Children are a welcome and thriving part of Christ Church + Washington Parish. We offer a range of ways for children of all ages to participate in our worship services and our broader community.
To Parents of Young Children
At Christ Church, we want you to relax about the natural wiggles and squeaks that stem from children asked to remain quiet for long periods. After all, God made them this way, and all are welcome here!
Don’t be afraid to sit toward the front where it is easier for your little ones to see and hear what is going on at the altar, and help them find the hymns and prayers in your hymnals or bulletins. We know it’s not always possible to keep them on their best behavior, and sometimes you may have to leave a service to prevent disturbing your fellow parishioners. But please come back!
To the Members of Our Parish
Don’t forget that the presence of children is a gift to our church and reminds us our parish is growing. Please welcome our children and give a smile of encouragement to their parents.
Sunday in-Service offerings
Please know that you are always welcome to keep your children with you in the pews for the duration of any worship service. Should your children want to participate in any of the below options, however, feel free to come and go from our services as needed.
Care for our youngest children is available from 8:45am to 12:15pm each Sunday in our nursery at the back of the Parish Hall. It is staffed by trained caregivers and filled with books and toys perfect for our young infants and toddlers. If desired, you are welcome to pick up your child from the nursery at the Peace so that they can share in communion with the congregation, though you are also welcome to hold onto your (fleeting) child-free time until the end of service.
A dedicated and child-centered exploration of the week’s lessons is offered during the 9 a.m. service. Children begin in the sanctuary with their parents and will be called for Children’s Chapel before the lessons are read. This warm experience includes music, prayer, and lectionary-based Bible stories tailored to our younger congregants. Children return to the sanctuary ahead of Communion so they are able to share that with the full congregation. Volunteers are often needed to assist the chapel leaders. Email Katie if you are interested.
Children’s Worship Bags
Feel free to grab one of the colorful cloth bags available at either sanctuary entrance. These bags (labeled for readers and pre-readers) house a few fun offerings that may entertain your child if they decide to remain in the full worship service with you. Please return the bags and their contents after the service.
If your child needs a break from services, both the library (near the Parish Hall) and the narthex (the church entrance area) have speakers so you can still enjoy service from afar.
Join us for Sunday School weekly from 10-10:45 a.m. during the school year. Open to children from PreK to 5th Grade, Sunday School includes prayer, stories, and activities led by qualified volunteers. If you know you’ll join us, please register here, but walk-in additions more than welcome!
Sunday School is held in multiple rooms around the building and organized around grades. Look for signs for the classroom for your children or please ask a staff member for assistance.
additional Youth Ministries
Calling all Middle and High Schoolers! Beginning in Fall 2021, Christ Church ramped up its offerings for teenagers by introducing the Journey to Adulthood curriculum. This is an Episcopal-created, newly updated curriculum that integrates classroom discussion, fun outside activities, and serving the community. It is designed to help youth grow as full members of our community: learning about themselves, the world, and the church. More information to come, but contact Katie with questions.
Join our group of acolytes who serve at both services on most Sundays. Our acolytes help the liturgist set the table for Eucharist, and carry the cross or a torch during the 11 a.m. procession. Children in grades three and up are eligible to join the training, usually held each fall. If you missed the annual training, no problem: individual training can occur at any time with interest.
Rites of Passage
Baptisms are offered monthly and are scheduled with the Rector, the Rev. John Kellogg. Please contact him for more information.
We offer communion to all people who come to the table, including children. At the same time, we recognize that children can come to understand the nature of communion differently as they grow. Everyone is welcome to partake of communion as they feel comfortable, following the instructions from the officiant.
Classes to prepare for confirmation are offered every other year for youth in grades six and higher with our clergy and lay leaders. Please contact the Rev. Katie Beaver for more information.