Tuesday May 20th, 1 Peter 2: 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. A good nurturing foundation is a gift that continues for the whole of one’s life.  Too often the curse of living in an affluent society is that there are so many choices for our children that we tend to skip the foundational nourishment and go right for the sugar.  With a foundation of love and acceptance children grow to know God as love and acceptance.  Are children a part of the worship service?  Are children welcomed at communion?  One of the best gifts in our congregation is families serving communion together.  Young children may not be handling the common cup but they can carry the tray to pick up the empty cups.  The most important gift is the understanding that they are included, that God loves them.  Do they understand communion, sure, most of the time there is a big smile on their face as they reach out to accept the bread.  That smile tells me they know they are included and are an important part of the family of God.  So for proper nutrition churches need to include the children in all aspects of worship.  Families, are you so busy with soccer, sports, fishing and fun that you can’t quite bring the children to worship?  God has given you a gift in your children, what are you doing for them that is important?  Without a foundation any building will in time fall.  Make sure your children have a foundation.  This is the note we put in the front of the bulletin regarding children.

To the parents of our young children, may we suggest:
·         Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house. All are welcome!
·         Sit toward the front where it is easier for children to see and hear.
·         Sing hymns loudly, pray, and voice the responses with enthusiasm. Children learn behavior by copying you.  If you are fired up about God, they will be too!
·         Remember that the way we welcome children in Church directly affects the way they respond to the Church, to God, to Christ, to one another.  Let them know that they are at home in the Church.
·         Teach Children some of the basic prayers, being able to join in with the prayers helps them feel they are contributing too.  Attend worship often, children like and need routines where they can participate. 
·         Children are invited to participate in communion where they learn that God loves them.
To the members of the parish:

            A smile of encouragement is always welcome to parents with small, active children.  If you forgot what it was like when your children were young and feel the need to step in and offer advice, get over it, we follow the example of Jesus and don't do that here. The presence of children is a gift to the church.  They give us a future filled with hope.  


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