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Children & Families

All of God's children are welcome.

St. Francis is a family-friendly church where all of God's children are welcome. Holy Eucharist is the primary gathering of the faith community, and we look forward to Sunday mornings as a time for intergenerational worship. It is with a great sense of joy and delight that we invite your whole family to worship with us.

 

Our programs for children "at a glance."

Here is an overview of the current church programs for children:

Each Sunday:

  • Acolytes
  • Childcare
  • "Godly Play" Sunday School

Seasonally:

  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Nativity Pageant
  • Children's Choir

Occasionally:

  • Family get togethers
  • Children's art projects
  • Story readings
  • Child-centric sermons 

 

Details about our children's programs.

  • Acolytes.  Two children are torch bearers for the procession and recession. Children aged five and up can be Acolytes.
  • Childcare.  Since July of 2017, we have been offering childcare for our youngest parishioners aged 1 - 4 each Sunday from 9:30 – 11:30AM.  We have either one volunteer and one paid employee or two paid employees to provide childcare. 
  • Godly Play.  We enjoy the Godly Play lessons as a way of sharing the liturgy with our children in an age-appropriate way and of planting the seeds for future faith formation.  The volunteer leaders from the congregation have also shared that the Godly Play method has deepened their understanding and appreciation of the bible stories in ways they did not anticipate.
  • Children’s Choir.  The Music Director leads children’s choir performances on Christmas, Easter, and other special occasions.
  • Family “Get Togethers.”  There is an irregular cadence of seasonal gatherings (ice cream socials, BBQ’s, other get togethers).  
  • Easter Egg Hunt.  Each Easter Sunday, we have an Easter Egg Hunt for young children in the area to the West of Block Hall. 
  • Nativity Pageant. Since 2015, we have had a Christmas Eve service where the children, families, and other parishioners act out the classic story of Jesus’ birth. 
  • Children’s Art Projects.  One of our music directors had the children draw out a large banner with the word “Alleluia” to present to the congregation at Easter.  Over the course of several Sundays, a long-term supply priest also had the children build a felt banner of a church, piece by piece, from foundation to roof, which is currently on display in the sanctuary.
  • Story Readings / Child-Centric Sermons.  During our most recent stewardship campaign, a long-term supply priest and other volunteers read the story of Francis of Assisi, which appealed to children and adults alike.  At the end of the story, the children were gifted with their own personal copy of the book as well as a themed bookmark, which was created by the church’s Craft Group as a gift for the children.

 

What is Godly Play?

Godly Play is offered each Sunday during the 10:00 am service and to preschool children attending St. Francis Preschool. Preschool Chapel meets in the church on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 8:45 am.


Godly Play teaches children the art of using Christian language - parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action - helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives.

When Christian language is learned by the Godly Play approach, it is learned as a means to know God and to make meaning of our lives. This approach is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. Godly Play is not about things that are that simple. It is not just about learning lessons or keeping children entertained. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language and involving the creative process to discover the depths of meaning in them. It’s about understanding how each of the stories of God’s people connects with the child’s own experience and relationship with God. Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.

The goal of Godly Play is to show how to be open to the Holy Spirit, The Creator, and the Redeemer all at once and all the time in every place. Godly Play achieves this goal by helping children become deeply rooted as Christians and yet at the same time use sacred story, their curiosity, and community to be open and creative.

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