“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 every child 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 9:45 am (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 9:45 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-discipline 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 experience. (While individual parents may make different decisions best for their households, United Church welcomes children of every age at the Table.)
2nd and 5th Sundays of the month – Bible Learning!
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 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.
3rd Sunday of the month – Mission!
Downstairs Mission Room
K- Gr. 8 students are joined by the Gr. 9-12 students who will be developing their skills as mentors. Materials for Mission activities such as packing school supplies or lunches for the homeless are prepared in advance and our young Christians join together in these projects, based on their Bible learning from the week before. Throughout the year, there are also Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon experiences, such as raking yards for the elderly or disabled, serving breakfast to the homeless or caroling for the homebound.
Downstairs Choir Room
Children are exposed to basic music principals and learn to make their joyful noise as an offering to God through the use of tone chimes, vocal groups, handbells, percussion accompaniment, and the interpretation of hymns with American Sign Language. Those who are learning to play musical instruments will also be nurtured and provided opportunities to share their gifts in worship. Typically, the children will make their offerings on the first Sunday of the month, when they join us for worship.
Fellowship and Mission
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 USA, 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 and the congregation welcomes them in public worship at a confirmation service scheduled in the spring.