CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES
Children are a vital part of our faith and community. We strive to make services and offerings family-friendly. When we are in the building, we encourage families with young children to sit toward the front where it is easier to see and hear. Some Sundays we ask the children present to come up for Children's Homilies or to see some part of the service. We encourage them to sing hymns, pray, and join their voices to congregational responses in worship. We expect that children will wiggle and run around, maybe sometimes even fuss a bit. That is expected and even welcomed. If you need to get up and move around because your child is restless, we won't mind or be distracted, but we will be hoping that you feel comfortable coming back after the chaos has passed. We want to be in a community where children feel deeply, consistently, and reflexively that they are loved and welcome. This is among the most important ways we can live out our faith in Jesus.
A Note About Children and Youth Formation
Many parents have children in more than one age group. In the world before Covid, basically everything happened simultaneously on Sunday mornings. That was easy for anyone available on Sunday mornings. We didn’t worry about online anything, social distancing, or even figuring out what building we’d be in (most things were in Zabriskie). The pandemic has brought about many changes. We’ve dramatically diversified what Children, Youth, and Families offerings we have. We’ve tried to meet as many needs as possible.
The offerings for different age groups are meant to support you and not burden you with more stuff to do. We're going to continue to make sure whatever we do on Sunday will be appropriate for a much broader age range than we have in the past. We’ll livestream as much as we can. We’ll make accommodations for any parent who wants to continue to mask and socially distance their children—always respecting your decisions about your child’s health.
We also don't want to add to your stress. The balance between offering enough to be helpful without overwhelming/overburdening everyone continues to take some trial and error. If you end up with questions, comments, concerns, or just have feedback about any of this please reach out to Fr Sam at email@example.com or at 703-370-6555, ext. 202
Sermons for Children
Most first Sundays of the month we offer a children’s homily during announcements at the 10:30 service. This is a lovely way to invite and encourage children and families to come to a service more oriented to their specific worship needs. It is never in conflict with Godly Play or Sunday School. Children need to know that our worship spaces are for them. We regularly make sure they know we’re thinking about what their experience of worship is like.
For the remainder of the summer we also have a Rite II Eucharist especially for children and families where the homily is always a Children’s homily!
We call it the Joy Mass, and it is an instructed Eucharist designed to teach children why we do everything we do in worship. We pause to answer questions. We explain everything as we go along. Not a single adult had attended this service yet without telling us they never knew most of the things we talk about. It’s a delightful why we worship this way for the whole family. Come check it out!
Questions on Godly Play? Email Sarah Glassco at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions on Sunday School? Contact Fr. Sam at email@example.com
For questions on EYC, contact Carrie Cuddy at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For questions on PreYC, contact Rob Johnson at email@example.com.
For questions on overall Children, Youth and Family programs, contact the Assistant Rector, The Rev. Sam Sheridan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-370-6555, ext. 202.