Worship is at the heart of our faith and Christian life, and children are welcome and encouraged to be in worship at Olivet Presbyterian Church! Worship is God-centered praise and adoration. As we worship, we are also transformed and grow as followers of Jesus. Children need to be in worship just as much as adults. Bringing children into the Sanctuary is something like letting them eat with the rest of the family at the dinner table. Even though their manners are far from elegant, it's done because they are part of the family and over time, they will learn table manners as they practice them. Children giggle, they poke, and they swing their legs simply because they are children. But they also can sing, pray and give with the congregation. Their presence in worship grows out of the Biblical tradition and Presbyterian/Reformed theological conviction that children are members of the covenant community. The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) speaks to the inclusion of children in worship. Children bring special gifts to worship and grow in their faith through their regular inclusion and participation in the worship of the congregation. (Book of Order W-3.l004) Children learn to worship by worshipping with the congregation Sunday after Sunday.
- They learn they belong to Christ, and are welcome in Christ's church.
- They come to know, through repetition, the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, the Doxology, and the beautiful hymns of our faith.
- They build memories of shared experiences of Christian community that they may draw upon when they are older.
- They are enriched by the beauty of music and art as creative expressions of praise and as human responses to God.
- They hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted; and they begin to see Christian worship as one place where God may speak to them and be with them.
- They witness the drama of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, both visible signs of God's grace, kindness and favor.
- They discover that they are valued as a person by God and by God's people at church.
At Olivet baptized children who are being nurtured and instructed in the significance of the invitation to the Lord's Table and the meaning of their response are invited to receive the Lord' s Supper, recognizing that their understanding of participation will vary according to their maturity. Bringing your child to church may, at times, be a real exercise in patience. So are many other facets of parenting that we manage to get through. We must remember that baptized children are members of Christ's church, and they need to be among the people who worship God. They may not participate just the way adults do, but they are growing in understanding and learning to take their places in the church family. Proverbs 22 states that if we teach a child how to live, that experience will be remembered throughout life. Young children in worship may be wriggly and noisy, but it is their birthright as Christians to worship. Our satisfaction comes in later years when we see them stand in the midst of the church and go out into the world with a faith of their own. Jesus said to them, "Let the little children come to me, do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs." (Mark 10:14)
Options for Children in Worship
- Quality child care is available in the nursery (Room 102), for infants and toddlers during worship.
- "Children Worship Bulletins" are available from the ushers.
- Children's Message - during the 11:00 a.m. service, the children are invited to come forward for a short message on the Bible reading for the day that is geared especially for them.
- Worship Alive / Kid's Own Worship - children who are ages 5 through 3rd grade are invited to go out after the children's message for a short time of focusing on the scripture passage for the day in an age-appropriate manner. Parents are also welcome to keep their children in worship the entire time if they prefer.