supplies: have a large vase with enough flowers so every child in church will be able to hold one.
Good morning, children! What does it mean to belong to a family? What is a family?
(get kid’s responses)
Families come in all shapes and sizes, some people live in a family with grandparents and parents, some people live in a family with just one parent or caregiver, some live as an only child in a family, some live with many kids in a family.
Today I want to tell you about a different kind of family. It’s a church family. Stand up and look around at everyone here (they turn and look)…all these people together make up something we call a congregation. We are a group of people who love God and are trying to follow Jesus together. Another name for a congregation is a “church family.” We are a family because when we love Jesus, we become part of a group that takes care of each other. We help each other. We encourage each other.
Today we are going to have something called a child dedication. Some of you know that the _______family had/adopted a new baby! What a gift from God. She is a gift to their family! But she is also a gift to our church family! We are all happy to have a new baby in church.
In today’s service we are going to call the family up to the front and they are going to say some words. We will have a prayer where we say thank you to God for the new baby. The parents and all of us here will also promise that we will love the baby and take care of her, and include her in our church family. I am going to put my hand on the baby’s head and bless the baby, which means we ask God to take care of her.
As baby _____ grows up, how do you think you could show you care for her and include her in our church family?
(listen to their answers)
Thank you for those great ideas. It may be easier to include her once she is a little older and can run around with you! But today, we want to welcome her by giving her a big bouquet of flowers. After we say the blessing prayers, I am going to invite each one of you to take a flower and give it to the baby (her parents will have to hold it for her). It’s a way of saying to her, “We love you, and we welcome you as part of our church family.” So now we are going to call the family up…listen closely, and when I call you, come and get a flower and give it to the baby. [children stay in the front row for the child dedication]
Pastor: Babies are a gift from God!
When a new baby comes to church,
we like to have a blessing and a dedication for the new baby and the parents.
In this prayer we thank God for the life of the new baby,
we offer the child to God and we ask for God’s blessing on their life together as a family.
We also dedicate ourselves as a congregation to help nurture and care for the baby.
Will the ___________ family come forward.
A and B, welcome to this service of blessing and dedication!
As parents, do you welcome baby _______as a gift from God?
Parents: We do.
Do you dedicate yourselves to bring up _______ in a Christian home, loving and caring for her as Jesus loves us, modelling the Christian walk in words and actions?
Parents: We do.
Recognising that an extended family nurtures and influences the life of a child, as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, will you support __________ and her parents as they grow into the full stature of Christ? If so, answer, “We will.”
Extended Family: We will.
I invite the congregation to share their words of welcome to ____________.
We rejoice and give thanks for your presence here,
you are a gift from God!
We promise to care for you and nurture you
as part of our church family.
We will support A and B in their efforts
to provide a loving home for you.
We will pray for you and with you.
We pray that God will bless you and make you a blessing!
Prayer of Blessing
Pastor: Loving God, we bring __________ before you today.
Help her grow in years and wisdom, learning about the grace of Jesus.
May your Holy Spirit fill her, so that she can serve you faithfully. [putting hand on her head]
_________, may God bless you and keep you,
may the face of God shine upon you.
May God’s presence embrace you all the days of your life,
and help you grow in peace. Amen.
As a symbol of our welcome to _________, the children want to present you with flowers
Children, can you come forward?
[Children come forward and each give a flower to the parents. Music can be playing during this time.]
Conclude with hymn: Child of Blessing, Child of Promise.