1. Offer children a name tag to wear. All friends and members should be able to greet each other by name. Children who are greeted by name by the older youth and adults of their congregation are more likely to feel seen and known. They are just as much a part of the fabric of the congregation’s life as any adult.
2. When children are in the service, whether it be once a month, during the first 10 minutes of every service, or on Multigenerational Worship days, sing the songs that they have heard and know. Repetition is important. Not all of our children are able to follow along in the hymnal. Referring to our “UU Greatest Hits” will enable them to participate in singing with the congregation. (See Come Sing a Song With Me: A Songbook for All Ages by Melodie Feather, for some examples)
3. Involve children in the sharing of Joys and Sorrows each week. This is an excellent way for them to hear more about the people in their congregation, witness compassionate listening, and understand the trials and tribulations of life. It also affords them the opportunity to know that their joys and sorrows or concerns are equally as important as yours.
4. Read through your congregation’s newsletter. Is there anything pertaining to children? Are upcoming events open to them beyond receiving childcare? Is there a space for their words, thoughts, reflections to be captured? Ask yourself, “How might we be able to include our children in this publication?”
5. Are any of the educational or enrichment workshops you are offering open and welcoming to participation from folks under the age of 18? Would a parent or child know that by reading your description?