Children are already in relationship with God who loves them deeply
At St. Columba’s, we recognise that children are already in relationship with God who loves them deeply, always has and always will. And so we seek to nurture that relationship. We understand that questions are often more important than answers, and we encourage our youth to wrestle with those questions in a safe, caring environment, acknowledging, in Paul Tillich’s words, that “doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”
Our Sunday morning programme for children is known as “Overchurch” as it usually takes place in the “Upper Room” in our tower. Sometimes though it happens in our garden or out and about round the church. A small group of dedicated teachers and teaching assistants lead in story-telling, crafts, singing, and age-appropriate conversation about all manner of things! Children return to church in time for communion with the whole St. Columba’s community gathered. Upperchurch doesn’t meet during school holidays but we try to have simple resources available in church for our young people, and involve them in the services.
Once a month, usually on the first Sunday, we have an “all-age” communion service. This is not a “children’s service” but a time when we seek to worship, learn and pray in ways that people of any age can access and be involved in.
In all that we do, we follow the the Scottish Episcopal Church’s guidelines for Safeguarding.
“Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, O God; the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.” From a prayer for the newly baptised.