Dear New Life in Christ Church family,

I wanted to put out a request for all of us to consider, regarding children and the elderly in our church.

Could you help us be concerned for the safety of our senior and disabled members after the church services? We have become aware of situations where young children running through the aisles, leaving our seniors with the fear that they may trip and fall over a crawling baby or a small running child.
As we age, that fear of falling becomes more and more real. Many of our older members are also primary caregivers for other older members, and they cannot afford the risk of injury. As they are doing all they can to keep from falling, could you help by encouraging our young, active children to be respectful and to be careful of others?
Our sanctuary is a special place in that it is sometimes used for worship and sometimes also for play and games. We want our children to have fun and build friendships. But we need to keep everyone in mind, even our elderly. Our rule is that when the chairs are set out, we treat the room like a sanctuary. When the chairs are stacked, it is a gym. On Sunday mornings and evenings, it's the place for worship, not a gymnasium. Could you help us with this, with the children?
I have heard that some of our elderly members leave during the last hymn and miss the benediction. This should concern us all. Recently, an article on the Aquila Report highlighted the important of the benediction: Here’s part of one paragraph from that article: The benediction? You mean that closing “prayer” the pastor gives with his hands raised? Isn’t that like the credits of a movie? Perhaps we’ve misunderstood its nature and purpose, at best treating it as a special goodbye from God. … Together with the invocation, the benediction serves as a liturgical bookend whereby God gets the first and the last word.

When people have to leave early because they are afraid of injury, they miss this solemn blessing and the encouragement of greeting friends and welcoming strangers.

So ... please encourage children to be mindful of all of our members, and ask children to be careful not to run around the sanctuary after the worship service. This is also very important for the courtyard after church as our members walk through there after the service. There may be better places to run around at that time.
Thank you so much!

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean