Children in Worship
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not stop them, for it is such as these that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs.” -Matthew 19:14
St. Luke’s is joyously a multi-generational congregation committed to nurturing children and youth in the Christian faith through participation in the worship service, Sunday School, confirmation classes, social activities and fellowship. All children and youth are invited to participate in the beginning of the worship service each Sunday, including a “Time With Our Children” when Christian Education Coordinator Marin Miller shares a story or object lesson, and after which they are welcome to participate in Sunday School with Marin, Lydia and Tiggy.
Sunday School with Marin
On any given Sunday morning at St. Luke’s, you can find all the grade-school children in Sunday School up and moving in the Spirit, having fun together actively exploring the living word of God. Literally. We live it by acting out the Bible stories- taking turns embodying the people and their journeys connecting to God.
“Who wants to play Mary this time? Who wants to play Martha? Who wants to play Jesus?” “What did it feel like when Samuel heard his name called by God in the night?”
“What was going through that child’s heart when he shared his five small loaves of bread and two fish with Jesus and the masses?”
We get to imagine, discover, and live these moments out with each other doing what children do best- playing make-believe. Drama play is also a wonderful and natural way to grow our sense of empathy by practicing putting ourselves in someone else’s circumstances. Learning to love our sisters and brothers as ourselves is one of Jesus’ biggest teachings. We practice doing just that every Sunday as the characters inside the stories and as we work together to make up plays, create group art projects, play cooperative games. We hone our listening skills by listening to each other as well as the creative impulses within- understanding that listening to our hearts is a good way to practice listening for God at work within us. And, on very special Sundays, the children offer their gifts and understanding of God’s love to the congregation by sharing their play during the worship service. On those sparkly, light-filled Sundays, the children’s message is not given TO the children but BY the children. Each opportunity the children have to work together as One in sacred community helps create a foundational and experiential understanding that, in deed, “We, who are many, are One in the body of Christ” (Romans 12:1-8).
Ms. Marin Miller
Marin is the Christian Education Coordinator and Lead Sunday School teacher here at St. Luke’s as well as a Los Angeles-based actor, seasoned theatre artist and a teacher with 8 years in the classroom, 15 on the professional stage and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from The University of The South at Sewanee. Grateful her own childhood included growing up in a heart-centered, accepting, welcoming community of faith, Marin knows first-hand how important a positive early church experience can be as a foundation for a lifelong connection to our loving God. This has lead her to develop a new way to engage children in exploring their connection to God through drama, art, and collaborative play. The curriculum she creates aims to encourage each child’s natural sense of joy and wonder, imagination, and non-judgmental mind as they begin their spiritual path in the Christian faith.