At Atonement, we welcome people of ALL ages into worship. Recent research from Fuller Youth Institute suggests that one of the ways to build a sticky, long-lasting faith in young people is for them to regularly worship with their families.
Since children learn at an early age whether or not they truly belong somewhere, we want their earliest memories of church to be of a place and a community where their voices are welcomed rather than silenced. Crying babies demonstrate that is full of life. So does the murmur of children asking their families about what they’re seeing and observing in worship.
Your children are always welcome to join us at the front of the sanctuary in the pray-ground. The pray-ground offers several materials for children to engage in throughout worship. We’re OK with the murmur this creates because we know it’s a sign of engagement. Keeping their hands busy often enables children to listen better to what’s going on around them.
Boosters, Bibles and Bags
Children engage best in worship when they can see. While we recommend young families sit in front, for those who prefer to sit further back, there are booster seats under the back pews that young children can use to see better.
For those that don’t wish to use the pray-ground, worship bags are available which give kids a variety of things to do at their seats. Children’s Bibles are also available.
Children and Youth Serve in Worship
At Atonement, we believe that every person has a gifts that are meant to be shared with the larger church community. We welcome children to participate, serve and lead worship in age-appropriate ways. These may include; sharing their musical gifts, reading scripture, serving as acolytes, and ushering.
Families in Worship
In addition to welcoming children in worship every week, to further encourage families to worship together, we offer monthly worship services that are intentionally planned with families in mind. They are creative, experiential, and designed for the whole family to participate in – from babies to grandparents.
Babies to toddlers are always welcome in worship, as are nursing moms, However, for those who prefer, we also offer a staffed nursery for babies to 3 year old toddlers. While in the nursery children will experience the love of God from caring adults in a clean environment with age-appropriate toys.
Children learn faith through worshiping with their families. It’s also important for them to have age-appropriate, fun opportunities to learn about Scripture and their faith. From September-May, during our 8:45 service we offer Sunday School for 2 year-old through 5th grade. Visitors are always welcome at Sunday School.
During Sunday School we cultivate the faith formation of our children through the love of caring adult leaders, relationships with peers, engagement with Scripture, and the making of memories. We want children to leave Sunday School and want to return next week, eager to see friends, and learn more of God’s story – a story that they will eventually see themselves in.
Sunday School ends each week with children joining their families in worship for communion and the conclusion of the service.
Sunday morning at 8:45 (during the worship service)
Ages/Grades: Preschool—elementary (2-3 yr.-old through 5th grade)
This year, our 2 year old through kindergarten children will be using Godly Play to explore the stories of our faith. Our 1st-5th graders will be using the Grow: Kids curriculum. Students will interact with one another in both large and small groups.
Parents need to drop off their children in the Fellowship Hall (Lower Level) between 8:30-8:45 am. Children will be reunited with their families towards the end of worship when they are brought to the Sanctuary.
We believe that faith is a continual journey that begins at birth and does not end until death. Beginning with Baptism, we welcome children into the family of God. As a congregation, we promise to pray for and support families as they nurture their children’s faith. One of the ways we do this it by marking regular faith milestones.
A faith milestones program gives families an opportunity to interact with other families who have the same aged children in a one-time experiential class. They learn about their faith together and later receive a blessing in worship from our entire congregation. Examples of faith milestones include: Baptism, Toddler Penny Blessing, First Bible Presentation, First Communion, Confirmation and High School Graduation.
KICK – (Kids in Christ’s Kingdom)
Wednesday evenings from 4:30-6:30pm (includes dinner)
Ages/Grades: Pre-school—elementary (3 yr.-olds through 5th grade)
Each Wednesday evening we seek to give our lives a KICK (Kids in Christ’s Kingdom) by connecting to God through building relationships, learning Bible stories, and learning faith practices that help our kids grow up to be spiritually strong people. KICK is similar to Sunday School in that we do learn Bible stories and the ‘stuff of faith.’ However, KICK is very different because of the addition of group activity/play time and in sharing a full meal. These additional elements provide us opportunity to ‘practice what we preach.’ We hope that KICK allows students to not only learn about God’s love, but to experience that love through activity and sharing a meal.
A typical night of KICK:
4:30-5:00 Game and craft time
5:00-5:45 Break into classes
The relationships formed in our mid-week programs last through their elementary years and into high school.
Watch for the 2020-2021 program year registration in the fall
Wednesday afternoons from 4:30pm-5:00pm during the school year
Ages/Grades: 2 years-old and under
Fees: $85 per student
The language of faith and music is nurtured in Musikgarten class for Atonement’s youngest population. Offered for children age 2 and under accompanied by a parent or caregiver, this class will help you bond musically with your child. You’ll learn ways to enrich your family life through active music-making. And because we use sacred songs and prayers, you will take first steps in giving your child a foundation for faith development. In addition, you will nurture your child’s brain development. Studies show that music awakens and stimulates neural pathways in the brain that help develop memory, math skills and powers of abstract thinking. Musical activities are ideal for your growing child.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School (Virtually)
Monday, June 29, 2020 – Thursday, July 2, 2020 from 9:00am – 10:30am
Ages/Grades: Preschool(4 years old by June 29, 2020) through 6th grade
Fees: $20 per student(includes a T-shirt)
Program overview – kids will virtually experience a traditional VBS opening and closing, including a creative telling of the Bible story, songs and a Bible message, work on crafts, play games as well as participate in small group Zoom meetings to reinforce the day’s message alongside their friends in the Barrington community.
Child / Volunteer Safety Information
We are committed to keeping your child safe while enrolled in any program at Atonement. All adults 18 and over who work with Atonement youth are trained and subject to annual background checks. To view or download our Child & Volunteer Protection Policy, please click here.