) you to bring your children to worship. And if you are worshipping on Sunday I invite you to welcome the children and celebrate anew the sacred experience they share with us all!