by Candace Kostna – Family Ministry Coordinator
“It takes a village to raise a child” is a phrase we hear often in different contexts. It’s an African proverb which means that “it takes an entire community of different people interacting with children in order for a child to experience and grow” (thanks, Wikipedia! 😊)
During an August worship service, Pastor Kolleen, our guest pastor, wove this proverb into her sermon message with two biblical examples: Naomi taking an active role in caring for Obed, her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth’s son with Boaz (that day’s text) and the story of 12-year-old Jesus staying behind at the temple while his parents carried on their journey to the next town. In both of these stories, the children – Obed and young Jesus – are not exclusively cared for by their parents. The people around them, their faith community, also took an active role as well.
So how is our SPLC faith community like a village? Pastor Kolleen shared some examples. We welcome all, including families with young children to worship. Young families are encouraged to sit in the pews near the front, so the little ones can see what is going on. Our worship includes a children’s message to share the good news in a way they can understand. Our Family Space in the narthex is a place for families to gather on Sunday mornings and use when the little ones need a break during worship. We welcome our young ones, along with their wiggles and giggles to be part of worship.
When we welcome our young ones in worship, they are developing a sense of belonging. They see how we – their parents and others around them – share our faith in praise and worship. They experience God’s grace as they are welcome at the Communion table.
Have you noticed….
- How “at home” our little ones feel in worship
- the enthusiasm our little ones have during the children’s message
- that children are invited to gather near the font to witness a baptism up close
- some of our young members help with ushering and collecting offering with their parents
- some of our young members help with communion setup
- our young members join in sharing the peace and singing during worship
Our relationships with each other within our faith community help shape our faith. How we are welcomed affects how we respond to church, to God and to Christ. This is so true for our children. After all, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”. (Matthew 19:14)
How can YOU live out Jesus’ words and be an active part of SPLC’s village? It’s easy:
- greet our young ones on a Sunday morning, crouch down and say hi!
- embrace children’s wiggles and curiosity in the pews with a smile
- gather in the Family Space to get to know our young families during coffee fellowship after worship
- join in our Family Events
- share your stories with each other
Together we grow in faith!