I feel so fortunate to have first been a member with young children and now the Christian Education and Youth Activities Director at a church that offers the program Young Children and Worship. This valuable ministry was first started here in 1991. Gale H. the Christian Education Director at the time brought this new way for young children ages three to seven to experience worship. The children start out in corporate worship in our sanctuary, and then partway through the service depart to the Worship Center. There they follow the same order of worship that we do but over time they get to experience forty stories of the Bible in a sensorimotor way through which they encounter and worship God at their particular developmental level. This approach is oral, kinesthetic and highly visual as you can see in following photo.
Many people had a hand in getting this program off the ground, but I want to highlight that Frank Norton made mostly all the wooden figures, the temple and the desert box in his workshop at home one summer. And, there are many wooden figures! They represent Jesus, Isaiah, Zacchaeus, children, Sarai, Abram, sheep, and even alligators! What a labor of love! The Worship Center has been in continual use for twenty-eight years and the figures made of alder are still in beautiful shape after having been used by many young children and leaders. I can attest that I can relate to the Bible stories better after having been a leader there.
Please feel free to visit our Worship Center downstairs. And, take special note of the framed dedication on the wall. You will recognize some familiar names and some saints from long ago who helped make this special place of worship that has impacted so many children over the years.