Support for Youth in Your Meeting
Children and youth are full spiritual beings who contribute to the life of our meeting communities in countless ways. Our meetings can be like an extended family for a child, making space for their whole self to show up.
Whether your meeting offers First Day School once a week during worship or gathers in other ways, we hope you’ll find the resources below on how to nurture the spiritual growth of our youngest Friends useful.
What does youth ministry look like at a local meeting?
In this short video, hear from a number of New England Friends who describe how their meetings support children and youth.
Welcoming Children into Worship
The following queries may help your meeting more fully include children in Meeting for Worship:
- How can we non-verbally communicate to youth and families that they are welcome in worship? (Through creating a kid-friendly space to be, things to help kids have a meaningful time in worship like books or coloring stuff, having kid-friendly art or signs outside the meeting room that communicate welcome, having info for parents clearly posted so they know what their options are.)
- How can we explicitly tell youth, families, and the meeting as a whole that kids of all ages are always welcome in worship (even when they don't stay the whole time)? What messages can meeting leadership give at the beginning, during, and after worship that say this clearly, especially in the next few weeks as we make a shift to welcoming youth in person?
- What messages or invitations can we give to Friends as they settle into worship that will help Friends of all ages know what to do in worship, especially in the coming weeks as kids return to worship after a long absence? What can we learn from programmed intergenerational worship about how to do this to care for unprogrammed worship?
- How can we lovingly nudge ourselves as a meeting towards a relationship with worship that is about communion with Spirit, and not about the outward trappings of worship that kids tend to challenge (like perfect silence and stillness)?
See the downloads section below for more detailed resources on intergenerational worship.
This is a nine-page collection of best practices and sample resources for welcoming families with children into the life of your Meeting.
This forteen-page packet is a short collection of introductions into Quaker worship and spiritual practices geared towards children and families.
This pamphlet, by Christel Jorgenson, explains Family Worship as practiced at Friends Meeting at Cambridge (MA)
This three-page handout offers tips for how to support youth after a tragic event.
Based on observations from our recent Vibrant Meetings Project, this two-page handout briefly explains best practices related to local youth ministries
This 97-page PDF is a complete Spanish language translation of the "Faith and Play" experiential, story based religious education guide
Questions? Didn't find what you were looking for?
Contact Nia Thomas, Quaker Practice and Leadership Facilitator, to begin a conversation.