We are in Eastertide

All Souls is a church for everyone, for children as much as for adults. We love your children, and we want to come alongside you as parents to help them love God and live in the way of Jesus. We take seriously our responsibility to help you spiritually nurture your child.

We want children to participate with us. Children are always welcome to join us however you desire. No anxiety needed here. We also have attentive childcare available for children nursery to preschool. For children 1st through 5th graders, we have Sunday School classes available that dismiss before the teaching portion of our liturgy.

We place most of the music toward the beginning of our liturgy so that, even if your child joins our Sunday kid’s classes, they can still participate in the music. Also, there are art supplies available for kids to enjoy during worship if desired.

You may download our guide with all our Sunday kid’s info, but here are the basics:

Kids 2 and Under

While children are always welcome in our gathering, a nursery is child church charlottesville virginiaavailable for children ages 2 and under. Kid workers in the nursery will be loving, careful and receive a background screening.

If your children are staying in the gathering, feel free to walk them around the back – or do whatever you need. Also, coloring supplies and Bible story pictures are available for them at the welcome table. And feel free to bring along a favorite toy.

Preschool

Our preschool class is especially designed for children ranging in age from those who are close to 3 to children turning 4 years old during the current school year. The class consists of Bible stories, crafts, sensory & free play, and a snack.

Prekindergarten – Kindergarten

Prekindergarteners and kindergarteners are dismissed for their class after our music. You may pick up your child after church in the library.  Or, if you would like your child to participate in communion, feel free to pick them up during the Prayers of the People.

1st and 2nd Graders

First and second graders are dismissed for their class after our music.  You may pick up your child after church in the library.  Or, if you would like your child to participate in communion, feel free to pick them up during the Prayers of the People.

3rd through 5th Graders

Each week, we invite children in 3rd through 5th grade to go to their spiritual formation class just before the teaching portion of our gathering for an age appropriate learning experience.  We will bring them back to the worship space for Passing of the Peace, Communion and the remainder of our gathering.

A Few Suggestions (if you are helping your child to participate in our gathering and liturgy)

Sit where your child can clearly see what is happening and all we are doing together.

Go through the liturgy guide and explain what to expect. Encourage them to listen for certain things that will be said or done. Tell them why different portions are included. Talk to them about worship as something that we do – and that we do together.

Encourage them to read along and follow what is happening. Everyone gets to join in. We’re okay with a child being a child. Really.

We have coloring supplies and activity pages available at the welcome table.

Encourage as much worship engagment as your child can tolerate. Allow them to be appropriately active.

Ask your child to whisper.

If these suggestions fail and you’re at wit’s end, don’t worry. Someone will probably offer to help – and you can feel free to ask. And, chances are, your children are not disturbing others nearly as much as they are frustrating you. Breathe deep. You and your children are welcome here. 

Child Safety

Anyone working with your children at All Souls receive a background screening.

We maintain multiple adult workers in the room with children and have a comprehensive Child Safety and Abuse Prevention Policy.

We welcome any feedback, concerns or questions. We are here to serve you and your family.

A Note about Kids, Communion and Baptism

Naturally, the question arises concerning when a child should participate in the Eucharist (communion). Coming with the community to the Lord’s Table can be one of the most formative experiences for any person, certainly a child. Many Christian traditions have some form of childhood catechism that works alongside the child’s baptism. This catechism allows the child to learn the Biblical story they will be participating in and to have some context for the gravity and joy of the grace offered in Jesus’ bread and wine.

Parents are of course the ones first entrusted to train their children in faith, and it seems wise for parents to encourage their kids to the Table after they have embraced Jesus’ story and received baptism (even if not in that order). If your child will not be eating or drinking at the Table, we still would love for them to come and participate. One of the pastors or elders serving communion would love to offer a blessing for your child if they are not receiving bread or wine/juice. As you come to the Table, please simply indicate that you would like your child to be blessed.

If you would like to discuss baptism for you or your child, we would love to talk with you. Also, whenever you are ready for your child to begin receiving communion, we would love to have a conversation with you and your child around the meaning and mystery of coming to the Lord’s Table with God’s community.

Resources

Overview of kids and families at All Souls

Application for Kid Workers (including permission for background check)

All Souls’ Child Safety and Abuse Prevention Policy

Daily prayer and Morning prayer handout for family service May 31, 2015