Moravian Church in North America

In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.

Moravian Church in North America
North: Bethlehem, Pa.
South: Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Becoming “New to the Pew”!

Being young and having to be a part of an adult world can be pretty intimidating, especially when transitioning from being in Children’s Church—where it is okay to wiggle, talk and even be silly—to sitting through a worship service where you have to be still, be quiet and probably have no idea what all is going on around you!

102015newpews2At Friedberg Moravian Church, we have a “New to the Pew” program where we meet with children who just completed second grade to teach them about what they are going to be doing once they become active participants during worship.

I offer a class about what it is going to be like when they actually go to “big church”! Parents are a part of this class as well so they can learn some things their child may be thinking, and sometimes even fearing, will happen within the service. Here is what we cover:

  • Different Parts — Where do we listen, talk, give or pray during worship? I teach them to take little stickers that are provided and mark their bulletins at the different times we do each of these.
  • Different Service Types — Communions, Lovefeasts, Baptisms, special occasions and even liturgy readings. We talk about the set-up of the service and where we listen, talk, sing and pray.
  • Service Expectations — Participation throughout the first part of the service is a must! Once the sermon begins, the children have a worship bag containing activities they can do. They will still need to listen to the sermon because several of the activities have to do with certain words being said or even specific prayers mentioned throughout the sermon.
  • Miss church? No problem! — We brainstorm ideas of ways for the children to take Jesus with them on the road: play/sing Christian music, play the ABC game and look for church-related objects, take the Moravian Daily Texts along and read it as a family and remember to pray!
  • Familiar Passages — We look at the words for the Moravian Table Blessing (said and sung), the doxology, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed and the Old Testament Benediction so they will be able to recognize certain passages within worship.

Before we are done with the “New to the Pew” class, I give each child a copy of The Story for Kids and parents receive Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman. These hopefully will help guide them through questions or trials that may come up while they transition from “new to the pew” to being active participants in worship.

Heidi Everhart is director of Children’s Ministry at Friedberg Moravian Church. For more information on “New to the Pew,” contact Heidi at heverhart@friedbergmoravian.org

 

From the October 2015 Moravian Magazine

Moravian Daily Texts

12/13/2017

Wednesday, December 13 — Psalm 142
Micah 3–5; Revelation 12:7–13:10

I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them. Ezekiel 20:12

Paul wrote: Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. 2 Timothy 1:14

Creator God, you are alive and active in our world. You call us to collaborate with you in the continuing work of creation. Inspire our efforts and bless them. And, then, O Lord, give us the gift of Sabbath peace, that we may rest from our labors and be renewed. Amen.

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