Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Children's Space at St. John's

We just added a Children's Space at the back of the church. I had seen this done in a number of parishes in Wales, Scotland and England and since we had this lovely wide space at the back, and no nursery at this point, it seemed like an easy way to help families with young children feel welcome.

There are two rocking chairs and some baskets of books (some for very young children and some for the older chidlren in the congregation). Each week there are coloring pages and puzzles that relate to the gospel or something about our Episcopal worship in ziplock bags with colored pencils and crayons. Children can do these in the Children's Space or take them to their pews.

We added a colorful rug and a small table with puzzles (Melissa and Doug are now doing a whole series of puzzles based on Bible stories--I especially like the one of Jonah). There are some simple toys--the criteria was that everything in the area has to be able to be easily cleaned with a clorox wipe or thrown in the dishwasher for sterilizing (I learned this working in children's museums for 15 years).

The Children's Space has been well received its first two weeks. A parishioner was here on Sunday with his very active three year old grandson and he seemed very happy throughout the service. Isn't this what we want? For children to feel comfortable and welcome and happy coming to church. We want it to feel like the home we hope it is for them.

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