You may have noticed the new quiet coloring table in the sanctuary. During the season of Epiphany (January and February) we are focusing on Why Jesus? and we have coloring pages that accompany each week’s theme. This led to the idea of a coloring table – an idea we got from Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. We’ve tried various configurations with chairs nearby for families. We’d love your feedback on how it is working and whether we continue with the coloring table experiment beyond Epiphany.

I am grateful that we as a congregation value kids – and people of all ages – in worship. This variety of ages is part of the fabric of who we are as a community. I’ve heard many older adults say how much they appreciate the energy and excitement that kids bring.

Coloring is no longer just for kids – come color with us!

Pastor Betsy

As part of baptism, parents, sponsors and we as the entire community promise to pray for and raise these children in the faith. If you don’t have children or are an empty nester, I invite you to “adopt” one or more of the kids who you get to know. A great way to do this is to talk to kids over cookies after worship. Or come to our intergenerational events. Or join the kids at the coloring table! Get to know the kids and the things that they are interested in. In this way, you can be a “church grandparent.”

In addition to the coloring table, we have kids’ rainbow activity bags and children’s bibles. During Advent we had kids’ nativity scenes in the narthex. Having kids in worship exposes them to bible stories, baptism, communion, songs of the faith and a community of believers. As the kids get older, parents are teaching their children about what it means to be a child of God. We also have our nursery staffed on Sunday mornings by an organization called College Sitters. However, most families desire to have their kids in worship and part of the broader community.

It might sound strange, but if a family decides that coming to both Sunday Morning Faith Formation and worship is too much for their kids, it is actually more beneficial for the children to be in worship than Sunday School. We have a number of families that have chosen this approach. This may be a different philosophy than you’re familiar with but research shows that if children only participate in age-specific activities they only learn how to go to Sunday School. If they haven’t been part of the worshipping community as a young child, they are much more likely to “age out” of church and not ever become a regular worshipper.

We have several Intergenerational Events coming up and you are invited!
• Friday, Feb. 15 Community Night potluck and Zentangle led by Barb Burkhardt – a form of art that does not require artist ability! 5-8 p.m.
• Sunday, Feb. 17 Intergenerational Event 9:40-10:40am – service project related to Feeding the 5,000
• Friday, March 22 Community Hawaiian Night led by Erika Wold. 5-8 p.m.

Betsy Hoium, Pastor for Faith Formation