Good evening,
I wanted to send a reminder that we are having a single service at 10:30 this Sunday, July 3, followed by the church picnic.  Because it’s picnic Sunday, children in preschool through grade 5 will join their parents in the service.  Originally, only children in grades 1-5 were going to sit in the service, but this has changed to preschoolers and kindergarteners joining us as well, so please be aware of the change. 🙂

Now to the main point of this email: unfortunately, I have to announce that for the months of July and August, there will be NO KIDS CONNECT during first service (9:00).  This includes nursery and 2s & 3s, all the way through 5thgrade. 

How Did This Happen?
1. Although emails have gone out, announcements have been made, personal requests have been stated, and sign ups have been posted for two months… there just hasn’t been enough interest in keeping Kids Connect going through the summer.   So this summer, we will only offer Kids Connect classes during the 10:30 service, but we still need volunteers for that service.  I urge you to sign up to help during the 10:30 service any Sunday you may be available this summer!  Sign ups are still on the walls outside each classroom.

2.  It’s very important to me to be able to relieve our regular volunteers who serve faithfully from September through June.  It’s a big task to minister to our children on a volunteer basis for 10 months.  And although many regular volunteers still help out during the summer months IF THEY CAN, asking others to volunteer for one or two Sundays during July and August not only helps fill in gaps, but it also gives an opportunity for more people to see what happens in Kids Connect, and for them to see if children’s ministry might actually be a ministry they could commit to in the fall.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Discouraged
To the families who normally attend the 9:00 service, I do apologize for this change, but please be encouraged: this doesn’t mean that church needs to be a hassle for you and your family!

1.  Of course, choosing to attend the 10:30 service is an option, but if this doesn’t work with your schedule, I absolutely believe that having children join their parents in worship can be a wonderful thing.  There have been many debates on where children should worship in church: with their parents, or separated into a “children’s church.”  The results are often a 50/50 division of opinions.  Personally, I believe it’s important for children to receive the message of the Gospel and the lessons of the Bible in a way that they can understand, and that is relevant to their lives.  That’s why we have Kids Connect in the first place.  However, I also believe that it’s important for our young kids to experience “adult” worship with their parents.  (That’s why on special occasions like Christmas Eve we offer no Kids Connect and that during the summer we’ve always had the kids at least worship in song with their parents.)  I think it’s vital for children to actually witness their parents worship.  We are constantly modeling behavior for our children, but when it comes to church, sometimes we can be too quick to drop them off and separate ourselves from them.  I also strongly believe in the importance of family unity.  What better place to be together as a family than in church?

2.  Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not easy to have our children sit in church with us.  We feel the need to keep them quiet, still, and respectful; and that’s no easy task.  But at the same time, know that 1) you’re not alone and 2) the church will accept the fact that children are joining us in worship this summer and we all know that children can fidget.  But we’re in this together, and I will be right there with you!  My husband and I talked about it, and although we have the option of him coming to church separately with our kids to the 10:30 service, we decided it’s more important for us to attend church together as a family.  So we will all sit in first service together (all 5 of us, including our infant) and then he and I will volunteer in Kids Connect during second service while the kids attend their class.  I’m not saying that this is the model every family should follow, but we’ve decided it’s right for us. So if you’re planning to attend the first service with your kids, know that you definitely won’t be alone!

3. This is a great opportunity to teach our kids about church, and what to expect in the service.  We don’t want our “graduating” fifth graders to experience “culture shock” when they enter the adult service after spending their childhood in kids’ church, so this provides even more exposure to the format of our worship services.  While some older kids are capable of listening to the sermon and even writing down what they learn (I can remember doing this in church with my parents and feeling so “grown up”), I understand that it will be harder for the younger ones who cannot yet read or write.  Morning Star Christian Bookstore has several Christian coloring and activity books for young children, which may help give the little ones something to do during sermon-time.  I’ve also sourced a couple articles you can read advocating the inclusion of children in adult worship.  Read them.  They may make you feel better about bringing your kids into church with you.

4. During the 10:30a.m. service, there will be a full Kids Connect program.  Nursery, 2s & 3s, and preschool-kindergarteners will meet for the full service while the 1st-5th grade will join their parents for worship and then head to Kids Connect for the lesson.

Again, I do believe that children’s church is important, which is why I, along with a great team, work hard to make sure we can offer it most of the year.  But balance is best!  And although it disappoints me (and my Type “A” personality) not to be able to offer Kids Connect at 9:00 this summer, I am excited about this new opportunity to see families unite and worship together in church.
In Him for you and our children,

Here are a couple articles you can read on including children in adult church:





Hope Chapel

35 Chocksett Rd

Sterling, MA 01564