“Unless you become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of God."
Formation in Christ
Formation in Christ is essential to us at Abbey Way. No matter the age, how you are growing in faith and knowledge is important here.
Children birth to age three are cared and nurtured by well qualified volunteers each Sunday. Through age appropriate activities, the story of God is introduced. We team with Elim Church in the care of our kids.
During the school year, children age three to five plus learn about the Good Shepherd through holy play and reflection in our Montessori based Atrium.
Beginning in September, school age children enjoy learning about Jesus in story and interaction each week in Kids’ Chapel.
Sparkhouse's Holy Moly curriculum during Kids' Chapel helps our kids grow and deepen in their familiarity with God's word.
We engage with Sparkhouse's Re:Form curriculum to guide and direct the youth group's learning.
We at Abbey Way seek to be inclusive in community with all generations, including children. We believe children are an integral part of a faith community and can help adults to remember the paths to silence, story, wonder and awe which keep our faith alive, fresh and vital. We think all ages can walk those paths together, hand in hand. In response to the current trend of churches segregating children and adults, Abbey Way seeks to share all of the church rhythms as an entire community; making space for and building relationship between adults and children alike.
On Sunday Morning
From the very beginning of Abbey Way, we have intentionally included our children in every aspect of our Sunday gathering. They are valued as contributers to our life together, helping out as they are able with set up, clean up and caring for younger children. They regularly add significance to our dialogue by asking probing questions and giving insightful comments. When we pray, they readily extend their hands in blessing. Keeping us focused on what is real and present, the children add a connective realism to our Sunday gathering (and other times we meet) which is not found in most other church experiences. From the place of childhood innocence, the children in the community are well received as important and essential to who we are as church.
During June, July and August, children ages 3 to third grade participate in an age appropriate bible lesson led by various Abbey Way-ers while the older children, youth and adults listen to the week's sermon.
Kids' Learning Environments
As much as we integrate our children with us, they also have times of specific learning activities appropriate to their age.
Our little ones are cared for in our nursery by volunteer staff who love them well. They play and learn while the community worships.
During the school year, our 3-5 + year olds spend the first part of the service in their own Atrium, a montessori based experience that focuses on encountering Jesus as the Good Shepherd while the 6-11 year olds participate in Kid's Chapel during the message portion of the service. There they receive an age appropriate lesson from the same text that the adults are learning from. We believe this continues to form the adults and children as one community while at the same time providing each with the “food” that is nourishing for them. After the teaching, the Atrium and Kid's Chapel kids join the entire community for the sharing of the Bread and the Cup at the Lord’s Table.
Our “middlers” and high schoolers who have matriculated from Kid’s Chapel and are participating in the youth group, join the adults for worship as full participants in the worship life of our community.
These are the ways we share life together and yet provide the spiritual nourishment due each member, whether they are older or younger.
Here is a helpful resource to learn more about nurturing the relationship between God and Children.