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 will provide an faith-based educational lesson and activity for children during the time of the sermon in worship. Children’s Church will be designed for children up to 12 years of age. As with every week at WSUMC, our children will be 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, Opening Hymn, and Opening Prayer. During the Passing of the Peace, a couple teachers will lead the children into the classrooms behind the Sanctuary for the Children’s Church class. Following their lesson and activity, the children will return to the Sanctuary, allowing them to experience and participate in the Pastoral Prayer, Offertory, Communion, and the Closing Hymn.
It is our hope that this change will allow our children to still 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.
WSUMC will continue to provide the Nursery each Sunday for infants – 5 years old. We will also continue to offer an extended Sunday School on the third Sunday of the month, which as it has in the past, will continue to offer an extended educational, missional, and fellowship opportunities for our children. (See the section on Sunday School further down this page for more information.)
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. In order to help children feel more involved in worship, a special Children’s Bulletin is prepared for them each Sunday. Ask an usher for a Children’s Bulletin or find one on the table at the back of the Sanctuary. There are also 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.
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, a Nursery is 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.