“Expect divinity to appear and reappear as a child. Expect it in yourselves.” Matthew Fox
United Church seeks to provide a safe, loving and accepting place for all children to grow in their understanding of God, by providing meaningful activities in Bible learning, music, fellowship and service.
We are excited to have your children join us!
Sunday after Labor Day through the third Sunday of June
Childcare and education for young Christians is offered concurrently with worship. Young people may begin arriving at 9:45am (or earlier with prior arrangement). We strive to keep a consistent schedule, while modifying for necessary sacred and secular holidays. The calendar and activities are posted weekly on the website, in the Sunday bulletin, the weekly email and bi-monthly newsletter. We keep an active email list of parents so that we can notify them of any changes.
Children are always welcome in worship and there are activity kits available for them. During our regular programming year, childcare is available in the lower level nursery and toddler room from 9:45am until worship’s conclusion when we gather for intergenerational fellowship. The parlor (Beard Lounge) immediately adjacent to the sanctuary is connected to the sanctuary sound system. This allows a parent who wishes to take a child temporarily out of the worship space, but still hear the service. The UCF family is friendly and is always eager to help newcomers find locations and move from one place to another.
We provide a multi-disciplinary approach for our children to experience God’s love and Christ’s community through worship, Bible learning, mission and music.
1st Sunday of the month – Worship!
Everyone is in the sanctuary for worship and the sharing of the Lord’s Supper. On most communion Sundays, there will be an offering from children or youth from their previous month’s Sunday school or music experience. (While individual parents may make different decisions best for their households, United Church welcomes God’s children of every age at the Table.)
2nd – 5th Sundays of the month – Sunday School!
Through age-appropriate activities and discussion, children come to a fuller understanding of God’s love for themselves and for others, so that they might develop a healthy self-regard and regard for others. Bible learning will be guided by a monthly theme chosen by the education team and point toward age-appropriate mission or service activities.
K-12 children and youth participate in mission projects throughout the year. Children can join the youth on Rake ‘n Run Sundays in the fall, helping clean up lawns for our older members. Other times they will help pack lunches for the homeless, school supplies for area school children, volunteer in our NYS Adopt-a-Highway Program, and help with collections for the FM Community Outreach Food Pantry. To that end, they may help in the fields in the spring and summer, weeding and harvesting fresh vegetables to be delivered to the food pantry.
The Sunday School teachers and Christian Education committee may decide about participation in other projects as needs and opportunities arise.
2nd – 5th Sundays of the month
Kathy Willyard Music Wing
Children’s choir meets in the Choir Room from 10:45am – 11:15am on the 2nd – 5th Sundays of the month with volunteers and our Director of Music Ministries in the Choir Room. Children learn singing techniques, prepare music for worship and present their gifts on the first Sunday of the month. They also participate in a Youth and Children’s Sunday and sometimes serve as instrumental musicians, acolytes, liturgists, and ushers. Available to them also is a three octave set of Suzuki Tone Chimes.
Opportunities for children and their parents throughout the year include: zoo trips, caroling, game night, a parents’ night out and parents’ morning out.
Transition to Youth (Seekers’ Class)
~7-9th grade – exact grades depend on our population
We provide a seekers’ class on Sunday mornings for those in late middle school. Led by a team of church volunteers, educators, and the pastor, our young people spend the year exploring their faith at the next developmental level.
- visit worshipping communities of other faith traditions;
- learn about our relationship with the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the history of our congregation, the development of scripture, prayer, mission, service, and stewardship, through activity and discussion;
- enjoy fellowship;
- share in service to the community;
- and develop a personal expression of their faith at that moment, choosing their preferred media (photography, essay, music, art).
For those students who choose, this yearlong experience constitutes their preparation for full membership in the church. Board members hear about their experiences from them and receive them into membership. The congregation welcomes them in public worship at a confirmation service scheduled in the spring.