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A 'one-table' church

When my family comes over on special occasions our dining table looks rather inadequate. Parents, brothers, spouses and children - there is simply not enough space for everyone to be seated. So, several years ago, we decided we needed two tables. One table was large enough for all the adults to sit around, and the children squeezed around the other one. We started having 'two-table' family dinners. But recently I've been wondering - what do we miss out on when the extended family is split up at mealtimes? What stories don't get told, or jokes made between the generations?! What about the sense of family, of community, at the time of celebration? Do we all miss out when we're not sitting together?

Although there are times when it's helpful and appropriate for adults and children to do their separate activities, or learn with peers, there are also many times when it's better that we sit around the same table, sharing in the same conversations. Children and young people are not just the church of tomorrow: they are an important part of church life today. And that goes beyond conversation at the meal table. Our worship, teaching and prayer should be accessible for anyone and everyone, with participation from people of all ages.

What do people need most in life? It's not having a role or a job: the most basic need is to be loved and accepted. Church should be like a family of families - clusters of families (of whatever shape and form) meeting up as a bigger tribe or 'spiritual family'. We want to work towards this 'One-Table' model of church - having dedicated spaces for specific age groups to learn together, but also creating a shared space to be family and learn from one another.

To find out more about the Sunday morning children's and youth work, please click here.



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