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Is it okay to stand on a chair during the times that everyone stands?

 

What if it is the only way for the child to see the words to the music, which are printed on a big screen at the front? What if it's the type of church where people are clapping their hands and a few are even dancing in the aisles?

 

Most of the other kids his age don't participate but play with handheld games or their parents' phones, but my son 1) doesn't play Mario quietly and 2) gets ramped up from games, so he would be a bear in Children's church.

 

My husband and I are in disagreement. I really just want to participate in church without worrying about my son's behavior. If he wants to participate, fine, if he wants to stretch out on the floor and write all over the bulletin, that's fine, too, as long as he isn't disrupting another churchgoer.

 

Although it sounds lax, I've noticed his behavior improves when I'm not trying to make him act a certain way. My husband just thinks it's wrong to stand on furniture, especially with shoes on.

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I would not allow my children to stand on furniture. Shoes have a way of destrying property and I wouldn't want to be responsible for that. What if his shoes are dirty or something? What if he gets excited and falls? If he behaves this way at church would he act that way at someones home? When would he learn that you just don't do that?

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I wouldn't have a problem with him standing on the chair in order to participate in worship. To just stand, jump, play around...no, I don't like that. But if he's standing so he can see and feel like he's participating, I'm perfectly ok with that.

 

If one is that worried about shoes on furniture, take off the shoes.

 

(says this gal coming from what we have nicknamed 'the barefoot church' LOL half the folks kick off their shoes at some point and on many occasions the entire band has been without shoes :~p)

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When our girls were smaller, we allowed them to stand on the pews or chairs, so they could see. It sort of evolved from us holding them on our hips, as their legs got longer and they got heavier. :tongue_smilie: I always kept my arm around them as though I was holding them. This kept them still, and prevented them from falling. Girls shoes slip off and on so easily, I never worried about muddy shoes.

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I would be walking him through how to participate, and encouraging him to do so. I think that it is so good that you have him with you in church! I think that families should worship together, and that the current trend toward age segregation in worship is really a negative thing. I would not have a problem with him standing on the chair as long as he took his shoes off and as long as this did not make him any taller than an adult of short-medium height. Sitting down in front would be best.

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It bothers me when I see kids standing on the chairs or pews at church. These kids are not babies and as such their shoes have been everywhere - often places where adult shoes would not go :). I would not like to follow behind them and sit on that chair in the next service. It, IMO, is disrespectful of the church furniture. However, I have no problem with a very young one sitting/lying quietly on the floor during service. Around age 5 or so I would have the child sit quietly in his seat drawing or doodling. I think a church service is an excellent time to teach self control because it is a short time where quiet attentive behavior is expected (during the sermon).

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I wouldn't have a problem with him standing on the chair in order to participate in worship. To just stand, jump, play around...no, I don't like that. But if he's standing so he can see and feel like he's participating, I'm perfectly ok with that.

 

If one is that worried about shoes on furniture, take off the shoes.

 

(says this gal coming from what we have nicknamed 'the barefoot church' LOL half the folks kick off their shoes at some point and on many occasions the entire band has been without shoes :~p)

 

Same here. Assuming it goes with the culture of your church (which it sounds laid back) i wouldnt be bothered by a small child standing in a chair next to their parent to participate in service.

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I do let my dd stand on the pew on the occasions she wants to see what's happening. We sit in the last row, though. We chose to sit in back because she'd always have to be taken to the bathroom and I thought it would be least disruptive if we were in back. Anyway, dd only wants to stand and see about once every couple of months. I do have her take her shoes off. I also hold on to her and she holds on to me.

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I let my kids stand on the pew if they want to see what's going on when everyone else is standing. I prefer this to having them sit when we're all supposed to be standing.

 

That said, my kids are shorter than I am even when they're standing on the pew. So they no more disturb the people behind than if they were grown-ups standing on the floor.

 

They don't wear dirty shoes to church, and the pews are wooden benches, so I don't worry about messing up the furniture. How is it any worse than someone letting their kid sit on their lap with shoes on, where the shoes end up touching the pew?

 

Normally my kids aren't allowed to stand on furniture, but a sturdy wooden pew is not like a couch or chair.

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I wouldn't have a problem with him standing on the chair in order to participate in worship. To just stand, jump, play around...no, I don't like that. But if he's standing so he can see and feel like he's participating, I'm perfectly ok with that.

 

If one is that worried about shoes on furniture, take off the shoes.

 

(says this gal coming from what we have nicknamed 'the barefoot church' LOL half the folks kick off their shoes at some point and on many occasions the entire band has been without shoes :~p)

 

I'm with Tara. If my boys were small and wanted to stand on the chair to participate in worship, I'd for sure let them. I'd just slip their shoes off first. :tongue_smilie: Perhaps make sure that this particular little man wears easy to remove shoes when you go to worship?

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I actually used to carry a bandana in my purse to put on the pew (cloth bench) so my dd could stand on it. I didn't want to bother with the shoes on/off. To me, her participation is really important, and I want to make it as interesting as possible for her--which meant being up front so we could see the leaders/instruments, her standing when we stood, etc. Sometimes we'd even make up motions to the songs together to keep her engaged--me guiding her arms/body, or her making them up. The pastor would see her and wink during announcements sometimes. Now she's older and wants to sit with her friends...

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Is it okay to stand on a chair during the times that everyone stands?

It is never ok to stand on chairs.

 

What if it is the only way for the child to see the words to the music, which are printed on a big screen at the front? What if it's the type of church where people are clapping their hands and a few are even dancing in the aisles?

It's still not ok.

 

Most of the other kids his age don't participate but play with handheld games or their parents' phones, but my son 1) doesn't play Mario quietly and 2) gets ramped up from games, so he would be a bear in Children's church.

 

My husband and I are in disagreement. I really just want to participate in church without worrying about my son's behavior. If he wants to participate, fine, if he wants to stretch out on the floor and write all over the bulletin, that's fine, too, as long as he isn't disrupting another churchgoer.

 

Although it sounds lax, I've noticed his behavior improves when I'm not trying to make him act a certain way. My husband just thinks it's wrong to stand on furniture, especially with shoes on.

ITA with your dh.

 

It's our responsibility as parents to worry about our children's behavior, and by "worry," I mean to notice behavior that is less appropriate and to teach and correct until the behavior is appropriate. It is also our responsibility to require them to act in ways which may not yet be comfortable for them; sometimes their behavior "improves" in the short term because they get to behave the way they want, not the way that is appropriate, so they have no reason to protest...at that moment. It will come back to bite all of you.

 

Allowing your ds to stand on the chairs, especially with his shoes on, is inappropriate: It *will* disrupt other churchgoers, and it's not safe for him, either.

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I actually used to carry a bandana in my purse to put on the pew (cloth bench) so my dd could stand on it. I didn't want to bother with the shoes on/off. To me, her participation is really important, and I want to make it as interesting as possible for her--which meant being up front so we could see the leaders/instruments, her standing when we stood, etc. Sometimes we'd even make up motions to the songs together to keep her engaged--me guiding her arms/body, or her making them up. The pastor would see her and wink during announcements sometimes. Now she's older and wants to sit with her friends...

 

Oh, what a great idea! I never thought of that; a bandana, or a handkerchief would work well.

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When DD was fairly young, we always sat near the front so she could see. Having said that, our church had an "Exit stage right" so we could sit in the front at the side and sneak out pretty unobtrusively if there was a need for a bathroom run. Now that she's a little older, she sits with a couple of other girls her age a couple of rows back, with the parents sitting a row behind. When DD started to attend this church, the other two girls mostly would sit and play on their mom's phones-but now that DD's there, and she's standing, finding the songs in the hymnal, following along with the readings, and so on, she's pulling the other kids with her.

 

One thing you might want to consider since you're at a "Words on the Screen" church-do you have an iPad or even a smartphone? If so, could you go to the projection booth and get a copy of the week's powerpoint, so your DS could follow along at his seat? There are powerpoint viewers available for a lot of devices, and that might be a better alternative-or I've taken Powerpoints, saved them as .PDF files, and then put them on iBooks, too.

Edited by dmmetler
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In my mind, standing on the pew (when everyone else is standing) is acceptable until the child standing on the pew is taller than you standing on the floor. That's always been my guideline. I think in general, shoes worn to church are usually "nice" and "clean"...they aren't strolling through the mud in them. If the shoes are the concern, take them off or put a blanket or something on the seat. I would MUCH rather see a child drawing on a bulletin than playing their DS. I also never have an issue with goldfish crackers or something to munch on. When they are little, it's more about YOU paying attention than it is THEM, anyway.

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My extremely small 8 year old stands on the pew so he can see the words and sing along during worship. Now that my 6 year old can read, he'll be standing on the pew, too, so he can sing along. There is no printout of the words, and because of the size of our family it's really not practical to sit anywhere else. They don't wear muddy shoes to church.

 

Starting at about age 4, my boys sit through the entire service, participating where they are able--they sit and stand with the congregation, they sing when they know the words, they bow their heads when we pray, as they get older they turn in their Bibles to the passage we're studying.

 

It doesn't seem to bother anyone who sits around us because we are complemented almost weekly on their behavior (we go to an extremely large church so there are often different people sitting around us). I know I'd much rather see a child participating in the service than playing games, etc, even if it means standing on the pew/chair during service so they can read along with the rest of the congregation who just happen to be tall enough to see the words.

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I do allow small kids sometimes when everyone else is standing, under 3 or so but not past that. I think 6 is well past old enough to participate and behave much better. We sit up front so we can see.

 

This is what we do. The under 4 little ones sorta crawl, cruise, climb up and down our pew throughout mass. Going from sibling to sibling or mom to dad or just generally moving to burn energy. As long as they are mostly quiet and not being disruptive, our policy is to ignore them and focus on Mass. (IOW, yes, I forbid my children to play with the babies/toddlers during mass bc it gets them all riled up!)

 

Normally I would say a 6 yr old is well past that behavior, but I see yours is an aspie. Is he very immature for his age? Bc that can't really be trained out of him. You just have to wait for it. However, aspies can have a really hard time with different rules in different places, so your dh might have a valid concern that ds will expect to be allowed to stand on furniture elsewhere. I don't know which is the more likely issue for your son, so you'll have to use your own judgement on it. Ir tell dh to handle ds during service bc you aren't inclined to be bothered by it.

 

If it matters, I still have to yell at my ds9 to not stand, jump, climb, or poll vault the furniture.:glare:

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Is it okay to stand on a chair during the times that everyone stands?

 

 

Given the nature of your church service, I would say it is probably okay, as long as one of you also keeps a hand on him while he is standing.

 

I do have a few concerns, however. First, will he handle it well if someone else "corrects" him on the behavior you have okayed? Second, how will he handle it when he gets a little older and needs to stop? Third, will he understand that standing on chairs will NOT be acceptable in many other churches or in other circumstances when he can't see well? If you foresee any of those being a problem for him, I think you need to arrive early enough to sit up front or on an aisle so he can see better.

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In general, our kids can stand on the pew next to me or dh so we can keep "hold" of them. But our pews are wood. If they were fabric/cushioned, then I'd probably say no and just hold them.

 

Our kids had (and sometimes still have) a long period of adjustment when it came to learning to be a part of the church service when we changed churches. It's a great thing, and I'm so happy they have this opportunity, but it did take a while. We would bring a baggie of cheerios to munch during the sermon, and have a pencil for them to write with. Silly putty is also a quiet activity that will keep small fingers occupied. But we always reminded them that they are a part of the congregation, so when everyone stands to sing, they will stand to sing. When everyone sits, then they sit.

 

My 7yods has auditory processing disorder, and when he was 3.5yo and we first came to this church he would start crying and panicking when the congregation began singing. We just took him outside the doors where it was bearable for him. We did allow him to "hide" under the pew while we were singing when he could handle that. After time and some neurodevelopmental therapy he was fine in the services and is not bothered by the sounds. It took about a year, though.

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In my mind, standing on the pew (when everyone else is standing) is acceptable until the child standing on the pew is taller than you standing on the floor.

 

:iagree:

 

For most kids this is up to about age 5 or so, but it can vary. I also agree that it depends on the personality of your church. If you are in a very formal worship, this might be frowned on. Our church has always been quite informal, and many small children can be seen all over the worship center standing on chairs during singing. I love to see it because they are participating!

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What should they use then? Especially if they don't sing only hymns, so the words can't be found in a hymn book?

Song books. With words to all of the songs not in the hymnals. Or hand-outs each week, with that Sunday's songs on them.

 

And if they're songs that are sung regularly, people will actually learn the words over time.

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Song books. With words to all of the songs not in the hymnals. Or hand-outs each week, with that Sunday's songs on them.

 

And if they're songs that are sung regularly, people will actually learn the words over time.

 

Having those available would be nice, but it shouldn't replace the screen imo. I love the large screens, as I can sing and lift my hands without focusing on a piece of paper. I absolutely prefer this way of worship over a hymnal.

 

 

Susan

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What should they use then? Especially if they don't sing only hymns, so the words can't be found in a hymn book?

 

Words on the screen only are one of my pet peeves as well. I can't read them most of the time.

 

Our church prints the words in re-usable booklets that get dropped in a box again on your way out of the service. They even have ones in larger print for the folks that need them. You don't even have to print enough for everyone - just enough to make them available to those who can't read the screen.

 

OP - if the standing on the chair thing becomes a problem, maybe you could type up the words for your son and make him his own little booklet for the songs?

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Well, my husband has been on church staff for years in the past and we (nor anyone on staff with us) would ever care about a child standing on a pew in order to see the words and worship. Now, for the record, we are not overly formal. Now jumping up and down or jumping off the pew? No, not great behavior. But I would FAR rather have my child standing so they can see the words and participate in worship than sit quietly playing a DS or coloring. I want them to participate in the worship experience. Honestly, as I look at Christ in the Bible and His love of children, I would think He would far rather children be learning to worship Him than having huge concerns over a child's feet on a bench. He wants our hearts, not pristine benches. I'm not talking about having a disregard for other people's property by any means. Or about letting our children doing anything they like in a service. But I want them to know God loves them and desires their worship. Far more important than how they dress or where they stand in my opinion.

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Nearly every church we have ever been in, since I was a child, have had small children standing on pews or chairs, supported by a parent's arm, in order to "stand" with adults. Our current parish, there is no need; our pews are up against walls, so we all face one another and the priest in the middle. The little ones are encouraged to be still, as much as that is possible, but when the little one can't take anymore, but is not crying, she is allowed to wander just a bit if it's during announcements (at the end).

 

One thing I love about Orthodoxy is that it is very child friendly.

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I wouldn't have a problem with him standing on the chair in order to participate in worship. To just stand, jump, play around...no, I don't like that. But if he's standing so he can see and feel like he's participating, I'm perfectly ok with that.

 

If one is that worried about shoes on furniture, take off the shoes.

 

:iagree: I feel that a child being able to comfortably participate in worship out weighs almost any neg. argument.

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Well, my husband has been on church staff for years in the past and we (nor anyone on staff with us) would ever care about a child standing on a pew in order to see the words and worship. Now, for the record, we are not overly formal. Now jumping up and down or jumping off the pew? No, not great behavior. But I would FAR rather have my child standing so they can see the words and participate in worship than sit quietly playing a DS or coloring. I want them to participate in the worship experience. Honestly, as I look at Christ in the Bible and His love of children, I would think He would far rather children be learning to worship Him than having huge concerns over a child's feet on a bench. He wants our hearts, not pristine benches. I'm not talking about having a disregard for other people's property by any means. Or about letting our children doing anything they like in a service. But I want them to know God loves them and desires their worship. Far more important than how they dress or where they stand in my opinion.

 

I agree. It makes me happy when my child decides to stand up on the pew so she can see what I'm seeing. I want my kids to feel that their participation in church is welcome.

 

Generally young kids' families (including mine) sit toward the back of the church, because let's face it, kids are gonna do something distracting at some point. If there are parishioners whose experience is ruined by being around this, they should sit toward the front.

 

I used to be very concerned about my kids being perfect in church, until one day one of the seasoned older churchladies sat behind us with her friend. Bla, bla, bla the whole service. They had a lot to catch up on! I don't think it's fair to expect kids to be perfect when adults aren't. My goal is that my kids do not prevent others from getting what they want out of the church service.

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I would not allow my children to stand on furniture. Shoes have a way of destrying property and I wouldn't want to be responsible for that. What if his shoes are dirty or something? What if he gets excited and falls? If he behaves this way at church would he act that way at someones home? When would he learn that you just don't do that?

 

I agree. No standing on the furniture. Can you sit on the end so he can stand out in the aisle? Can you hold this child (not sure how big)?

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No way here. I want to teach them that the next person who will sit there, and whose bottom might become dirty from their shoes, is more important than their ability to see. We require participation, though, so we sit up front so that they can see. You could also sit on an aisle, so that he could stand a bit out into it and see.

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I agree. No standing on the furniture. Can you sit on the end so he can stand out in the aisle? Can you hold this child (not sure how big)?

 

I think a child in the aisle is more distracting than one standing on a bench while others are standing, personally. It too develops a habit that is not sustainable in the long run. At least with the standing on the bench, it's easy to explain why they must stop it once they get to a certain height, and why they must not do it if their shoes are dirty etc.

 

Besides, some of us have more than one child too small to see the front. I'm a single mom with two. We started going to church when the kids were 3, and now they are 5. Both are smaller than many/most KG kids. However, they are not small enough that holding both of them at the same time is a viable option. Having them both in the aisle (which I have NEVER seen anyone try even with 1 in my church) would be just asking for trouble.

 

Honestly, it never crossed my mind that anyone would get irritated seeing a short child stand on a pew in order to see. I guess in a very formal environment I'd question it, but then, I probably wouldn't try taking two small children to a very formal church on my own.

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Well, my husband has been on church staff for years in the past and we (nor anyone on staff with us) would ever care about a child standing on a pew in order to see the words and worship. Now, for the record, we are not overly formal. Now jumping up and down or jumping off the pew? No, not great behavior. But I would FAR rather have my child standing so they can see the words and participate in worship than sit quietly playing a DS or coloring. I want them to participate in the worship experience. Honestly, as I look at Christ in the Bible and His love of children, I would think He would far rather children be learning to worship Him than having huge concerns over a child's feet on a bench. He wants our hearts, not pristine benches. I'm not talking about having a disregard for other people's property by any means. Or about letting our children doing anything they like in a service. But I want them to know God loves them and desires their worship. Far more important than how they dress or where they stand in my opinion.

 

:iagree: I would rather see a child standing on a chair singing to Jesus than one playing Angry Birds on his ipod. And I think Christ would too. The Word says He has ordained praise from the lips of children. My kids like to stand on the pew so they can see, and also so they aren't surrounded by towering adults.

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No way here. I want to teach them that the next person who will sit there, and whose bottom might become dirty from their shoes, is more important than their ability to see. We require participation, though, so we sit up front so that they can see. You could also sit on an aisle, so that he could stand a bit out into it and see.

 

I guess I think differently. I don't think the next person's butt is more important than my child's heart. That said, I would never leave the seat dirty for the next person. I always check.

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I guess I think differently. I don't think the next person's butt is more important than my child's heart. That said, I would never leave the seat dirty for the next person. I always check.

 

Is your child's heart really affected by whether or not they stand on a seat, though? We have always had our dc participate fully, and it has never required standing on furniture. :confused:

 

I don't see a dichotomy of standing on a chair/pew or playing video games/not participating because of that, I guess.

 

We do tend to go to more formal churches, though, so I think that affects our views.

Edited by angela in ohio
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Is your child's heart really affected by whether or not they stand on a seat, though? We have always had our dc participate fully, and it has never required standing on furniture. :confused:

 

We do tend to go to more formal churches, though, so I think that affects our views.

 

:iagree: It is a false dichotomy to say the only choices are sitting playing on the phone or standing on the pews.

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Is it okay to stand on a chair during the times that everyone stands?

 

What if it is the only way for the child to see the words to the music, which are printed on a big screen at the front? What if it's the type of church where people are clapping their hands and a few are even dancing in the aisles?

 

Most of the other kids his age don't participate but play with handheld games or their parents' phones, but my son 1) doesn't play Mario quietly and 2) gets ramped up from games, so he would be a bear in Children's church.

 

My husband and I are in disagreement. I really just want to participate in church without worrying about my son's behavior. If he wants to participate, fine, if he wants to stretch out on the floor and write all over the bulletin, that's fine, too, as long as he isn't disrupting another churchgoer.

 

Although it sounds lax, I've noticed his behavior improves when I'm not trying to make him act a certain way. My husband just thinks it's wrong to stand on furniture, especially with shoes on.

 

Hmm... How old? I'm ok with Pink standing on the chair during those times but I wouldn't let Astro or Link do it by any means. I don't know that I'd notice or care if someone else did it, though...

As far as the rest of the time, I'm ok with kids doing something quietly in the seat, but not something like video games or reading an actual book. I'd say about age 5 and up should be sitting there relatively quietly and stuff - not playing on the floor and such. Jmo.

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Is it okay to stand on a chair during the times that everyone stands?

 

I see no problem with this for younger kids, but at maybe 5-6 they should be tall enough & old enough to stand on the floor.

 

FWIW, I attend a VERY formal, not-quite-high-liturgy church, with a LONG service. (Very formal, but not incense/robes/other languages) We don't have SS during the service, and only offer staffed nursery during the sermon. Most of the people there are more concerned with teaching the littles to participate joyfully than freaking out over feet on the seat.

 

Obviously, if a kidlet has muddy feet, we remove the offending shoes first, but it's usually not a problem, our church has sidewalks, and we put on Sunday clean shoes before leaving for church, so the odds of actually dirtying the pew are slim, unless someone goes tramping through the landscaping before church. :-D

 

In terms of seeing the words, we have a full liturgy printout every week. That really helps! No juggling hymnals & bulletin, just flip to the next page as we go.

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