Offering ministry for the youngest members of the body of Christ is important. It’s not just babysitting but is actually the foundation for the future vitality of any church. In the nursery is where spiritual formation can first take place; it’s also where many visitors first meet and interact with other church members and can experience warmth and acceptance. Congregations that have a rich and spiritually rooted ministry with babies and toddlers are establishing a faith formation pattern that can continue through all age levels.
In Luke 18:15-16 we read: “People were bringing babies to Jesus so that he would bless them. When the disciples saw this, they scolded them. Then Jesus called them to him and said, ‘Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children.’” Note that the text says that people were bringing babies to Jesus.
What Cradle Roll ministry includes:
- Baptisms and baptism preparation
- Worship that welcomes
- Church-home communication
- Church nursery
- Invitation to Sunday school
When a baby is baptized at NEFUMC, that baby is included on our Cradle Roll. The baby and child will receive gifts and regular communications for parents and children, including birthdays and baptism birthdays until that child reaches the age of three-years-old when they are invited to join the children in Sunday school.
The nursery staff has been trained to understand Best Practices in child care and development through the Safe Gatherings program and background check of the United Methodist Church. For further information about this program ask the Pastor or the Program Director, who oversee this ministry.