“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. 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.
Sunday School (K-12)
We provide a multi-disciplinary approach for our children to experience God’s love and Christ’s community through worship, Bible learning, music and mission.
Each week all K-12th grade students are in worship with their parents for the beginning of the service.
Through hearing announcements and participating in the opening movements of worship, young people will begin to learn about the wider ministry of the congregation and experience the shape of worship. They will then join their respective class leaders at the front of the sanctuary and be accompanied to their classrooms. On the first Sunday of each month, when there is the Lord’s Supper, all children will remain in worship so the whole church family can share the Meal together.
K-5 (Downstairs Classroom)
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.
8th and 9th Graders (Seekers’/Confirmation Class)
We provide a seekers’ class on Sunday mornings for those in late middle school, early high school.
Led by a team of church volunteers, educators, and 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.
Youth Ministries (Grades 6-12)
(Upstairs classroom next to Pastor’s Office)
“Our children are our most important guests, who enter into our home, ask for careful attention, stay for a while and then leave and go their own way.” Henri Nouwen
Youth in these grade levels begin the next developmental level of faith exploration. Led by a team of lay people, our youth enjoy more complex discussions about the challenges of living out our faith in the face of peer pressure, stress, college preparation and social challenges. Our goal is to continue to provide a safe, accepting environment as these young people wrestle with ethics, joys, challenges, successes and failures and integrate them into their self-understanding as people of faith.
Mission/Outreach for K-12
Our K-12 children and youth participate in mission projects throughout the year. They may 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 spring and summer, weeding and harvesting fresh vegetables at Matthew 25 Farm 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.
Throughout the year, K-5 and 6-12 student groups have a variety of fellowship activities that may include a lock-in, Christmas party, game night and summer pool party. In addition to the service opportunities indicated above, they regularly work in community gardens, have a day-long, weekend or week-long (break week or summer) mission experience. They also strengthen their fellowship when working on fundraisers to support these activities.
Children and Youth may take responsibility for leading one worship service per year, choosing the theme, Scripture, music, and message.