Children and Worship

Children and Worship is a program for children ages three through seven. It allows children to "experience God while learning about God." Taking into account the developmental needs of young children, it introduces children to corporate worship and shows them how to find the "quiet place within, which enables them to get ready to worship 'all by themselves' rather than sit in church in an imposed silence."

Activities in the Worship Center are developed around the order of worship commonly used in Reformed churches: Assemble in God's name, proclaim God's Word, give thanks to God, and go forth in God's name. The activities associated with this order have been uniquely adapted for young children. Because children seek sensorimotor experiences, all spoken liturgy and songs are also signed. God's Word is proclaimed through storytelling. Each story has materials that allow the children to visualize the events. After they have heard the story, they have an opportunity to retell the story themselves using the materials.

Children and Worship also teaches the children "how the church tells time." Although it does not follow the lectionary, it does follow the church year thematically. The aesthetics of the Worship Center change to remind the children what time it is. For example, in the fall we focus on the green season with pivotal stories of the Old Testament, such as Creation, the Flood, the Exodus, and the giving of the Law.

A worship leader engages the children in worship. Leading Children and Worship involves learning a story and then leading the children on Sunday morning during the regular worship service. More information about Hessel Park's program may be obtained from our program coordinator.