Based on the religious education ideas of Maria Montessori, Children Worship and Wonder acknowledges that children already have a relationship with God and that they are comfortable living in questions. Within a sacred space created just for them, children have the opportunity to hear Bible stories and form responses based on their own life experiences. At the same time they learn religious language, church traditions and how to participate in worship.
Worship begins with quieting ourselves and getting ready to hear one of God’s stories. We do this through a variety of ways, including singing. The stories (told by trained storytellers who move figures around) begin in the fall with the Old Testament and then we go through Advent and Christmas. After Christmas we follow the life of Jesus, including his teaching of the parables. Beginning with the first Sunday in Lent, we follow Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem and go on through Palm Sunday, the Last Supper and Easter. After Easter we hear and see a few stories about the supper at Emmaus, the ascension and Pentecost. On the Sunday after Pentecost we have a baptism story and break for the summer.
After hearing one of God’s stories (which includes some “wonder” questions) children have the opportunity to respond by talking to God using several media, such as crayons, markers, chalk, paints and play dough. Sometimes they work with the story that has just been told and sometimes they might simply read a story. After their response time, children come back to the circle and we read the story out of the Bible and have a prayer of thanksgiving, followed by a feast!
Children Worship and Wonder is designed for children ages 3-8 (through 2nd grade) and takes place in the Children’s Worship Center located in the Children’s Wing of the church while parents are worshipping in the sanctuary.