Faith formation for children and youth is one of the most important ways we live into our mission as a church. We seek to provide a variety of ways for our children, youth and their families to grow in their faith and make a difference in the world.
While Zion offers free nursery and toddler care and we have a vibrant Sunday School program, please know that your children are always welcome to worship with you in church. Children are an important, valued, and welcomed part of our worshiping community. Even children attending Sunday School during the service return to their parents or guardians before Communion, and parents of younger children are encouraged to pick up their infants and toddlers to receive Communion as a family.
Tips for Worshiping with Children
Arrive in time to find a good place to sit. Sitting closer to the altar will provide children with a better view of what is going on.
Bring quiet toys, books, or coloring books for younger children.
Allow children to be active within limits, as long as the activity is not distracting to others. We encourage parents to take their children to the narthex (entryway) or one of the hallways if they need a break.
Encourage children who can read to follow the service in the bulletin or Prayer Book and find hymns in the hymnal.
Express your gladness at having children in worship. During the Peace, be sure to welcome the children near you. Include them in conversations before and after worship to let them know they belong.
Enjoy the special moment of togetherness in the pew that may not be possible during the week.
Children & Communion
Parents who have grown up in other traditions often wonder why young children take Communion at Zion. In keeping with the practices of the ancient church, the Episcopal Church places emphasis on Baptism. Once an individual is baptized, they are viewed as full members of the Body of Christ with access to the sacraments. Nothing “completes” Baptism – neither First Communion, nor Confirmation, nor reaching a certain age. This is why children are welcome to receive Holy Communion. This doesn’t mean that children are fully formed as Christians; none of us are. We spend our entire lives living into our Baptismal vows and entering into the mystery of Christ’s “real presence” in the bread and wine of the Eucharist.
That said, we offer a special training session in the spring for young children to teach them about Holy Communion, culminating in a special celebration during the Sunday service to honor their learning. Please see the Rector if you would like your child to participate.
If you would prefer for your child to wait to receive the Eucharist until after they’ve had instruction, please have them fold their arms across their chest at the altar rail so that the priest knows to give them a blessing.