At R-W we believe that Sunday is a time of worship for children and youth as well as for adults. Kids' Church is our way of ensuring that our children worship in ways that are relative and meaningful to them. We worship using a rotational module approach with games, crafts, music, puppets, drama, and a variety of other activities.
Where is Kids' Church?
Accessed through the Memorial Hall entrance, Kids' Church is downstairs along the main hallway. Painted using an environmental motif, the main rooms reflect the four elements. One of the rooms is our Kids' Chapel - sacred space geared for children with a communion table, pulpit and baptismal font.
These elements echo those in the main sanctuary. Here children worship playfully on their terms.
There are also rooms designated for a variety of activities, for example, CRAFTS & GAMES, STORYTELLING & MUSIC, and SCIENCE/COOKING.
The pre-school room ("The Garden Patch") is painted like a colouring book garden.
What is a rotational module?
Each three to four week time period we have a THEME based on a particular bible reading and activities to demonstrate the theme. The activities function as the sermon in a traditional worship service.
Either as a whole group or divided by age, the children rotate through each area over the three to four week period, and so learn about their faith in a way that is geared to them. For example, the children may explore the story of Noah by dying shirts in rainbow colours, learn about Jesus healed the leper through a puppet show, or discover how to apply the 10 commandments in daily life through a life sized version of "Snakes and Ladders."
The age categories are:
- Primary (Gr. 1 to Gr. 3)
- Intermediate (Gr. 4 to Gr. 6)
What about younger children?
In the "Garden Patch" we have a toddler program for children aged 3 to 5 years and other members of the congregation. These children worship with the Kids' Church and then move to their own room for age appropriate activities. Parents/caregivers of this age group form their own schedule as facilitators of the activities for the little ones.
Who leads Kids' Church?
We have a shared approach to leadership, including: our Minister of Congregational Care; Teachers, who are parents, grandparents, youth and congregation members volunteering to lead a rotation; Shepherds, who are parents, grandparents, youth and other volunteers assigned to an age group and who accompany them to the activity sessions. Shepherds also help the teacher in the session and build a rapport with the students.
Is there Kids' Church every Sunday?
Yes and No. Yes, because every Sunday is geared toward children and youth, as well as adults; but on a long weekend, a school holiday, or the summer months, there are no planned activities. Children are welcome to stay in the main sanctuary with their parents or caregivers. On these Sundays special care is taken to make the worship accessible to young and old alike. There are also activity kits available for children who need extra help to stay focused during worship.
There are also several Sundays during the year when the service is designated as a Whole Family Service. This is an intergenerational service where leadership is exercised by children, youth, adults and elders.
How do we find out what is coming up in Kids' Church?
The schedule of Kids' Church activties is posted on our website at two locations:
- Select "Calendar of Events" from the right menu, then "Kids' Church";
- Select "Join Us this Sunday".
Do the children go directly down to the activity rooms in the basement?
Not usually. Worship begins in the sanctuary with families together. Early in the service there is a special time of prayer with the children before they go downstairs for their activities.
In the Kids' Chapel they will learn a song, listen to the reading, and then go to their activity room. After the sermon activity, they return to the main sanctuary to reintegrate with their families so we can be sent out into the world as a whole family. Kids' church is intended to feel like worship. It is simply geared to their age level.
Note that on Communion Sundays and when there is a special Group Worship the children GO DIRECTLY to the Kids' Sanctuary rather than starting upstairs.
Do the children always separate into different age groups?
No. In addition to the various rotations, the children get together on occasion for worship with the Youth Group. These Group Worship times coincide with special Church holidays like Reign of Christ Sunday or Epiphany.
In addition, some Communion Sundays we celebrate Kids' Communion. Rather than go upstairs for communion, the children and youth get together on their own for communion geared to their age level.
Group Worship and Kid's Communion are celebrated in the Kids' Sanctuary.
Is Kids' Church just for kids?
Definitely not. All ages are welcome to participate with the children in Kids' Church, especially parents, older siblings, grandparents and other caregivers. All are welcome.
For more information contact the church office.