We see our children as a vital and integral part of our community and as gifted and growing spirits. We endeavor to teach them the values of our life together. They live important Bible stories, explore rituals that comfort them and offer them structure and meaning, get a feel for the rhythms of worship, sing, and learn what it means to be a part of the Beloved Community.
On the first Sunday of each month, children and teens remain in worship with all the congregation as we celebrate Holy Communion together. On the other Sundays we offer a variety of options for them.
Older youth, 6 th grade and up, leave the worship service during the hymn following the sermon. They go with leaders to the teen room for “sermon talks and more” where they discuss what they’ve heard, sing along with a guitar and enjoy the fellowship of their contemporaries.
Children from age 5 through 5 th grade leave our worship service after “children’s time” (before the sermon) to spend time in our Godly Play classroom. Godly Play uses a storytelling approach to scripture and liturgy in an environment that “respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.” Based on Montessori principles the Godly Play approach helps them to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play.
Nursery care is available for children under age 5 every Sunday. Children are also always welcome to remain in the sanctuary with their families.
Youth groups meet several times a month. We have a 5 th – 7 th grade group, an 8 th – 12 th grade group and “The Landing Spot,” a safe monthly meeting time for LGBT youth. The youth work together to fund raise for various mission trips, have seasonal parties and help serve when we host The Gathering Inn.