People sometimes forget that a key component of our religious education for children is periodic attendance at intergenerational services. These services give kids an opportunity to learn what happens in a Unitarian Universalist service. At least some part of each intergenerational service is designed to engage children at some level.
The Flower Communion on May 12 is a service that many children find enjoyable. Everyone brings a flower to the service, and then during the service everyone gets a chance to go to the front of the Main Hall and choose a different flower to take home with them. This uniquely Unitarian Universalist service was developed at the Unitarian church in Prague, Czech Republic, in the 1930s. As always, children who have a hard time sitting still for the whole service can leave at any time to go to child care, and as always there will be coloring pages available to use during the service.
On May 19, the 8th and 9th graders in the Coming of Age program will present their “credos,” or statements of religious identity. Many parents feel this is an important service for older children and middle schoolers to see — these parents want children to realize that when they get older, they will be the ones leading the Coming of Age service. This is not as child-friendly a service as the Flower Communion, but some young children are interested enough in the big kids to sit through the whole service. (Many parents find this to be one of the most inspiring services of the entire year, and if their children don’t happen to want to stay through the service, there’s always child care on the playground!)
I hope your family manages to make it to one or both of these services. Intergenerational services can be a bit more work for parents, but they are a real educational opportunity — an opportunity for children to find out what it means to be part of a bigger community than their Sunday school class.
See you soon,
Rev. Dan Harper