“I get to know the people in our community. But most of all because it makes me feel at home.”
What does a Sunday Morning look like for Children at Leaside?
Our Sunday morning begins with everyone upstairs in the Sanctuary for the first 15 minutes or so. This helps us all connect as a community. There is a call to worship, an opening hymn, followed by a prayer and community prayer. After the community prayer Tanya Wiles Bell will invite the children up to the front steps of the chancel using a singing bowl. This gives us an opportunity to welcome everyone and to get them thinking about what is in store for the morning. The children will then leave the sanctuary with Tanya and other leaders to go to the Auditorium for their program. Parents are welcome to come downstairs to see their children settled.
Babies are cared for by a combination of adult and Jr/Sr High school volunteers. Just follow the children downstairs and you will be introduced to our caregivers for that morning. There are rocking chairs, a change pad, blankets and infant seats as well as age appropriate toys. The babies are grouped with the toddlers which allows them to be with a wider community of children.
Looking for a way to get involved? We are always looking for volunteers to help with Infant/ toddler care on Sunday mornings. Please email Tanya Wiles-Bell @ email@example.com to sign up or get more information.
“We are one big family!”
Children’s program: (ages 4 and up)
Tanya Wiles-Bell oversees and organizes all of the Sunday morning programs for children.
The primary goal is to make learning “hands on” and as experiential and relevant as possible.
Combining old with new Tanya has been implementing Godly Play (story telling based on biblical stories) and A Joyful Path (from Progressive Christianity.org) to provide an enriching program for children on Sunday mornings.
Godly play is a style of worship which includes sharing bible stories, parables, and liturgical traditions in an oral storytelling form, using simple props. The story is followed by a period of“wondering” so that children are able to discover who God is for themselves, in a much more personal and meaningful way.
Both of these curriculum’s are used and the main goal is to create a safe space for children – a place where their ideas, opinions, and gifts are deeply respected.
A Joyful Path is a spiritual curriculum for young hearts and minds. It is dogma and creed free. It is based on the teachings of Jesus as well as other wisdom teachers. It celebrates joy, awe, wonder, stillness, forgiveness, prayer, care for the earth, music, art, letting go, seeing God in all, and gratitude.
“I enjoy having my family and I being part of a supportive and enriching community.”
Junior Youth (ages 9 to 12)
When numbers permit the Junior Youth meets on Sunday mornings during the regular church service time, upstairs in the youth room (previously known as the Fellowship room). This is the room East of the Narthex that overlooks the gymnasium. There is no specific curriculum for this group, they play leadership and community building games, discuss current events and take on personal interest projects.
Questions? Email Tanya Wiles-Bell at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Frances Morton-Chang