Children and Worship

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions parents might ask about children and Friends’ worship

I understand that you want children to sit in meeting for worship for the first 15 minutes, but what if my child can't sit still for 15 minutes?

All children are invited to meeting for worship for the first 15 minutes, and we encourage parents to lead their children to join us. If your child cannot sit still for the entire 15 minutes, you are welcome to begin with a few minutes and leave when necessary.

We know that silence and stillness are difficult for children, and we are very tolerant of age-appropriate restlessness and noises.

We encourage children to learn to be as still and quiet as possible. As children get older, we remind them that younger children are less able to be still and silent, and we ask that they not copy or entice inappropriate behavior from younger children.

If your child is not ready for this step, parents can quietly read books in the library, or gather with their children in the classrooms until 10:15 a.m.

May my child bring a toy into meeting for worship?

Soft, quiet toys are often age-appropriate, and younger children may bring a favorite toy from home.

In selecting a toy to bring from home, we ask that you be mindful of the Quaker Peace Testimony and not allow a child to bring any toy relating to violence (such as toy guns or soldiers).

What will my child experience during meeting for worship?

If you are not already familiar with Quaker unprogrammed worship, we would encourage you to look at some of the literature that is available in the foyer, or to ask a member of the meeting.

There are not often spoken messages during the first 15 minutes, but children should be prepared to listen respectfully if an adult (or another child—thoughtful spoken ministry is welcomed from children as much as from adults) should choose to speak. (Children are often surprised when someone is “allowed” to “talk” in meeting.)

Please be sure your child knows that it is not appropriate to enter or leave the meeting room while someone is speaking, nor to talk or make excessive noise during someone else’s message.

What if we arrive late for meeting?

If you arrive between 10:00 and 10:15, you may sit in the foyer, just outside the meeting room. During meeting for worship, the foyer is a worshipful place, too, so our conduct there is consistent with our conduct in the meeting room. By its very nature, however, there will be people walking in and out of the foyer during that 15 minute period.

The library is also available for reading books with your children, and families may also gather in the classrooms until 10:15 a.m.

What happens after the rise of meeting and after First Day School ends?

All children are expected to share in cleaning up and putting the room back in order after First Day School, and should not expect teachers to do all the cleanup. If you see that books, toys, or supplies are left out, please help your child put them away.

After First Day, many families join the larger Meeting in the fellowship room for refreshments, and/or meet other families on the playground behind the Meeting House.

Please be mindful that the First Day School rooms are used by others during the week. Please check that the rooms are straightened up (again) if your child plays in them during any meeting activity.

May I stay in First Day School with my child?

Certainly! Parents are welcome and encouraged to join in First Day programs.

If my child is mature (or immature) for her age, may she join an older (or younger) First Day School group?

Children in First Day School should expect to sit with and participate in the appropriate age/grade class.  However, we are flexible and can make exceptions if there are reasons for the exception and the exception will not cause disruptions. We hope that children and parents will also be flexible in helping us to make choices that will enrich (and not diminish) the First Day School experiences of all children.

How can I learn more about Quaker worship and Quaker testimonies?

There are a variety of brochures, pamphlets, and books in the library, that can be borrowed for those wishing to know more about Quaker faith and practice. You may also ask any member or regular attender for information and guidance.

Quakers do not have a creed, and Quakers believe that experiences of individual faith vary widely. A book titled Faith and Practice represents some areas in which there is general agreement within the Inter-Mountain Yearly Meeting (of which Boulder Monthly Meeting is a part), but readers should be prepared to find differing points of view within Quaker literature.

May I make a suggestion?

If you have any ideas or concerns about First Day School, please contact a member of the Religious Education Committee.  The committee (and the meeting as a whole) welcomes your feedback.

Who is on the Religious Education Committee?

The names of the members of the committee are listed with the membership of other committees at the back of the meeting directory, copies of which can be obtained in the meetinghouse office. Most members and attenders know the members of the committee and will help you find one (or help you find someone who does know), so don’t be afraid to ask.