Children, Youth & Families

Children and youth are a welcome and integral part of our worshipping and community life. 

Our amazing CMUC youth carving pumpkins with refugee families from Iraq, Palestine, and Mexico at Kinbrace Community Society on Vancouver’s east side on a Friday evening in November 2018. The nighttime pic is a little blurry, but can you spot Josh, Lucas, Angus, Leah, Anna, and Sarah?

MISSION STATEMENT  

Nurturing children and youth in a Christ-centred spirituality that is
rooted in an open-hearted, open-minded, and affirming 
community of faithful journeying toward moments of discovery and awareness. 


This page has information below about what happens Sunday mornings for children of all ages. For other programming for children, youth and families, check out these links to other pages:


 SUNDAY MORNINGS 

Children gather with their families in the main sanctuary for the start of community worship which includes choral music and congregational singing, opening prayers and passing of the peace. Then about 15 minutes into the worship service, all children are invited to the front where a child is invited to come forward and light the Christ Candle.

Children then have the option to leave with our Children’s Church staff for age-specific programming as follows:

INFANTS 

Infants are welcome to stay in the service with their parents or can be taken, accompanied by a parent or guardian, into the toddler room where there is a change mat, washroom and rocking chair.  Breastfeeding of infants is welcome in the sanctuary at the parent’s discretion.

TODDLERS  (up to 3 years)

Location: The Vestry/Toddler Room through the doors at the front left of the sanctuary in the church

Leaders:  Clarissa George  & Volunteers

Toddlers can be dropped off in the staffed Vestry (i.e., Toddler Room) which is located through the doors at the front left of the sanctuary. The toddler room is run on a co-op model with parents and/or guardians signing up to assist the director on a rotating schedule.  Toddler Room staff lead the young children with age-appropriate Bible (and other sacred) stories,  spiritual songs, and simple crafts with lots of opportunity for free play. Toddlers can be picked up at the end of the service though will only be released to adults who have been named on the sign-in/sign-out form.

BURRARD ST. STORY GUILD (kids & teens)                                                                       

Location: Centre for Peace: Youth Room (Basement) or the Fireside Room (2nd floor)

Leaders: Tama Ward, Mary Toth, Robyn Williams, Elysia Feaver, Mary Cobban, Stephen Tanner, other volunteers

A program unique to CMUC Burrard St. Story Guild had its inaugural launch in the spring of 2018 with its storytelling of the prophet Jonah. Story Guild uses theatre arts to invite children (ages 3-12) into the stories of the Hebrew and Christian traditions. Participants are given lots of options as regards the extent of their involvement on the stage (depending on confidence and skill levels), yet regardless of experience or training (none required) all the participants work together to build a storytelling event that touches the hearts of young and old alike.

Rehearsals for the Story Guild productions take place on Sunday mornings from 10:45-11:30.

Registration for the upcoming season will take place at the beginning of January.

Children can be picked up from their program spaces at 11:45.

AFTER SERVICE IN THE GREAT HALL

The south end of the Great Hall is the place to be post-service.  Tables with colouring sheets are left out in the hope that seniors,  introverts, teens, parents,  kids, extroverts, newcomers, old-timers and everyone in-between will come over, chit-chat, eat cookies, colour, make new connections or simply enjoy quiet in the company of other.  

 


SPECIAL SERVICES

Special days of celebration in the church year (Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost) call for all ages to their creative energies to make the celebration memorable.  A drop-in pageant on Christmas Eve for families, a parade with larger than life palm fronds on Palm Sunday, the nailing or prayers to a cross, a treasure hunt on Easter Sunday are examples of ways we have marked these important days together. Share your own ideas and come prepared to join in with these storied events in the life of the church.

THE KIDS GARDEN, EARTH DAY & A HARVEST FESTIVAL

Care for the earth is a core spiritual value in our work with kids at CMUC.  To develop our connection with the earth and deepen our understanding of how it cares for us, and allows us to care for it, we have a garden that the children plant, tend and harvest, led by our very own master gardener, Carol.  The gardening season wraps up with an Ingathering Festival early in the fall.  Earth Day is a day of special focus and celebration at CMUC with prayers and practises that nurture children’s gratitude for our planet home.