A Pastoral Word
July 2019

Children Worship & Wonder logoChildren Worship & Wonder is a faith-formation, worship-centered approach with storytelling, ritual, and fellowship that is used with children in churches to help them deepen their relationship with God. It is for ages 3-3rd grade. Children Worship & Wonder uses the familiar four-fold order of worship with which many congregations are familiar. To begin, the children come into a special worship space to a storyteller waiting to greet them. They sit in a circle, surrounded by bible stories made just for them, with all materials at their height. Everything in this special place is accessible to the children. The storyteller leads the children in a time of singing and praise. This coming together of the children follows the first order of worship which is the first order of God's people.

Next, they will hear one of God's stories in a storytelling format told with multi-sensory materials that children of different ages, and with different learning styles, can enter into and enjoy. As the story is finished, the children are invited to share in a time of wonder about the story. They are asked "wondering questions" to help them dive deeper into the meaning of the story and to listen for God's still voice that is found there. These questions might sound like, "I wonder if the Good Shepherd's sheep have names?" or, " I wonder what it was like to be in the ark for forty days… I wonder if Noah knew that God was with him?" These wondering questions ask the children how they are a part of the story and how they are a part of the bigger Christian story. They begin to see that the stories in the Bible are their stories, too.

Third, just as in "big" worship, the children will respond to God's story. In "big" worship, we often respond through prayer, song, offering, celebrating the Lord's Supper, commissioning, and celebrating baptisms. The children have the chance to respond to the Word in a myriad of ways as well. Some of these ways include using the story materials to tell the story they just heard, a story they heard on a previous Sunday, and their own story. They may also choose to work with art and craft materials, pray at the prayer table, dance in the dance corner, or build with materials such as clay or blocks. These response materials are there to help them express their relationship with God. After they respond in a way they choose, the children come back to the circle. Here the storyteller lights the Christ candle and shows the children where the story they heard is found in the Bible. Then, as a community, they pray together and share in a feast.

Who all is involved in Children Worship & Wonder?

There are two trained roles within Children Worship & Wonder: Storyteller and Greeter. Storytellers share the stories of God. Greeters are there to support the children and storyteller.

What are some of the stories shared in Children Worship & Wonder?

Children Worship & Wonder tells the stories from: Hebrew people\Life of Jesus\Early church.
They are told using three dimensional, plain but beautiful sacred objects and human figures that are carved from wood. Children are helped to form images of scripture by receiving the story in visual and motor ways that allow kinesthetic, visual and auditory thinking to happen. The use of movement and underlays is essential for focusing the children's attention on the place that will become the context for the story. These draw both storyteller and children into the story.

For a video to learn more about Children Worship & Wonder: https://vimeo.com/77713211.

Heather

 

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green chalice
Green Chalice Congregation since 2010
Certified Green Chalice Congregation since 2015
Midway Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
123 East Bruen Street
P.O. Box 4548
Midway, KY 40347
(859) 846-4102