There are many ways we show hospitality to visitors at our churches, from bidding them welcome, posting greeters by the door, passing the peace, and a myriad of other ways.
Sometimes, when visiting a new church, families with children are uncomfortable because they don’t know if their children are welcome in the sacred space. Well, the Episcopal Church has said “All are Welcome!” and we mean to go about proving it.
One way St. Paul’s welcomes worshippers of all ages is by providing a soft space for parents with infant children to experience worship without worry about the hard edges of pew chairs. Small, soft toys are provided there.
Another thing we have been doing this year is providing worship bags to children. They are simple tote bags on a stand that have very simple, quiet activities in them to help kids pay attention to what’s going on in the Eucharist and to free up parents to worship without distraction.
Our worship bags change every week but include:
- Clipboards. It is important to provide a hard surface for kids to bear down on that isn’t the surface of a pew or the ground. Any coloring that takes place outside the lines will, hopefully, be on the clipboard instead of on the pews!
- Coloring Pages that vary based on the liturgical season.
- Freshly sharpened crayons in 6 important liturgical colors.
- Wikki Stix (my personal favorite part. They’re like strips of yarn soaked in beeswax so that they are firm and you can build with them.) I bought a BIG box so I can replace them when they inevitably get dirty or tangled.
- A laminated template for kids to copy with their wikki stix. The images are all able to be found in our sacred space. Here’s a link to the Wikki Stix template.
- A laminated tag on a keyring instructing people to leave the bags in the church for future use. Here’s a link to the laminating pouches I used for the luggage tag sized tags.
- A Circle of the Church Year Spinner (see more HERE.)
Here are some pictures of what’s inside!