At baptism we become full members of the Church, whatever our age. This is why, at St Chrysostom’s, we like to see children as part of today’s church, not the church of tomorrow. This is why children are welcome to receive Holy Communion – they are not to be excluded from our Christian family meal.
This year one of our aims at church is “To involve children more in church.” Some ideas we’ve had for doing this are; developing and building up Kharis (our Sunday School held during Mass), involving children more in our liturgies, developing our children’s activity days at Church…
Of course there is more… When the disciples were having a theological argument about greatness in God’s kingdom, what did Jesus do? He put a child into the centre of the disciples. (Matthew 18. 2,3) He said “unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus gave the disciples a clear indication to a basic truth which they were missing.
This involvement of childrenis much more than ‘making children welcome’ (as good as that is). It is about ensuring they have a central place. This, as with the disciples, will give new insights to all, bring change, and help get our truths into the perspective of God’s kingdom, and so help shape our faith. At a recent children’s day at Church we had children from Christian, Muslim and Hindu homes joining together in exploring God’s world – walking together, decorating biscuits together, enjoying one another’s company. What does this say to adults?
How will we individually, and as a church, continue to encourage and further develop a central role for children?(This is the first in series of reflections on our 2014 aims at St Chrysostom’s, comments and thoughts are welcome, simply post a comment here)