Dear Parents of Young Children

We are so glad that you are here, and that you brought your children with you. As an intergenerational congregation, we think faith is something that is experienced and taught through participation. W also know that it can be difficult to make it out the door, so thanks for making the effort to be here. We are so glad you are here, practicing faith together.

A few things for parents to consider during this worship time:

Relax. We know you want your kids to be on their best behavior.  We know this won’t always happen.  Don’t freak out because we aren’t going to either.  Kids move and make noise and we expect that.  Because we believe we’re in this together, we try and practice that in worship too.  Take a deep breath.  We hope the following information will help you feel at ease about worship at River of Hope.

G.I.F.T. Worship – Generations in Faith Together.  This means our worship tries to put children out in front so they can lead.  It means worship can be messy and noisy.  It takes a community to form a congregation.

Pray Ground –  Whatever free-range parenting is happening in the worship space, this is a landing point.  Parents are invited to be down on the carpet with their kids or to be seated in the area nearest the pray gound.  If things start to go wonky, see the next entry…

Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth Spot.  It’s back in the senior center (look for the sign off the lobby) and is for when all things go wrong in worship.

Busy Bags/Worship Tool Kits. These bags are to become a bit more intentionally related to participating in worship.  Dig inside and see.

Remember, we’re just glad you’re here.  Kids pick up and model the singing and praying we do together.  Their part in worship matters.  Even on the tough days.

To those who are sitting near worshiping parents and children:

A smile of encouragement or commiseration is always welcome to parents with small, active children. For those of you who remember when you were in this stage of life, your smile and nod can communicate a lot.

Worship can and should often sound like life, if not directly reflect it. So the experiences of talking, crying, “church giggles”, singing, “sibling interactions” and general wiggly-ness is also part of worship. We’re glad you’re adding to the fray!