Milestone 1

Celebrating Life through Promisegrowing a seed graphic

Celebrating Life through Promise is the Milestone Celebration for children in the Wee Angels and Baby Doves Sunday School groups (newborn through one year old) and their parents.

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” ~ Mark 10:14

The birth of a baby is a miracle! We gather parents together to celebrate that each new little person is filled with possibility. This begins building a strong faith network for parents as they find great blessing, challenge, and responsibility in this first year of their child’s life. When parents claim and live into God’s promises for their children, it provides a strong start to their life-long faith journey.

This milestone symbol of a planted seed breaking into new life represents the seeds of faith which parents plant in their child’s life and lovingly tend to as their child grows.

Gifts for Remembrance

This milestone gifts each child with a faith chest that parents decorate during the celebration. Parents also will have the opportunity to make a variety of keepsakes to add to their faith chest, including a prayer cube, a clay faith stone, Scripture cards, and bookmarks. The faith chest provides safekeeping for all the faith keepsakes your child will receive in the years ahead.

Books for the Home

Faith Practices for the Home

Caring Conversations

  • Emotions and actions, much more than words, are the language that conveys meaning to infants. Coo, caress and cuddle with your infant as you shower them with God’s love. Experiencing God’s love invites your child to love.

Daily Devotions

  • Pray for your child daily as you are holding your child or standing over the crib. Let the sound of your voice giving thanks to God and asking for God’s love and care be among the earliest words that your child remembers.
  • Pray with your child. Say a simple thank-you prayer when you feed your child – something like “Thank you, God, for food that makes us grow.” As your child notices new things like toes, say, “Thank you, God, for toes.”
  • Introduce your child to the music of the church. Sing or hum hymns or carols (yes, even out of season) as you cuddle or rock your child. Play faith lullabies at nap time.
  • Faith is caught more than it is taught. Remember that your child is absorbing values from watching and listening to you.

Family Traditions

  • Read to children at your earliest opportunity and embrace infants and toddlers with gentle touch and a soft voice.
  • Include children in worship at home and in the congregation; speak and sing of love, security, warmth, Jesus, God, family, friends – “the church.”
  • Include older children in the celebration of each baptism by telling them the story of their baptism, talking about family names and how they were chosen, and looking at pictures of family baptisms.

Servant Acts

  • Model the values and behavior you want for your child.
  • Volunteer to serve in the Church Nursery to share God’s love and care with children and families.
  • Reach out to senior adults who would welcome the opportunity to share in the joy of your child’s smile, first word or step.

Professing our Faith: Catechism Connections

Presbyterians have historically professed their faith through their creeds, confessions and catechisms. Belonging to God: A First Catechism provides simple language for parents and children as they profess their faith.

Question 1. Who are you?

Answer: I am a child of God.

Scripture background: Galatians 4:6-7; I John 3:1; John 1:12; Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 3:25-27

Question 2. What does it mean to be a child of God?

Answer: That I belong to God, who loves me.

Scripture background: Matthew 18:14; Matthew 19:14; I Corinthians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 10:7; Galatians 3:28-29

Question 42. What is baptism?

Answer: Through baptism I am adopted and welcomed into God’s family. In the water of baptism I share in the dying and rising of Jesus.

Scripture background: Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27-28; I Corinthians 12:12-13; I Corinthians 6:11, Acts 2:39; Ephesians 4:4-6

Faith Development for Birth-3 Years Old

It is never too soon to tell children about God. Instead of memorizing commercial tunes and product logos, our children could sing songs of love, joy, and faith, and learn to fold their hands before every meal. There is no such thing as letting the child grow up to decide for herself or himself. From the beginning of life, we are surrounded by choices in values and beliefs. Which ones will we help children make?

Recent research in brain development makes it clear that the first years of life are critical for intellectual, emotional, and relational growth. Infants are greatly affected by sights, sounds, and touch – the experience of their immediate environment. The advertising industry knows this well enough to make it a goal to create product loyalty by age three. From Vibrant Faith Milestones Ministry

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