This article was originally published on Building Faith by Sharon Ely Pearson in July 2011. I am pleased to re-post it and hope you find it useful!
Most churches distribute some type of bulletin on Sunday mornings as worshippers enter their sanctuary for services. For some, it is the entire service printed out – prayers, readings, and hymns. For others it is simply the Order for Worship. Newcomers and visitors find bulletins to be helpful aids in following what might be an unfamiliar form of worship.
But what about the children? Sunday bulletins are not just for adults. Children who are readers are often eager to follow along the worship service with a bulletin. After all, if they can read, why shouldn’t they receive one also? Whether it be the same bulletin as their parents receive or one especially designed for them, don’t forget that children should be welcomed and greeted as they enter worship just like the grown-ups. And that might mean giving them a bulletin too.
Zip-lock bags (or other packets) with some crayons and a bulletin are a sign that children are welcome to worship at your church.There are a number of bulletins specifically designed for the use of children, to help them either follow along the service or to learn more about one or more of the Sunday readings. These materials also come in handy during the summer when you may not have scheduled programs or activities for children.
Kidsword Children’s Bulletins
Children’s Bulletins (for grades 4-6) and Little Kidsword (for grades K-3). They offers series based on the Revised Common Lectionary, or the Roman Catholic lectionary.
Spark Worship Bulletins
These are sold by lectionary year and season. You purchase a digital download which then lets you print as many as you like. Included in the download is two sets of bulletins: pre-readers, and readers. Samples are available here: sample spark bulletins.
The Sunday Paper
Also offered in two versions, The Sunday Paper (for ages Grade 4 and up ) and the Sunday Paper Junior (for ages PreK-Grade 3) by Gretchen Wolff Pritchard are biblically based, with whimsical illustrations of the Sunday readings
Children’s Worship Bulletins
These bulletins are in two sets: ages 3-6, and ages 7-12. They focus on the Old Testament, Epistle (New Testament) readings, or special days.
Children’s bulletins from the Institute for Peace and Justice. Each “paper” also offers background on the Sunday theme, some suggestions for ways families could follow up in their home, and additional resources for both children and adults. (Ages 6-10)
Here is the link to the order form: Order Form.
Logos Children’s Worship Bulletins
Logos Productions offers bulletins (ages 7-12) and Bible beginners bulletins (ages 4-6).
(After searching the site, we are a bit unsure exactly how to order these. If you like the sample, we suggest you call their toll-free number in order to subscribe.)
Sharon Ely Pearson is an editor and the Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated (CPI). She is the author/editor of several books, most recently The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Theologies of Confirmation for the 21st Century. When not traveling for work or pleasure, she enjoys tossing tennis balls to her year old black lab, Chobe.