Young Children and Worship

Young Children and Worship

My name is Elsie Harder from Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary.

On Pentecost, we remember how God gave us the gift of the Spirit so that we can say and do the wonderful things Jesus did.  I would like to share my video of the Pentecost story with you and this is my story of how this video project came to be.

Over 30 years ago, commissioned by our church in Winnipeg to find a curriculum for our children that would nurture faith formation, I attended a training event with Sonja M. Stewart.  During that week, Bible stories came to life for me as they were told with wooden figures on a felt underlay or in the desert box.  I received a gift so precious I couldn’t keep it to myself.  And so, in 1989, pregnant with a two-year-old in tow, I set out to create a children’s worship centre based on “Young Children and Worship” ©1989 by Sonja M. Stewart and Jerome W. Berryman.

In 1996 our family moved to Calgary.  Grieving the loss of our church family in Winnipeg and not finding anything quite like it here in Calgary we were without a faith community for many years.  After many years of searching, I finally found Foothills.  And soon began creating another worship centre for the children here. For the past 10 years I have told stories to the preschool class at Foothills almost every Sunday.

Last fall, there was such an emptiness.  The joyful weekly connection of young children and loving adults, talking, touching, singing, laughing, praying and exploring Bible stories together was gone.  Our Sunday morning experience had disappeared.  How would we stay connected?  A new idea started percolating and I began recording Bible stories and sharing them with the whole congregation through our weekly community connection email.

Then I was asked if I would share the stories with MCA.  I am so delighted that I have received conditional permission from the publisher to share my videos


If you would like to find out how to access these stories contact me at  My most recent recording is the story of Pentecost.