Children and Youth
Grow - Worship - Study - Serve
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View our FAQ page on the Child Protection Policy for some of the highlights of the policy.
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Our church nursery, staffed by trained caregivers, supports parents by providing for the emotional, physical, and spiritual need of young children during worship services, coffee hour and other scheduled events when arranged. Our nursery is located off of Fellowship Hall and welcomes children from newborn to age 3. Nursery hours are 10:00 a.m. to noon or until the last child is picked up.
During our worship services on Sunday mornings our children are invited to the front of the church to join one another for a brief conversation about the lectionary scripture reading of the day. The Children's Moment is presented by adults who take the text of the day and break it down into terms young children can understand. This involves props, conversation and laughter! The children are then released to their own youth worship experiences following a community prayer. Adult leaders usher the movement to classrooms. The children in grades 3-5th (Young Disciples) return to the service to participate in the important faith elements of communion and offering with the congregation. Worship and Wonder students - ages 3 through 2nd grade will remain in their classroom until they are picked up. Their classroom is in the main office hallway.
Worship & Wonder: Worship Experience, ages 3-grade 1
During worship, following the children’s sermon this age group is invited to participate in a Montessori influenced worship space called Children Worship & Wonder. The adapted worship time has a liturgy much like that of adults, welcome, song, story, hearing the Word, giving thanks, sharing the feast. Unlike many children’s programs, the stories are simply told with little interpretation, leaving children to wonder about the text and fill in the details.
Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman are co-authors of the book, Young Children and Worship, which is the basic text for doing Children Worship & Wonder. To see Children Worship and Wonder in action watch the following videos.
Please note that while these children leave the sanctuary together with a Worship and Wonder leader they will remain in their classroom until they are picked up by parents. Children Worship and Wonder class is held in the church parlor in the main office hallway.
Young Disciples: Worship Experience - Grades 2nd-5th
On most Sundays, Young Disciples leave the sanctuary with the adult leader after the children's sermon for their own adapted worship experience in a classroom on the balcony around Fellowship Hall. During this time they discuss that Sunday's scripture reading and in a way, create their own sermon together. They return to the sanctuary in time for offering and communion as we believe these are important faith elements for all.
Occasionally this age group gathers for mission projects, study or fellowship. Recent projects include participating in the CROP Walk to raise money to fight hunger at home and around the world, making blankets to share with our homeless and children at the border, and creating greeting cards to sell during our Alternative Giving Market.
Exploring Faith - Grades 5th-12th
Youth gather once a month for fellowship, fun and asking big questions about faith. Exploring Faith always meets the last Sunday of each month immediately following service and lunch is provided.
Acolytes are worship leaders. Worship officially begins when acolytes call forth/bring the light of Christ into the sanctuary and light the alter candles. This light is the symbol of Christ’s presence with us at worship. Acolytes, carrying a candlelighter, process before the minister and choir silently calling the congregation into a time of worship. Acolytes then remove the light from the sanctuary at the end of the service reminding us to go forth and be Christ's light in the world. Acolytes are generally between the ages of 4 and 12 years of age. Acolyte training is held frequently so as to include all children who wish to participate.
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
Our yearly Vacation Bible school is an opportunity for children to learn more about their faith creatively through the arts, storytelling and action. Our curriculum is determined and often writen by a committee of clergy and lay people. The VBS program often calls for a service action component such as working in the church Food Pantry.