Seeds: For Young Souls
Here at Living Grace we cherish children, both as they are now and for the people they will become. Our children’s program is called Seeds because we want to sow into the lives of our children with seeds like storytelling, sacraments, curiosity, and community.
Seeds is a child-first intergenerational space. Children of all ages are welcome, and parents and guardians are encouraged to participate too. Children aged 0-2 will require parent/guardian supervision at all times.
What to Expect
Seeds runs most Sundays from 10:00am-11:00am. Registration is open from 9:45am.
Our regular programme includes:
- Free play
- A story from the Bible
- Opportunities to process and respond to the story
- A ‘feast’
Our Regular Service
Seeds runs alongside our 10am worship service. Parents are welcome to sign their children in at Seeds, and worship in the regular service. You can even have your whole family in the regular service if you choose. We have a parent room and change facilities available for your convenience.
We are a CoCWA Safechurch.
See below for more details…
We believe that there is real value in shared experience. Instead of asking children ‘what did you do in Seeds today?’, those who participate will be able to engage with children around their shared experiences.
‘Child-first’ means that our programme is first and foremost for children, but not only for children. It means letting children speak first – allowing and encouraging them to explore and grow and question. It means remembering that God hides things from the wise and reveals them to little children (Matt 11:25). But it also means that parents and other adults participate too, modelling what it looks like to engage authentically with God’s stories and Spirit, yet carrying themselves lightly enough to keep others free to experience God for themselves.
Do you ever feel awkward when you haven’t been introduced to someone new? Or perhaps you’re easily distracted in new and unfamiliar spaces? We believe that play is one of the best ways to develop a sense of safety in a new space, and to build trust with others. While it might seem like killing time, starting with play helps children to settle in so that they’re able to focus when it’s time for the story and engage when it’s time to respond.
We use the best parts of Jerome Berryman’s Godly Play, and have also begun to develop our own stories within this framework. A core tenet of Godly Play is using props to tell stories. Not only do these props help children (and adults) to grasp concepts that they might otherwise struggle with, but they also provide a way for children to explore the stories in a very concrete way. Most stories have their own unique set of props, and are always available in the room. This means that children can return to stories that they are drawn to week after week, and even make connections between different stories as they look around the room.
Process and Respond
After the story there is an opportunity to process and respond to the story. This first happens through a short time of ‘wondering’ together with the aid of carefully formulated questions. After this, each person decides how they would like to proceed – one person might want to play with this story’s props, while another wants to revisit last week’s story with its props. A few others grab some art materials and each find their own space to process the story through art, while two or three adults find a corner to quietly discuss a question that came up during the wondering time. Afterwards everyone comes together to share anything they would like to share from this time.
‘The Feast’ is a developmentally appropriate form of communion. We open with a very short liturgy, then eat and drink together before closing with another very short liturgy. We have found it to be a great time to sit and talk with the children over a small morning tea. While there is a belief in many churches that it’s not appropriate for children to take communion, Jesus said “let the little children come to me, and do not stop them” (Matt 19:14). The Passover (on which communion builds) was a family event, and children were expected to participate and ask questions about it (see Exodus chapter 12), so why should it be any different in churches today?
Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!