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By Ruth DuCharme

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 4/16/2015

Each Sunday, during our weekly worship hour, we have a time set aside for our children to come forward for the Children’s Sermon. Cass usually invites them forward where Carol or I are “awaiting their arrival” with a lesson or thought based on the scripture text for the day. I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of worship is watching the children walk down to the front pew for this time of worship. They approach the front pew without hesitation or apprehension. They know that this is their moment— this is their time to be drawn into worship and, in a way, to offer themselves to God.

During this sermon time, we dip into our bag of Children’s ministry tricks to convey a nugget of truth for our children to hold on to. We will often use objects or pictures to catch their attention, and there is the occasional when-I-was-your-age story also thrown into the mix. I have to admit that I wonder what the children have seen and heard as they sit on that front pew. Have they gained anything from these few moments that we share together? Did they hear the biblical story? Did I remind them that God loves them? Were they challenged to understand something new?

More than anything I want our children to experience love and grace flowing from the words that I say and the expressions you share. I want us to model worship for them, and teach them the meaning of reverence. I want them to see God high and lifted up through our prayers and songs of praise. I want them to know that they are at home in our sanctuary, and that they belong to a great family of faith. 

My second favorite part of worship occurs when the children are dismissed from the children’s sermon pew. I love the hugs, highfives, winks and kisses that they share with me as they leave for Extended Session or go back to sit with their families. I am reminded that they bring so much to our family of faith. They bring an innocence and openness that I wish more of us could share. They are uninhibited in their feelings and expressions of love, and they teach us to keep our focus on the things that matter. 

From that front pew, I hope that our children can see God. May we continue to be a church that blesses children and ignites the light and love of Christ within them.