19 July 2024

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Church’s flexible Sunday service offers time-poor families a chance to worship

Children and families are connecting with their faith through the Winter Warmers service. Picture: supplied.

Jenan Taylor

3 July 2024

A Mount Waverley church is offering opportunities for worship to people who are unable to make it to Sunday morning services this winter, through its new initiative.

Winter Warmers aims to connect with children and families who might have other commitments, including sport, on Sunday mornings.

St Stephen’s and St Mary’s recognised those obligations kept many of them from attending church and connecting with prayer and Bible readings.

Assistant curate the Reverend Candice Mitrousis said the church wanted to keep inspiring and nurturing their faith through offering them a flexible attendance time.

She said it was imperative churches encouraged young worshippers because their dwindling numbers meant there might be no Church in a few years’ time otherwise.

Ms Mitrousis said the Winter Warmers intergenerational style service attracted young and older people, and the time worked for families who could only attend later because of sport.

She said some children even came straight from footy games with mud still on their boots.

Read more: Kids go bananas for Jesus at St John’s jungle rumble

Parishioner Rozlyn Gaffney said her son played football on Sunday mornings and she loved to be able to go to his matches to watch him.

She said the service enabled her to coordinate this and keep up her church life.

“I want my son to be exposed to and engaged with Christian faith, and learn and grow from it,” Ms Gaffney said.

“I want him to be educated in Christianity, even if I don’t know where he’ll be with it when he becomes an adult.”

Ms Gaffney said the interactive nature of the service helped her son engage with it more.

Ms Mitrousis said she adapted for the church’s context resources specifically developed to keep young people engaged and connected with Bible readings.

She said there were also games such as hide and seek to talk about God’s hidden message

Ms Mitrousis said after the service members enjoyed home-made soup and bread rolls together.

Winter Warmers is held fortnightly on Sunday afternoons.

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