I've recently noticed a few Church events that are clearly designed to appeal to the young crowd.
Whether you're a regular churchgoer or not, whether you're a believer or not, church can provide historical, religious, moral and musical education, a chance to reflect, a sense of community and an opportunity for outreach.
We have always intended to take our children to church though frankly we've failed miserably on that count. I'd describe myself, if I had to, as a "dubious Christian", though if you asked me whether church had a postive impact on me growing up, I'd have to say it did. Frankly I grew up in a town of 2000 where church basically gave kids and families something to do! And along the way I learned a few things.
Here's what I've found in our neighbourhood
St. Martin's Anglican Church at 2120 Prince Charles Road near Carlingwood is embracing this new effort by the Anglican community to connect with families and children. I think the name says it all. This isn't about stiff clothes and formality, this is about learning, fun and community.
The brochure, available at http://www.stmartinsottawa.ca/downloads/MessyFamily.pdf describes this as "a once-a-month "happening" on Tuesday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm for toddlers to early teens along with their Mom, their Dad – who knows maybe even an Aunt, an Uncle, Guardian or Grandparent. It’s a time to hang out together doing crafts, hearing stories, singing songs, exploring the Church and – best of all - enjoying a meal together that neither Mom nor Dad had to prepare after a hectic, messy day."
The next dates for this event are March 8th, April 12th, May 3rd and June 7th. St. Martin’s Anglican Church To register simply telephone 613 722-6077 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is recommended so that the kitchen may plan for sufficient food.
St. Martin's of course also runs the well known neighbourhood preschool!
INFORMATION - WHY BRING YOUR CHILD TO CHURCH?
If you're a family which debates the benefits of church going and religious education, the Presbyterian Church on Roosevelt last year distributed the pamphlet found at the following link which discusses some of the benefits of church attendance. http://www.presbyterian.ca/resources/online/3579
DOORS OPEN OTTAWA
Various churches, mosques, synagogues etc. open their doors for this event. Last year we visited the Ottawa Mosque on Northwestern, just of Scott Street. They were welcoming, informal and informative. I came out of the tour feeling that I had just a bit more understanding of another religion. They also have an informative website.
The Ukrainian Orthodix Church on Byron also routinely opens its doors for this event as does the All Saints Anglican Church (the Chapel of which, incidentally, was designed by the same architect as did the Parliament Buildings!) on Richmond Road and the beautiful St. Francoise d'Assise Church with the beautiful spires and pipe organ, on Fairmont Avenue at the corner of Wellington.