CRANFORD — Calvary Lutheran Church, 108 Eastman Street, Cranford begins a new focus on educational ministry for young children ages three to five years beginning on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 9:30 a.m.
The new weekly program is open to children who were three years old by Oct. 1. New participants will be welcomed throughout the school year.
Known as “Young Children and Worship,” the program helps pre-schoolers develop an understanding of what it means to be in worship. This new approach connects the usual Sunday School elements to the traditional elements found in worship: creating a sacred space, greeting the church family, hearing the word, responding to the word, sharing communion, and being sent out into the world.
As young children become familiar with these concepts, they are better able to recognize them and feel comfortable when they attend worship. The sense of ritual they experience in this program expands to an understanding of worship in their church setting.
At each Sunday session the children gather together and greet one another. They hear the word through Bible stories acted out with three-dimensional figures. They respond to the story by choosing from various stations offering music, art, puzzles, reading, prayer and more.
Also, in this new program traditional snack time becomes a “feast” replicating communion. The children gather in a circle for a meal together. The teacher unwraps a napkin containing crackers, which the youngsters pass around and share, along with a glass of water.
Then an adult reads that week’s story from a children’s Bible, and with closing prayers, they are sent out into their world.
Parents planning to bring their young children to this new experience are invited to call Lynda Pullis, Calvary Lutheran’s Youth and Family Ministry Director, at 908-276-2418. Those needing more information are also invited to call.
Calvary Lutheran Church is a congregation of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) serving the Cranford-Westfield area and surrounding communities for 85 years.
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