Children and Youth at IPC
Children and youth are welcome participants in the life of Idylwood Presbyterian Church. We believe that a church with young people is a growing, healthy church. We seek to be hospitable to the needs of our children and youth even as we teach them what it means to be a member of the community. As a small church, our focus is on deep and abiding intergenerational friendships, forged during coffee hour and other church activities.
We believe that faith is primarily "caught" rather than "taught." Children learn how to be in worship by experiencing worship. We have a time with the children each Sunday in which they receive a special message from the pastor or other church leader. Following this time, many parents send their young children to our nursery upstairs, which is staffed by a paid nursery worker who has completed a background check.
Older children have the option to spend the service in the Upper Room (our church balcony), which has been especially equipped for the comfort of our children. There they can hear what's going on in the service while perusing children's books in one of the comfy chairs, or participating in quiet crafts. An adult from the congregation sits with these children during Upper Room time to assist with crafts and for "crowd control."
Other parents may prefer to keep their children with them the entire service. We have worship bags and children's activity sheets to help keep them occupied. Encourage your child to take part in the service as he or she is able: standing and sitting with the congregation, joining in prayers and songs, and sharing prayer concerns and joys.
From time to time, we gather the children for a special activity during worship time: for example, to work with youth and adults on a video or a puppet show that might be offered in worship, or in an ad hoc children's choir. The youth meet from time to time for confirmation classes and other activities. These special events provide informal ways for children to build relationships with caring adults and experience the Christian faith in a participatory way. We also take part in a number of mission activities during the year, to which children and youth are invited.
Finally, we believe that parents are young people's primary faith educators. We seek to equip parents for this task as much as possible, through conversations, discussion groups and emailed resources and ideas that families can share together.