We Welcome Children in Meeting
We welcome families and children to our Friends Meeting, but we realize that Meeting can be a difficult place to bring children. The quietness of the room seems to magnify their noise and movement. Know that it was that way when we brought our children for the first time, too. We find that these sounds usually bother the parents the most.
We want to assure you that we value the presence of children in Meeting for Worship. We believe that God is present in everyone, regardless of age. When children join us, our community and our faith are broadened.
All ages of Friends worship together for the first 15 minutes of the Meeting hour. Children have First Day (Sunday) School or child care when they are not in Meeting for Worship. Someone sitting near you can explain how this is organized. On the fifth Sunday we gather for an all ages Worship, where we can truly be a worshiping community.
For now, put your mind at rest. We are pleased to have your family with us as we search to know God, ourselves, and each other “in that which is eternal.”
Some Practical Suggestions
- As a family, talk about why you are coming to Meeting.
- Practice having quiet time before meals or at bedtime.
- Before you enter the Meeting room, remind your children that people inside are sitting quietly.
- Prepare for physical comfort and quietness by blowing noses, unzipping coat zippers, taking off hot boots, etc., before going in.
- Talk with your children about ways to center down so they can enter into the spirit of worship. Sitting on your lap or closing their eyes may help.
- Here are some centering suggestions that you may want to try. Listen to the words or music that repeat themselves in your mind. Listen to sounds outside of the Meeting room; inside of it; inside yourself. Feel yourself breathe and try to give it a gentle rhythm.
- We’re Going to Meeting for Worship by Abby Hadley is a simple story for children ages 4 – 6. You may want to look for it in the Meeting Library.
Remember that for all of us, the experience of worship grows with patience and practice.