When God came to dwell among us, the Word was born a wordless child. When Jesus was doing his work on earth, he came close to people that his culture considered outcasts, including children. He didn't stop there. Eight times in the gospels, Jesus commanded adults to include children in the community. This was counter-cultural. Abiding Love chooses to be counter-cultural in how we welcome others too, including children. When we welcome children, we welcome Jesus, and when we welcome Jesus, we welcome God.
ALLC provides many ways for children to grow in God's love:
ALLC has implemented the Godly Play curriculum developed by Jerome Berryman into the children's (Infants-Third Grade) Sunday morning education classes. The program uses a Montessori approach to encourage children to WONDER about God while becoming intimately connected in a relationship to Him. Click here to learn more about Godly Play.
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
Each Summer, the Children's Ministries Board sponsors a week long children's event to bring families together through Biblical story presentations, special music, games, and crafts. This summer, the 2015 VBS will take place the week o June 21-26. As plans unfold, more information will be forthcoming.
Each year, ALLC hosts two overnight retreats for our Third-Fifth Grade children: the Upper Elementary Advent Retreat (held in December) and the Upper Elementary Lent Retreat (held in February or March). These camping opportunities help our Third-Fifth Grade children develop bonds of friendship before entering the Confirmation program.
Our Godly Play program also brings a new highlight. Our very own ALLC Song writer, Tom Hokanson, has written beautiful songs to compliment the church season journeys of the Godly Play experiences. When appropriate, the children will be singing with Tom as part of our worship services. Form this staring point, the Children's Ministries Board will support the emergence of a Children's Choir & Drama group.
Children's Christmas Program
In celebration of Christmas, the Godly Play children give the congregation a gift of a traditional presentation of "The Children's Christmas Liturgy" as written by Jerome Berryman, the founder and author, of the Godly Play program.
Flowering the Cross
On Easter Sunday, families may join the processional before the Easter Worship Services to "Flower the Cross." Children may bring fresh flowers from home or use the flowers provided by the Children's Ministries Board.
During the Advent and Lent seasons, special Godly Play devotions are provided for our families with children (Infants to Fifth Grade) in preparation for the celebrations of Christmas and Easter. Also, quarterly Godly Play Parent Pages are available in the Narthex kiosk for families wishing to use the Godly Play stories for family devotional times.
Third Grade Bibles
Each year, special study Bibles are presented to all Third Graders in our congregation. These Bibles provide a hands-on opportunity for children to experience Bible referencing and Bible study in preparation for their Confirmation years.
The Children's Ministries Board encourages families to support their children in the participation and understanding of the Worship Service through the use of Worship Bags. These bags are available in baskets in the Narthex and contain a seasonal children's worship bulletin, a clipboard, and writing supplies.
In September, ALLC hosts a celebration "Kick Off" to welcome everyone back to the Education Hour after the summer break. Godly Play hosts a special gathering in the sanctuary followed by engaging experiences for all ages.
Welcoming New Babies (Cradle Roll)
ALLC welcomes new babies and their families to the life of our congregation through the "Cradle Roll," a welcome package that introduces each family to the educational and worship opportunities at Abiding Love.
Abiding Love sees all God's children as bearers of God's creative and redeeming Word to all the world, and we get to walk beside each other in that journey.
Abiding Love has made the intentional and hopeful decision for children to be active participants in this community! Click here to read more on how ALLC strives to "Make Space for Children" in our worship services.
ALLC offers four Godly Play classes, divided by age/grade. These classes gather together in the Sanctuary on Sunday mornings at 9:45am, and then move upstairs to their classrooms.
- Infant to 3 years
- 4 years - Kindergarten
- 1st - 3rd Grades
Click here to view the 2014-2015 Godly Play Scope & Sequence. All Godly Play volunteers will need to participate in background checks done through the church. There is no fee for this service for our volunteers. Click here for the forms that need to be completed and returned to our church office administrator.
What is Godly Play?
Godly Play® is a method of a Christian education and spiritual direction. The goal of Godly Play is to teach children and adults the art of using religious language and to help them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives. Through parables, sacred stories, and liturgical action, the wonder of God is opened.
The Godly Play method focuses clearly and deeply on the child’s spirituality. This evolves, enhances, supports, and enlarges the quality of relationships in other activities for children and their families in whatever setting they apply their learning.
Will my child enjoy Godly Play?
One of the goals of Godly Play is to create a safe space for children. A place where ideas, opinions, and gifts are deeply respected. Because everything in the Godly Play classroom is designed for children to use and enjoy, most children look forward to visiting this sacred space.
Children will often “wonder” aloud during the week about the meaning of the Bible stories they heard on Sunday.
What makes Godly Play distinctive?
With Godly Play, we tell Bible stories to children to encourage them to enter into the stories, to wonder about them and to relate them to their personal experience.
Is Godly Play “Religious Education”?
This approach to religious education is really broader and different than what is traditionally thought of as “education.” It is not about classrooms with desks, blackboards, and a teacher talking as children sit still and listen. It is about engaging the child to be a member of a circle and to wonder about God’s elusive presence through story.
Can I teach Godly Play? Yes, you can!
Training is offered at various levels to meet the needs of Godly Play teachers from introductory workshops, to core training, to advanced work in specific aspects of the method. Godly Play Trainers are available for private consultations to provide support and/or specific training.
Abiding Love Lutheran Church offers many opportunities for training throughout the year. Contact us at 512-892-4040 to learn how you can get involved.
Abiding Love has made the intentional and hopeful decision for children to be active participants in this community!
We encourage you to bring children to worship. Please sit close to the front or the center aisle so children can see. Children can stand on the pew if that will help them see. If they need to step out, don't feel like you are interrupting anyone.
Relax! God put the wiggle in children. Don't feel like you have to suppress it in God's house. We want children to know they are safe in this house of worship.
Children are welcomed to eat at our great, big family table: Holy Communion. If your child expresses interest (by asking or by reaching out) in taking Communion, they are ready to learn more. Please allow your children to participate. This meal is God's gift and no one is denied. We offer classes for many ages of children to begin a journey of understanding the mystery of Holy Communion, and these classes can come after they begin participating. Remember, the gift of Jesus' forgiveness is free for all. There is really nothing you have do to "be ready".
We encourage children to participate in worship by coming to the front to hear the Children's Sermon. We also invite children to carry the wine or bread during the offertory. As they grow, we invite them to become acolytes, lectors and musicians.
Worship bags are available for children to use during the sermon time. These can be found in baskets in the narthex (entry way). Encourage them to participate; when we stand, when we sit, when we sing and when we pray.
Should your child need a short break from worship, feel free to continue worshipping with your child from the back narthex (lobby). There is a playroom available for children and parents, and a cry room at the back of the sanctuary where you can see and hear the service. An usher can help you find these rooms.