All new and comprehensive how-to guide for creating meaningful religious experiences for children. An experienced religious educator, Richards brings practical knowledge and a solid understanding of the spiritual needs of children to this useful and imaginative resource. The contents include suggestions on the form, style and elements of worship, plus an extensive collection of opening words and chalice lightings, meditations and prayers, stories, songs, sermons, and even complete orders of service to help you get started planning your worship. The rich variety of prayers and other resources are evidence of the contribution to these pages made by UU religious educators from around the country.
Children everywhere love stories. On the next few pages, you will find several that can be used with children in worship. Each story is followed by props, responsive readings, meditations, and music that can be used in a worship service built around the theme of the story. Some discussion questions are also provided to expand the learning experience of the story.
Reflecting the Inner Light by Maria Costello O'Connor
Table Of Contents:
What Children Need from Worship Workshop on Setting Worship Goals Target Audience
Styles of Worship Creating a Framework Considering Content Ritual Music Stories and Mini-Sermons Meditation and Prayer Themes Intergenerational Worship Conclusion Child-Friendly Worship Resources Chalice Lightings and Opening Words Spoken Meditations Guided Meditations Prayers Responsive Readings and Litanies
Stories Mini-Sermons Songs Closing Words
Orders of Service For More Information and Ideas Multicultural Resources
"Richards has given us a rare gift that offers a wealth of practical tips and tools. The outline for a 'Workshop on Setting Worship Goals' alone is worth the investment. The author's suggestions for arranging the worship space, for storytelling and for engaging all of the senses in the worship experience are rich, evocative and empowering. She then gives us the added gift of hundreds of chalice lightings, prayers, stories, and other child-friendly worship resources. Throughout the book Richards is sensitive to diverse theologies and worship styles and to the delicate matter of connecting children to the larger church community. Her inclusive approach makes this book a gem for every congregation."
-Jeanne Nieuwejaar, author, The Gift of Faith"
"Richards has taken the worry out of planning children's worship and replaced it with wisdom and joy. From setting worship goals, to choosing child friendly-hymns, to finding stories that illustrate our Principles, Come Into the Circle is a resource I'll be turning to again and again."
-Phil Lund, lifespan program director, Prairie Star District