Welcoming Children Well

One Sunday, as the children at our church were hustled back into the sanctuary from their church school classes and rushing to join their families as they lined up in the aisle to go forward and receive the Lord’s Supper, my young adult daughter leaned over to me and whispered, “At the church we went to when I was little, kids weren’t allowed to take communion but here I sometimes wonder if the kids just think it’s snack time.”

Food for thought, for sure. And, while an informal poll I took with my preschool group the following Sunday indicated they did understand that the bread and juice of communion was, as one 4 year old described it “to remember that Jesus died on the cross,” my daughter’s comment left me wondering:

What was our congregation doing to enhance the participation of children/youth in the Lord’s Supper? Were we using understandable language?

How were we involving children in meaningful ways?

And how were we supporting parents and guardians as they nurtured the faith of their children through conversations about communion?

Perhaps you’ve been asking similar questions about the Lord’s Supper practices in your congregation.

Whether your congregation has been welcoming children to the table for as long as you can remember or whether you’re just beginning to do so, it’s important that we welcome them well. And so I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Welcoming Children to the Lord’s Supper toolkit; an online toolkit of free resources designed to support congregations as they welcome children to the table. Created for pastors, elders, worship leaders, educators and families, the toolkit is filled with downloadable tools which include communion courses for families, Sunday school sessions, an intergenerational session, children’s messages, blessings, worship ideas, family conversation starters and more.

The toolkit was created by the Faith Formation Ministries team of the Christian Reformed Church and intended to support all Reformed congregations, no matter what stage they are at in welcoming children to the table. I am part of that team and I invite you to open up the toolkit, help yourself to the tools inside, and use them in your context to welcome, include and enfold children at the table. Because unlike a snack, the Lord’s Supper celebration should nourish the whole body.

Karen De Boer
Creative Resource Developer
Faith Formation Ministries, CRCNA

Thank you to Paul Hart for today’s image.

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