All Saints’ strives to provide an easy and comfortable experience for children (and the adults that bring them). That may mean children working in the pew with one of our specially-made activity packs*, toddling in the aisle, or joining in our Nursery, Sunday School, or youth program. We want children to enjoy their place in the church and the place of the church in their lives.
Our Sunday School offers an engaging learning experience for children ages 3 through 10. Children attend the initial part of the Sunday service with their parents or guardians and then, following a short children’s talk, they make their way to the Sunday School rooms. The adults sing them out with a catchy children’s tune, but you are welcome to accompany the children to see where they are going and what they are doing.
Under the guidance of two teachers*, the children explore a Bible story through workbook activities, songs and rhymes, a themed craft, and games, all of which allow the children to experience the message in a variety of ways. Often, the lessons the children are learning mirror the ones being presented to the adults in their worship.
Children do return to the church with their teachers to share in a blessing or in the Eucharist (communion), either with their peer group or with their own family, if they wish. They then return to the Sunday School rooms to finish up their lessons and crafts.
Really little ones (ages 3 and younger) are always most welcome to add their presence and voices to the worship service, but they can also spend Sunday service (10:00 am) in a bright, cheerful Nursery playroom filled with toys and activities. (It’s all about what’s most comfortable for the toddler … and of course, the grown-ups he or she came with!) Parents and guardians are welcome to leave their children in the Nursery for all or part of the service, as suits their needs and temperament. While the adults worship, wee ones are supervised by two attentive caregivers* and the occasional fun-loving teen. Snacks and drinks are provided.
Older children (11 or 12 and up) have lots of options for Sunday worship at All Saints’. Many take an active role in the 10:00 am service (especially the Family Eucharist) by reading Scripture, leading prayers, or taking a turn as junior sidespeople (ushers). Others routinely help in Sunday School or the Nursery, or they sing in the choir. Some just sit in the pews and astonish their parents or guardians with their maturity. Once a month, the youth spend the 10:00 am service together in the parish kitchen, and under the supervision of their adult leaders*, they bake (and sample) sweets and goodies that they then offer for sale during the after-church coffee time.
As a youth group, All Saints’ teens and preteens participate in the annual church bazaar, plan and run games at the church picnic, or have a casual “potluck lunch with the pastor.” Biblical scripture and its relationship to everyday life, as well as discussion of current song lyrics and links to God’s messages, are always part of the conversation. Special events in the past have included indoor rock climbing, mini golf, an end-of-season BBQ, a Hallowe’en food drive, and “30-Hour Fast for FaithWorks.”
*Activity packages include paper, storybooks, crayons, colouring sheets, stickers, and pipe cleaners, and are available from the greeters or sidespeople at the south (main) entrance of the church.
*All individuals working with children at All Saints’ have a police record check and sexual misconduct policy training every three years.