St. Luke’s has a vibrant and growing community of children. We strive to create opportunities to fully integrate children into our communal life and worship through traditions such as our annual pop-up Christmas Pageant, with roles for all children who want to participate, and Flowering of the Easter Cross.
Here are some things to know about us. We make nametags for all our adults, but we don’t like hanging our children’s names out in public. So each week you’ll find sticky nametags for the children to make their own. Decorating is just fine.
For parents that choose to keep their children with them for Sunday worship, please know they are welcome! Worship is an offering to God, a living sacrifice. Here are some ways you can help your kids learn how to worship and enjoy the service. Participation in the service (rather than just playing quietly) will also help them feel like they belong, which is important to all of us.
SINGING | Most kids really like making a joyful noise. Encourage them. Don’t worry if they’re not exactly in tune. If they forget the words, tell them it’s OK to sing “la-la-la.” Once they start to read, be sure they have the words in front of them. It will help with their reading and their worship, and we have plenty of bulletins.
PRAYING | It’s OK and even helpful to prod your kids to pray during worship. During the silent confession of sins, you might whisper “This is a good time to tell Jesus you’re sorry for the fight you had with your sister.” After the absolution, remind them “God has forgiven you.” During the Prayers of the People let them know they can listen to know when to say something they’re grateful for or the name of a sick friend. Sometimes their prayers might seem funny, but mostly they’ll encourage the grown ups to pray out loud. Do teach them the Lord’s Prayer so they know it by heart. We always use the same version here at St. Luke’s, so they won’t get tripped up.
GIVING | Giving will mean more to kids if they give from their own resources rather than put money you just handed them into the offering plate. Young kids need to give actual cash. Electronic transfers won’t impact them. They can decorate their own envelopes to bring their offering to church if you want. Jesus likes whatever pictures children draw. When you start to give kids allowance or pay them for chores, use coins or small denominations. That makes it easier to teach them to save a portion for God in one envelope and a portion for savings in another. Both these habits are part of teaching stewardship.
LISTENING | Help children listen. Let them know that the lessons will have stories. Ask them ahead of time to listen for their favorite story today. Preschoolers can listen for a word (God, love, Jesus) and squeeze your finger each time they hear it. Older kids can listen for a theme. After the service ask what they heard and how it mattered to them. Remember, this means you’ll have to pay attention too!
COMMUNION | Teach your children about communion ahead of time and listen to what the priest says to each of them. You may bring them up for a blessing only or a full or partial partaking of the bread and wine. Don’t worry if your child skips back to her/his seat. We could all do that in celebration of God’s gift!
ACTIVITY BAGS | St. Luke’s has activity bags at in the narthex, where you entered. These are suitable for younger children. Please have your child return them to the “RETURN BAGS” basket after service so we can know which ones need to be refilled for next week. Please resist the temptation to bring books and video games for older kids. It will only keep them detached from the service, the community and God.
LEAVING DURING THE SERVICE | Sometimes you may need to leave the service for whatever reason. In the narthex (where you pick up the activity bags) is comfortable seating and more room to move around. Please feel free to come back in, or not.
We are always happy to see you and hope you become a part of our community, sharing the joy of God’s love for all and our commitment to feeding both the body and the spirit.