We are a family church and welcome children into our services - they have their own special time during the service when they are invited to come up to the front to hear a story or take part in a discussion about some aspect of the week's teaching. Some children like to have their parents come up with them - we encourage this and welcome them. We also have "The Ark", a side-room for parents and children if parents wish to be away from the main congregation but still see and hear what is going on. However, we welcome children into our midst and aren't upset by a little noise or movement from them. At the right front area of the church we have an activity table with paper, colouring and drawing tools for children - and encourage families to make use of them.
Our children and youth ministry is evolving to better meet the shifting demographics and needs of our congregation. Comox United Church is committed to demonstrating our valuing and care for younger generations and keeping alive in all of us a youthful spirit and outlook.
Age-segregated activities and communicating devices are abundantly available for today’s children and youth to be with their peers. What appears to be needed is time for focused family connecting and elder-youth interactions and relationship building.
To that end the Congregational Education Team is actively in the process of exploring and eventually implementing a multi-generational ministry that provides faith-based learning opportunities. During this developing stage, in order to still respond to existing needs without unduly stretching our volunteers, as of January 19 we will replace the formal age-segregated church school and youth group structure in the following way:
- At each Sunday service, a volunteer will monitor the arrival of youth (those 10 years and older) and will invite them to meet for an impromptu discussion or activity with the volunteer immediately following the Children’s Theme Conversation in the order of service.
- At each Sunday service, a volunteer will monitor the arrival of children (pre-10 year-olds) and ascertain from the guardian and child, as appropriate, their needs during the church service. Options such as the nursery, the colouring table at the front of the sanctuary, or an impromptu activity outside the sanctuary after the Children’s Theme Conversation will be available.
Please contact Peggy Zimmerman ([email protected] 250-871-7472) if you have any questions or input or would like to participate more directly in this unfolding multi-generational ministry.
At this time we extend a huge thank you to all the church school and youth leaders for their past service and the volunteers helping during this transition time.