I wanted to take some time today to share a little about my favorite part of my school week. Every Monday morning, we have two chapel services at school. The first is for grades 1-8. I participate in this service primarily as an assistant to the chaplain. The second service is for our Early Childhood students, who range in age from 3 to 7. In chapel, we are able to pause together and dwell within the wonder, curiosity, and awe that characterize the spirits of young children. Our service progresses through a simple order of prayers, songs, and readings that teaches children how to worship with both quiet reverence and joyous enthusiasm. Students participate in each element of chapel: from serving as acolytes to reciting the lines of a psalm or prayer, from singing joyfully to aiding in the telling of each week’s Bible story. As we learn together about God’s great love for us, our hope is that children will learn not only about God, Jesus, and all of God’s people, but also about their own hearts of worship.
I have more of a leadership role during the Early Childhood. I lead responsive prayers and Bible readings (our kids now know Psalm 100 and the Lord’s Prayer from memory as a result of this weekly service!), in addition to telling the Bible story most weeks. I leave this place renewed each week with the reminder of the great and joyful task with which I have been entrusted. I get to walk alongside these dear young children as they take the very beginning steps of their faith journeys. They are so alive and full of wonder, ready to absorb everything and question everything. To see them gathered together in one space is a beautiful vision of the kingdom—a reminder that Jesus calls each of us to be like little children if we are to enter the kingdom ourselves.
It is my every hope that SOMEDAY the children’s ministry at Eastside can support a children’s chapel of this caliber. It is so important for children not only to learn together, but worship together. It is a good goal to work toward as our church continues to grow.