Brockport church provides a Pray-Ground for children

By on February 4, 2019
The Pray-Ground at First Presbyterian Church of Brockport.

The Pray-Ground at First Presbyterian Church of Brockport.


Pastor Nick Dorland of First Presbyterian Church of Brockport envisioned the church to be very welcoming to families and youth. As part of the approach to prioritize families, he and the planning committee decided to implement a Pray-Ground in the sanctuary of the church during worship services. In many churches children are often in a different room or seated at the back of the church for fear of disturbances. The command to bring children into worship services may date back to the church’s earliest days, motivating First Presbyterian Church to approach children in their service differently than they have in the past. Although it is unprecedented in many churches, FPC of Brockport encourages parents to bring their children age three and up to the front of the church in an area designated for kids and families called a Pray-Ground. The church has a nice open space for the Pray-Ground with a soft rug, chairs and a cart with activities children can engage in quietly. This allows families to participate in the service and be a member of the church while having activities to help keep children quietly entertained. Pastor Nick feels it is important “that kids be in worship but still be kids.”

Although the Pray-Ground is relatively new and it’s hard to measure the impact, Pastor Nick feels it has increased the “intergenerational hospitability” within the faith community. He has witnessed some touching moments of seniors interacting with children as well as some cherished moments of children proudly displaying their coloring page of positive words from the service such as  “Grace.”

Church services are 10 a.m. on Sundays.  For information visit