Children are welcome to worship at any of our services, but we have a number of services that are designed particularly with children in mind. The 9 am Sunday Eucharist in the church nave is recommended for children ages 4–10. Preschool children and their families are invited to worship in the Great Hall at 9:15 or 11:15 am, where shorter services encourage preschoolers to use all their senses as they explore their budding faith. (If you worship in the Great Hall, you will see we are wide open in spirit!)
Along with our regular Sunday worship schedule, we have several special services throughout the year that are designed specifically for children. These include:
• Epiphany service and party on Jan. 6, beginning with a brief service of prayers, an Epiphany story from the Bible and songs.
• Ash Wednesday children’s service at 5 pm in the church nave with prayers, story, songs and the imposition of ashes.
• Maundy Thursday (A Child’s Walk Through Holy Week) in which children experience the events of Holy Week through story and prayers.
• Good Friday (Children’s Stations of the Cross), where children walk around the church nave hearing the story of Christ’s death in an age-appropriate way.
Contact: Pattie Ames
Child care is an important part of our welcome to St. Columba’s youngest members and their families. It offers a place where infants and young children can experience the love and care of this community, and it offers parents an opportunity to give their full attention to worship and other church activities.
In room 236, located on the second floor of the building on the Albemarle Street side, child care is available for infants and children through age 3 every Sunday morning and for occasional evening services and lectures. Sunday hours are from 8:45 am to 12:45 pm (September through early June) and from 10:15 to 11:45 am during the summer service schedule. Children can stay for any length of time while child care is in operation.
We have three adult child care providers to engage with children. You will be asked to sign in your child, inform the child care workers of any special information and tag your diaper bag. You will be given a beeper in case we need you to return to the child care room.
It happens. Young children can be distressed at separation times and do miss their parents. That’s a sign of healthy development. Sometimes children cry just because someone else is crying. As long as the good times, exploration and happy play outweigh any crying and distress, we’ll cope. We will come and get you if we think your child is inconsolable and we feel the prospects of change aren’t good. Such situations are always a judgment call and will be handled by the Sunday Supervisor.
Checking-in and Checking-out
Everybody seems to come at the same time—the last minute. After all, getting the whole family dressed and ready for church isn’t easy. Please help us keep track of the children and get every child off to a good start. Simple rituals and procedures for coming and going are important to us all.
• Sign in on the room clipboard with first and last name. You will receive a beeper to notify you (it lights up and vibrates) if your child or a caregiver needs you.
• Mark your child’s gear with his or her name.
• Introduce your child to a caregiver.
• When you return, be sure to sign your child out, return the beeper and tell a caregiver you are leaving.
Sunday School for 3-year-olds through 5th graders begins in mid-September and ends the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend. Children must be potty trained and turn three by Oct. 31 to participate. Classes meet during the education hour, from 10:15 to 11:05 am. The year is divided into four units, and we use several different curricula to provide the children with a wide range of materials to learn about the Bible, Episcopal tradition and worship, and helping others through our service and outreach programs.
Classes are taught by volunteers from the parish who serve on teaching teams for one or more units (about eight or nine Sundays) during the year. A rich resource library, ample supplies, workshops and experienced staff support are offered to help teachers feel confident and prepared. There is often a sign–up board in the Common in the few weeks before the school year begins, and before each unit when there is a need. Speak to Pattie Ames, Director of Children’s Ministries, or to one of the clergy, if you are interested in teaching.
Contact: Pattie Ames
9 am Sunday Eucharist
9:15 and 11:15 am Eucharist for Preschool Children and Their Families in the Great Hall
Sunday School Registration Form (PDF)
Online Sunday School Registration
Youth Sunday School (grades 6 through 12)
Top and Middle Photos: Wayne C. Fowler. Bottom Photo: Lynn Miller