Thought for the Month (August 2018)

The united Reformed Churches Charter for Children was adopted by General Assembly (GA) way back in 1990. It was radical when introduced and indeed remains so today. It tries to capture something of Jesus' own sweeping value of children. Mark 10 reminds us
Jesus said "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (NRSVA)

Although written to stress the significance and worth of our younger members, the charter actually applies to each and every one of us, a priesthood of believers gathered together.

At this year's GA there was a call to update the language of the charter, to make it easier to understand and thus embrace, and so I share the draft child-friendly version for you to read, be challenged by, and pray about - is this us? And further, if we substitute 'everybody' for 'children', is this really us too?

Draft Child-friendly version of "Charter for Children in the Church" (URC national church)
Children in our church are just as important as adults
Everybody in our church can worship God in lots of different ways no matter how old they are
Our church helps everybody keep on learning
Our church is a place where everyone feels and knows they belong
In our church children can do things to help God, the church and other people
People can learn what God wants to say to them through what people do and say - our church listens to children too
Our church helps us find our "thing" and grow in it
Our church gives us lots of opportunities to do things with everyone else and doesn't have lots of things which are just for adults
Everyone in our church can be equally close to God: praying and serving

I do pray too that our younger members, and the pre-schools that use our buildings, have a lovely summer break.

Rev. Helen Warmington

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Tunbridge Wells United Reformed Church