The Child in the Pew
Welcome to Worship at the Unitarian Church.
As you look around the church, you will see children are an important part of our community. Their presence here grows out of a commitment to incorporate children into the life and mission of our congregation, and to nurture them in their own spiritual journey.
We offer our creche and Sunday Club,but we bring children into the beginning of every service. After our ‘Time for All Ages’ they are invited to go to Sunday Club. Your child, however, may wish to stay with you – especially if you are visiting for the first time. We welcome this. Occasionally we have a ‘family worship service’ which involves the entire congregation including the children.
Bringing children to church may not always be easy, but it can be an extremely important part of their spiritual growth. Children are beginning to learn, by the example of adults, what it means to worship. Together we can provide spiritual leadership and a positive experience for these, our youngest Unitarians.
The following extracts from church newsletters provide an indication of activities undertaken:
The senior class at Sunday Club currently includes school aged children from 5 to 14 years. We have been working on individual perception – how it affects our view of the world and our decision-making. We began with the idea that anyone can admire a lake, but do we all see the same view? An artist might notice colour and light, a biologist pond weed and types of insects. How do our own preferences and psychology shape our perception? For example, if a new person comes in the room and we don’t like them, are we using observations (‘they look mean’) or instinct (‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this person’)? In addition, we’ve examined some of the habits and feelings that negatively affect our world view.
In the near future we will be looking at rules of nature, covering recent scientific discoveries on the exact statistics that define beauty and how stars are born, and discuss Paul Davies’ view on the connection between the laws/Lord of the universe.
With nine years separating our youngest and oldest pupils, it is not expected that the younger students will grasp the full meaning of each lesson, so a simple activity is included to transmit the central idea. For example, when we looked at the habits that affect how we use our day, students drew ‘Time Monsters’ from their own life: the hairy television, the computer sprouting scales and claws, and so on.