Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Worshipping God doesn't mean staring at the back of someone's head.

At the moment, the community space is the only space available for kids who are getting restless during the service. 

But the community space is separate from the church, so parents who take kids there are excluded from the service, as are their children.  It is also a very secular space - going there during the service means children don't have a chance to develop spiritually by going to church, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of church!  Also, it’s at the back of the church.  This means parents tend to sit close to the doors, in case they need to make a quick escape, and that means the children end up sitting at the back of the church, where, instead of seeing the altar, the priest, the bread, the wine, and the cross, they spend the whole service seeing nothing but the backs of grownups' heads!

So over the summer, while there is no crèche, this is what we’ll do.

An example of a "Pray and Play" area similar to the one we will set up.
We'll take away the first two rows of chairs by the font.  In their place we'll put a quilt, and surround it with chairs.  On the quilt will be many of the toys from the creche - the themed baskets, the icon, the standing cross, the quiet Noah's Ark, the Jesus doll, the Easter storytelling doll, etc. 

If a small child begins to get restless, the parent can bring them to the quilt - the parent will still be able to participate in the service, and the child will still be in church, i.e., able to see the altar, able to hear the music and the prayers, surrounded by the church community, and with access to toys that teach them the symbols and stories of the Christian faith.

If this is successful, we will make this space permanent.

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