Children in Church
Parents with young children sometimes feel self conscious in church and worry that their children are annoying others. We love to have children at St John’s and understand that children can sometimes be noisy! Parents should be assured that the experience of regularly being in the church, worshipping with God’s people, is an invaluable gift to help children feel “at home’’ and loved in the worshipping environment. There are also special areas set aside for the needs of young children, including crawlers and toddlers, a comfortable area where the service can be seen and heard but where children and parents can be private during the service .
The Godly Play programme, in conjunction with the 10.00 am Sung Eucharist is an excellent way to encourage the development of faith and spirituality in young children. This is very different from most Sunday School programmes and actually gives the children the tools they need to think about spiritual truths and questions in a Christian way and become spiritually aware as they mature.
As children get older they are encouraged to participate more in Sunday worship and children particularly contribute to and enrich the traditional worship at St John’s as Altar Servers. Preparation for the Sacraments of the church is a vital part of the spiritual development of children. In accordance with the tradition of the church Baptism is administered to infants of Christian parents, but may be administered to children of any age (or adults) who have not been previously baptised, after appropriate preparation.
There is an opportunity for children who have been baptised and who are attending regularly with their families to be prepared for the admission to Holy Communion. Children who have been admitted to Holy Communion are eligible in due course to be prepared for Confirmation. This is the normal sequence of admission to the sacraments for children and young people at St John’s.
Children, young people and families are a vital part of our St John’s parish family and its ministry. Activity Packs are always available for children to use in the church (including drawing, colouring, puzzles, stories and gifts)
Here are some of the groups and activities in which you and your children may like to participate:
St John’s PLAYTIME
Playtime is held every Monday during school terms, in the Parish Centre from 9.30 am–11.30 am. This two hour session is for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers with their parents/carers. Everyone is encouraged to join in with a range of activities including playdough, craft, painting, singing, storytelling and free play. We also go into church for a story and prayer. Playtime is run by members of St John’s Church as a service to the community. There are Christian songs, stories and prayers at Playtime , but you do not need to have an affiliation with this or any church to belong.
Please feel free to contact Lynette Johnson on 0408 254 125 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or Deacon Sandra Salmon on 9971 8694 email: email@example.com
Godly Play and Godly Journey
Godly play (and Godly Journey for the older children) is a program for children aged 3–12 years and is held every Sunday during the school term as part of the 10.00 am service. Here, through storytelling, art, craft and free play, the children are able to enter more deeply into the Scriptures and the life of faith. Godly Play and Godly Journey meet in special purpose built spaces in the Parish Centre adjacent to the church for 30–40 minutes, returning in time for Holy Communion. There is always a minimum of two adults present. At Sunday services in St John’s, there is an activities pack for chilren to use in the church (including drawing, colouring, puzzles, stories and gifts). This gives the children a balanced experience of worship both with and away from parents and family, and teaches them the importance of regular church involvement.
Please contact Deacon Sandra on 9971 8694 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scripture in the Local Schools
A team from St John’s joins with the other Christian churches to teach scripture at Brookvale Public, Dee Why Public, North Curl Curl Public and Manly High Schools.
Please contact Deacon Sandra on 9971 8694 or email: email@example.com