Welcome to Children’s Ministry
Washington Street UMC is excited to partner with you to help the children in your life become deeply committed Christians. The Children’s Ministry provides exciting opportunities for children birth through 5th grade. Sixth through twelfth graders are invited to participate in our Youth Ministry. The goal of the Children’s Ministry at Washington Street UMC is to provide relevant, meaningful opportunities to engage children through faith development classes, summer programs, and special events. It is also a goal of the church to surround the children of this community in a loving and devoted way offering meaningful and significant relationships with people of all ages. It is our hope that families will find the opportunity at Washington Street UMC to grow together on their journey to know, love, and serve God.
Children’s Church on Sundays — Currently we are trying to use new ways to include children in online worship. When we resume in-person worship, Children’s Church will provide an educational lesson for children during the time of the sermon on Sundays. Children’s Church is designed for children up to 12 years of age. Our children are invited to begin the worship hour in the Sanctuary as a part of the full community so that they can share in the Call to Worship, Hymn of Praise, and Opening Prayer. After the Invocation Chorus, the children are led by their teachers into the children’s classrooms. The children have a lesson and activity, and then return to the Sanctuary following the sermon to experience and participate in the Pastoral Prayer, Offertory, Communion, and the Sending Hymn each week.
It is our intention for Children’s Church to allow our children to be present in worship for the majority of the service, while providing for them a more child-focused method of receiving a word about God’s love each week. We believe strongly that our children need to be in worship; it is one of the best ways for our children to learn about worship by modeling the behavior of parents and other adults. However, we know that a 15-20 minutes sermon rarely connects with children as well as it does adults. Most children have a different style of learning, so we are seeking to offer them a more child-focused opportunity to learn in Children’s Church. It is our hope that the Children’s Church opportunity each week will provide the educational component our children need to help them learn they are loved by God, and to learn about God’s call on our lives to love one another.
After COVID, WSUMC will also provide the Nursery each Sunday for infants – 5 years old.
Children of all ages are welcome in worship. Washington Street UMC considers children equal members of the family of faith and of the church family, and believes that experiencing worship is an essential part of faith formation for growing children. In worship, children are drawn closer to God; they can gain strength from being with other believers, and learn to focus on God through prayer, music and scripture. There are Children’s Worship Bags located in the Children’s Worship Center at the back of the Sanctuary. Children are invited to fill the bags from a selection of available items (crayons, stuffed animals, puzzles, etc.). If used, please do return these bags and items to the Children’s Worship Center following worship so another child may use them in upcoming weeks. There is a rocking chair and toddler toys in the balcony of the sanctuary for parents and their little ones to utilize at any time.
Children are also invited to participate in worship by serving with the music ministry, as acolytes, offering helpers, greeters and readers. For more information about empowering your child to participate in worship services, please contact Pastor Thomas or call the church at 703-836-4324.
Each fall, as the school year is starting back up, Washington Street UMC gifts the 3rd graders with their own Bible. It is our prayer that this gift will be the starting point for a deeper relationship with God through Christ, enhanced through the study of God’s word.
The children receive the Children’s New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV). This new NRSV for children contains callouts that provide content designed to enhance the NRSV text. Icons draw attention to the specific types of callouts. * PATH—God’s Path—The will of God, God’s words, the message of Jesus.* COMPASS—Finding the Path—What the Bible says about how to align your life with God’s will.* FLASHLIGHT—Light on the Path—Key verses worth memorizing.* POINT SIGN—Points along the Path—Facts about the Bible lands and life in Bible times.
Bibles are usually presented in the fall at the 10:00am Sunday service. If you have a third grader, or a fourth or fifth grader who has not yet received a Bible from the church, please contact Pastor Thomas via email with your child’s name and grade.
On Sunday mornings when we resume in-person worship, a Nursery will be available for children 0-5 years of age. Washington Street UMC has paid and trained childcare workers available each week to care for your children during worship. However, children of all ages are welcome to participate in worship as well if it is the parents’ wish to have their child in worship.