This September, we begin a change in the way we worship together. As Rev. Mark Ward announced in his blog a few weeks ago, we will now begin each Sunday together as a faith community, for the first part of worship. Children and youth, as well as teachers, will now be with the rest of the congregation for the beginning of each worship service. This means they will be present for the chalice lighting (recruiting now for older chalice lighters: 8 and up), a hymn, a story or other element with layered meaning for adults and children alike, and a ceremonial leave taking, including passing the flame from the chalice. Then the RE community will go down for multigenerational classes and activities (at 9:15) and regular, age-separated classes at 11:15.
We believe this special time together, specially constructed to maximize involvement and spiritual development in children, will have many positive effects on the whole community. We also recognize that such a change can be hard to imagine, amd may present challenges for some. Change can feel hard! We will all be learning together how to be together, leaning in to our covenant and growing our sense of who we are, what we are called to do, and how we are, together!
It is in this awareness that I share the following document with you all, to help ease the transition. In it, you will find suggestions for parents and families, children, and others in the congregation, to support and enhance this time together.
We look forward to being “all together now” this Fall!