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Ministry with Children and Families
For parents, the well-being of their children is of absolute importance. And spirituality – the inner core of a person from which springs our values, our character, and our sense of purpose and meaning – is a vital part of that well-being. Nurturing that inner core in our children is one of our most important challenges as parents – and helping you do that is part of our mission here at Knox.
On Sunday mornings, we will always do our best to provide a safe and respectful atmosphere for children, based on strong Duty of Care principles. We do provide nursery space for young children, but in the main sanctuary, we are working to keep families together in worship on Sunday mornings.
As you face the front of the church, off to the left (in what’s called the “transept”) you’ll see a space we’re calling “The Studio.” There is a table there, a few chairs, some art supplies and an awesome vintage felt board. There’s a rocking chair there, too, and some carpet, and a spot to sit… This is family space, so that kids can be near the front of the church (to connect with the worship), but also so that they can have something to do that actually allows them to participate in the Sunday morning experience, as they are able. There will be someone there in the Studio to help your children find what they need and make a connection.
At Knox we believe that you, as parents, are the most important influence on your children’s spiritual lives. That’s as it should be! But for most of us, the task of nurturing our children’s faith and spirit is not natural and automatic. We need some good tools for the job.
Here is what we are working on to support you:
Spiritual parenting blog: attached to our Knox Blog is a subsection on Spiritual Parenting. As we read and research and reflect on spiritual parenting, we’ll post good ideas, links, videos, etc. as we come across them. We invite your comments and discussion, but remember, this will be public space.
A community of parents: We are also developing an on-line community in the form of a private Facebook group. This is for parents associated with Knox, to act as a discussion forum, where we can ask each other questions, raise our issues, and offer one another our support. We may not be experts, but we are all gifted, so in this group we’ll “crowd-source” our wisdom and support. None of us need be alone or isolated in our parenting!
We’ll start off with a book that we recommend:
Periodic events and gatherings
It’s good to see each other face to face! So now and again, we will be organizing family events – just to get together for some fun, or perhaps to put together a Christmas or Easter pageant. We also hope these events will enable our kids to form some friendships with their peers.
Better than Sunday School
Here at Knox we are NOT developing a Sunday school program, if by that you mean a program for children that is separate from the “adult” worship. There are a couple of reasons for this:
By and large, Sunday School programs don’t seem to work. There is simply not enough time and continuity to teach something as complex and deep as spirituality, faith, and character.
Separating kids from Sunday morning worship seems (unintentionally) to last much longer than childhood! In fact, Sunday School seems to give kids the impression that worship is not for them, and so when they graduate from Sunday school or youth group, they leave the church (and sometimes the faith as well).
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