At St. Mary's the young people are cared for, mentored and supported by the whole community and regularly take an active role in worship, such as in the Junior Choir, as acolytes, greeters, readers, or prayer leaders.
Our Sunday School uses a modified Godly Play curriculum which understands that children already have a deep spiritual life and seeks to give them language to talk about their experience of God and God’s World. We are blessed to have a core group of faithful Sunday School teachers and other volunteers who make our Godly Play program possible.
We also seek to bring that sense of goodness and faith into all our homes through general parish events. We gather to make Advent wreaths, we share a Shrove Tuesday pancake supper followed by a quiet, simple but moving Ash Wednesday family service, we offer a take home ‘Lent-in-a-bag’, and we have a family Lenten program.
To the parents of our young children, may we suggest:
Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don't feel you have to suppress it in God's house.
Sit toward the front where it's easier for your child to see and hear the service.
Quietly explain the parts of the service.
Sing the hymns, pray, and voice the responses. Children learn liturgical behaviour by copying you.
If you need to leave the service with your child, please feel free to do so, but please come back!
God feeds all children. If you want your child to receive the bread (wine too - that's up to you), please have them put their hands out with you.
Remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church, to God, and to Christ. Let them know that they are at home in this liturgical gathering.