Open Table Understands Young People

Since she gave sidewalk chalk to visiting children and asked them to draw on the floor in our first storefront church, Pastor Ellen has worked to create a relaxed and nurturing environment for kids and families. Open Table partners with our host church, All Saints Episcopal, to provide programs and opportunities for infants, children, and youth. We offer well-organized learning activities during the education hour, nursery care during worship, and engaging activities from coloring pages to lighting candles and reading scriptures during service. Here are some responses to questions from parents and teens. If you have other questions simply use the form at the bottom of the page.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” —Matthew 19:14

“Is there a class for my younger child?”

Children ages 5 years to 5th grade gather at 9:20 for Godly Play, a curriculum to help children experience God and develop language for the life of faith. Their classroom is at the top of the stairs to the right. Parents are asked to escort their children to the classroom and pick them up promptly at 10:15. Please note this class does not meet during the summer months.

“Does Open Table have a nursery?”

Open Table uses All Saints’ well-staffed nursery, located in Stirling Hall. It’s available for children ages 4 and under during the teaching hour from 9:20 to 10:15. It’s also open during the worship hour from 10:30 to 11:30. Our greeter will be happy to direct you there.

“What do my kids do during worship?”

Nursery care continues for children four and under during the worship hour. Older children regularly participate in the worship service in various ways: some like to light the Christ candle during the opening procession, while others volunteer to read scripture. The pastor or another adult leads an interactive children’s time in each worship service. Activity bags filled with activities and crayons are available at the back of the chapel. Sometimes Pastor Ellen even asks the children to quietly create pictures or other art projects related to the worship theme and share their art with the congregation at the close of worship.

“Can I bring my kids to other church activities?”

Children participate with other Open Table members in many activities to serve our community. For example, they work alongside adults at Coastal Clean Up, greet guests at our booths at Earth Day and Pride Fest, assist in serving meals for the families of Family Promise, bake cookies to share, or participate in other activities.