At Fellowship, we believe the purpose of the nursery is to provide a safe and healthy place for children to experience the love of God, while providing their parents the opportunities to enter fully into the life and activities of the church. Our goal is that children are exposed to, and are able to respond to the following principles:
- God exists, loves you and wants to take care of you (John 10:4-15)
- God created everything and God created you (Genesis 2:7-25)
- God gave us the Bible. We can read it to know God and know what is right (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- We can talk to God through prayer (God wants you to be good, kind and loving (Romans 13:9-10)
- God wants you to worship. There are many ways to worship God (John 4:23)
- God wants you to see and think good things (Philippians 4:8-9)
Nursery is available 15 minutes prior and approximately 10 minutes after worship service for the 10:00 a.m. service. At the 8:30 service, it is not staffed but will be open for parents to use. Feel free to use the nursery if you need to feed, change, cuddle, or calm your baby during the service.
Nursery is also available during some special events and classes, such as Community Nights.
At the age of 3 years, children are able to attend Children and Worship.
Better Together Sundays
On these special Sundays, Sunday School teachers and children are invited to participate in the entire worship service. Children and Worship and Nursery are still offered.
Why do we have Better Together Sundays?
God is pleased when we teach our children how to worship. Children need to be in worship in order to learn how to worship. One of our most important jobs as parents is to bring our children to the feet of Jesus and help them develop a sense of awe and wonder as they learn how to praise and revere God. We pray with our heads bowed, and they see us and model us. We sing praises to God, and they join in.
Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman is one of the best books out there that explains the importance of children worshipping in the pews with us. Here is an excerpt from Castleman's chapter called, "Daddy, I'd Like You to Meet My Children."
"Parenting in the pew can be a hot battle or a holy triumph of grace. It can consist of whispered commands: 'be quiet,' 'shhhhh,' 'sit still,' or it can contain the most intimate moments of life with God's family together in his presence. Sunday morning with children in the pew can be the longest hour of the week, or it can provide the very best preparation for eternal joy.
Teaching your children to worship, parenting in the pew, is entering the house of your heavenly Father and saying, 'Daddy, I would like you to meet my children.' Worship is seeing your Father's smile" (pg 20-21).
So let's bring a smile to our Father's face. Come to the Better Together Sundays not with the thought of, "oh boy," but with the knowledge that what you are teaching your kids at that moment in worship has eternal meaning. What can be more important than teaching our children how to worship? Read "Parenting in the Pew," and you will get a clearer understanding of how you can make this happen!
Children & Worship
Our three year olds through Kindergarteners are experiencing "Children and Worship" during their Sunday School time. This program continues to be one of the most effective ways of nurturing children's faith and preparing them for worship with the whole congregation. In Children and Worship, children are not learning to worship, but they are worshipping! If you'd like more information, check out the RCA website. You will find the information under "Resources," then "Discipleship," then click on the "Educational" tab and the "Children's Ministry" link.
Each week, even on Everybody Worships Sundays, 3 year olds-Kindergartners are dismissed with the leader around the time of the offering to Children's Wing Room C4/5. While there, children . . .
- greet each other
- watch and hear a Bible story
- wonder together about the story
- respond to the story through retelling stories, crafts, playdough, etc.
- read the story from the Bible and have a prayer time
- enjoy a feast (snack) together
Children can be picked up at their rooms after the worship service is over. They are dismissed with a blessing as parents arrive, and they will meet you in the hallway.
Community Nights begin the last Wednesday of September and run through March. Join us for dinner at 5:45pm followed by children's activities from 6:15pm until 7:30pm.
- Kingdom Kids will be offered for kids age four through kindergarten.
- GEMS and Explorers Boys' Club are for 1st graders through 5th graders.
- Nursery will also be offered for the children of teachers or for those participating in an Adult Discipleship class. For infants through 3 years old.
Children's Sunday School is a special time and place for children to learn about God's love for them and how to share that love with others. Sunday School is available to children in 1st through 5th grade during the 10:00 a.m. worship from September to May. There is no Sunday School on Everybody Worships Sundays or during holidays.
Our children at Fellowship are a part of the whole church family. Because we all belong in worship, all children, youth and teachers start off in worship with their families. After participating in part of the worship service, they are then dismissed to their classrooms. Parents can pick up all children from their rooms following worship.
In class, children study age appropriate scripture lessons based on outcomes developed by the RCA and adapted to fit Fellowship's needs. We are currently using the "Dwell" curriculum from Faith Alive Christian Resources. The children's Sunday School lessons include stories from the Bible, memory verses and daily application. Children enjoy their time in age appropriate classrooms with loving teachers.
Below are a number of resources that Fellowship uses for the Children and Family program that may be helpful at home as well.
- Focus on the Family
- Cornerstones for Parents
- Celebrate Calm
- Growing Families International
- Proverbs 31 Ministries
- Hearts at Home
- Family Life
- Christianity Today
Bibles for Children:
- My First Message
- The Jesus Storybook Bible
- Adventure Bible - good for older children
- The Adventure Bible for Young Readers
Betsy's Book Recommendations:
- Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman
- Habits of a Child's Heart; Raising Your Kids With The Spiritual Disciplines by Valerie Hess and Marti Garlett
- 52 Creative Family Time Experiences by Timothy Smith
- Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson
- The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
- The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman
- Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids by Sarah Young
Books may be borrowed from Betsy. Contact her for more information.