Young Children and Worship is a denominationally approved curriculum which seeks to help children experience God rather than just acquire knowledge about Him. Through sensorimotor learning, children are invited to touch the stories of the Bible, engage them, ask questions, and reflect in deeply personal ways about what they are hearing and seeing.
After a time of personal reflection, and maybe even arts and crafts, children return to the circle to hear the story again, this time read directly from the Bible. YC&W is all about making connections – with God, ourselves, and each other!
My absolute favourite feature of this curriculum, however, is the way that it mirrors weekly worship. Stepping away from the long held tradition that Sunday school ought to mimic nursery school, YC&W is modelled instead on the exact same flow of worship we experience in the Sanctuary. Children are welcomed and “called to worship” (“The Lord be with You”, “And also with you!”), and they will learn to sing (and sign!) simple hymns (“Be Still and Know that I Am God”) to help them get ready to be with God. They’ll pray, hear God’s Word, respond, and even enjoy a weekly Feast (snack time) that mirrors the liturgy and practice of Holy Communion.
All of this effort is made to help create worshippers and theologians! When children find themselves in “big church” on Sunday morning, you’ll be surprised at how familiar they will suddenly seem with the ebb and flow of the worshipping life of the church! It really is amazing to experience!
—Rev. Jacqui Foxall