Sacred Space for the Youngest
Sports stadiums have “club seat sections.” Theater and concert halls have “VIP box seats.” Airplanes have “first class seats.” These are the places everyone wants to enjoy!
At St. James, there is a new section in the Cathedral in very high demand by those who are young and young-at-heart—it is the newly developed “With Joy Kids’ Section.” The space is designed for families with young children, toddlers, and infants. This Sunday, March 24th, during the 10:00AM service, St. James will bless the ““With Joy Kids’ Section.”
“We wanted to create an inviting and open space for children and their parents/guardians, where they can spread out, feel comfortable, and fully engage the service as a whole family,” says Dean Ryan. “For new families visiting St. James, it sends a very clear and profound statement: It says we are a community of faith committed to supporting the needs of our families, especially those with young children.”
The new area provides plenty of space for children to move around. It also provides special seating when children want to color, play, or read. There are books for kids of all ages. There are Biblical-themed coloring and activity pages with a variety of pencils, pens, and crayons. For the very young ones, there are plush toys and simple puzzles. Anchoring the space are two very colorful rugs (with padding underneath) and seating for adults. The space will always be a “work-in-progress” because we want the space to reflect the needs and interests of the children and their parents/guardians.
“Our current campus situation does not really offer us the opportunity to host a dedicated nursery. In all honesty, even if we did have a nursery, we would still have a sacred and special space for families with young children in the Cathedral,” says Dean Ryan. “Yes, it is a little noisier during worship, but those are beautiful sounds, little blessings from God. A church with the sounds of young children is a growing and thriving community! I greatly prefer St. James to be a Cathedral with youthful noises rather than no noises at all.”
St. James Statement about Children in Worship
Children of all ages are always welcomed at St. James! God blessed children with the ability to wiggle. The joyous sounds, movements, and curiosity of kids are gifts from God. Please do not feel you have to subdue those joys in God’s house. We want God’s children to be comfortable and experience the joyfulness of worship. During the celebration of Eucharist, children are welcome to move closer to the altar or to stand on the pew/seat to see what is going on. Located near the entrance of the Cathedral sanctuary is our “With Joy Kids Section.” Please feel free to utilize this family-friendly area at any time during the service. It has been designed to allow kids to spread out and enjoy some contemplative playtime while still allowing their parents/guardians to experience the service.