Going Through the Gates is a time honoured tradition at St. Andrew’s. No one really knows how long we’ve been doing it… but some have suggested at least 50 – 60 years maybe more. In other churches this might be called Graduation Sunday, or Promotion Sunday – it’s a special Sunday to celebrate kids as they graduate through our programs. To recognize and celebrate these milestone years we gift children entering preschool, grade 1, grade 3 and grade 5 with a new age appropriate Bible to learn from.
A little about The Going Through the Gates Ceremony
The ceremony is pretty simple. The gates are brought into the sanctuary ahead of time and usually sit to the side during the majority of the service. This year's service will be for all-ages so kids are invited to attend the service with their families rather than coming downstairs for Sunday school this week. When it’s time we’ll have 2 – 3 volunteers help carry the gates to the center of the sanctuary space. I will then take a few minutes to talk to the congregation about what this ceremony means to the kids and how the year has been for them as they’ve grown in their Biblical knowledge and in their faith. Next I'll call the youngest graduates up to the front and hand out their Bibles. When they all have their Bibles, we open the gate doors and the organist will play the traditional “gates song” as the kids go through the gate doors. The congregation will clap! Then this is repeated for the next grade, and the next and the next. At the end we'll ask the congregation to celebrate all of graduates and the rest of the kids by cheering or clapping.
Scripture this week: Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Next Steps for Parents & Grandparents: Ask your kid: “What is something you did really well this year that we should celebrate?” Talk about it and make a plan to celebrate their wins. Consider some of the wins YOU had this year too - you deserve a little celebration too!