CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
CHILDREN IN WORSHIP
We welcome children and their families in worship! Children are invited to participate fully in our Sunday morning worship services and especially during the children’s message. We have a children’s area or "pray ground" in the sanctuary where kids will find books, toys, and a themed coloring/activity sheet. We believe kids and their "joyful noise" only enhance - not distract from - our worshipping together as the whole people of God.
Joyful Noise Room Still, we know that parents and their little ones might need a break, so we've got a room just across the narthex from the sanctuary, which is equipped with a changing table, feeding chair, books, and toys. Families are free to come and go from this space as needed throughout the worship service. Volume-controlled audio of the worship service is also available in the Joyful Noise Room.
Special events are also held throughout the year for kids and their families to learn about God and interact with others. We have hosted Christmas events for kids ages 3+, as well as Family Fun Nights throughout the year. We also welcome ideas for new things to try!
WEEKLY CHILDREN'S MESSAGE
CHILDREN'S WORSHIP BULLETINS
FAMILY CORNER | DIY SUNDAY SCHOOL @ HOME
Spark Family Page We believe that faith formation and devotional at home is important for all ages. Each week, we provide a "Family Page" - a single page with a Bible story of the week (usually one of the Sunday readings in worship), a short prayer, some discussion questions, and ideas for activities for both older kids and younger kids (and grown-ups too!). We know our lives and schedules are busy, but we encourage you to set aside some time each week - whether it's around the dinner table, before bed, or another special time - to read the Bible, pray, and talk about your faith together as a family. (updated every Monday during the program year [September-May])
Coloring Page Because who doesn't like to color?! Use this page to color on your own, or in conjunction with reading and talking about the week's Bible story on the Family Page. (updated every Monday during the program year [September-May])
No printer at home? No problem. Just let us know if you'd like printed copies to be mailed to you or set aside for pick up at church.
MORE RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
Worshiping with Children An online resource, targeted primarily at worship planners and leaders to create intergenerational worship which intentionally includes God’s people of all ages in a single service. There are also great ideas for families and children to do at home. Featuring indexes by topic, lectionary week, or scripture reading. LINK HERE
Storypath A project of Union Presbyterian Seminary, with over ten years of resources linking children's literature to the lectionary. Featuring indexes by theme and scripture reading. This is a great resource for families to make use of their local public library to explore books and their connection to the stories of our faith that we hear on Sundays. Pastor Josh has been using many of these books in children's messages and special story time videos. LINK HERE
Whirl Videos Families with a subscription to Amazon Prime can watch the Whirl videos for free! Whirl is a Bible-based cartoon series about the lovable and sometimes overly-enthusiastic kids of First-Second Church. In each episode, the kids tackle a different theme that is central to Christian values. And while the issues dealt with are relatable, the solutions the characters find are...unconventional. Whirl is a curriculum published by Sparkhouse, the educational branch of Augsburg Fortress (ELCA). LINK HERE
Story Bibles Three great story bibles for younger kids that tell the amazing stories about God and God's people are the SPARK STORY BIBLE, the WHIRL STORY BIBLE, and GROWING IN GOD'S LOVE. Any of them would be an excellent addition to the library of your little one(s), and they're all a little different too. Of the three, the Spark Story Bible typically corresponds to the children's bulletins we publish on this page each week.
Bibles for Older Kids For older kids ready for something more, we recommend the GOOD NEWS BIBLE, a popular translation with easy-to-understand language suitable for children who are learning to read. The Good News Bible is available in a variety of editions, many of which can purchased as inexpensive used copies online. Another great option is the COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE, a newer translation but similar to the Good News Bible in its use of easy-to-understand language for a variety of readers. There's also the INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S BIBLE, the first bible translation designed specifically for kids at a third grade reading level or above. Finally, there's the SPARK NRSV BIBLE. The NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) is the mostly widely-used translation in many churches and is the one we read from in our Sunday liturgy. The Spark NRSV Bible is a great option for older kids, especially those around confirmation age (7th-8th grade).
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL (VBS)
Our most popular education event is our annual, no-cost Vacation Bible School (VBS). We regularly host VBS for over 70 kids and 30 adult helpers for kids from St. Philip and our neighbors in Glenview. You don't have to be a member of our congregation to join in the awesome-ness of VBS!
In 2020, we adapted to the times with a week of DIY VBS through daily emails and videos for families to do at home. Stay tuned for 2021 plans, including registration to come in the spring.