CHILDREN & YOUTH
Our children’s and youth ministries and Sunday morning childcare
We value children and youth and are intentional about helping our kids develop so that faith is meaningful for them as they mature into adulthood. All of our teachers have had background checks and are excited about the important work they do to maintain a safe and fun learning environment.
Vacation Bible School Tuesday–Thursday, June 20–22 from 9:30am–12:15pm Once again we’re partnering with First Presbyterian Church, St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church for a FREE three-day VBS program for kids from kindergarten through 5th grade. “Marketplace” is the name of the VBS program and it teaches children the stories of Jesus and what life was like during his time. Held on the grounds of First Presbyterian Church, 1432 Washtenaw Ave, “shopkeepers” in the marketplace set up activities such as games, arts and crafts, Synagogue school, acting out Bible stories, visiting a storyteller, and more. To sign up, contact Diane Sonda, Caroline Kittle, or fill out the google form. You can also download a pdf of the brochure. The kids who went last year loved it!
Children (infant through 5th grade)
Our worship service begins at 11am each Sunday morning. Children 0–2 years old have the option of being in the nursery throughout the service. Pre-readers (2–4-year-olds) and elementary children through grade 5 start the worship service with the adults in the sanctuary and are dismissed to their classrooms after the opening songs and prayer.
When the kids go downstairs to their classrooms, they gather in a central room for a few minutes of music. They are then dismissed to their individual classes. The 4th/5th grade class is led by two experienced teachers (lead teachers alternate each month), Debra Garcia Wagner and Clarissa Ramade, who pray for their students and create interesting and creative lessons. Each week, after the lesson, the students work on an art project or other follow up activity, followed by a snack and communion. Peanut-free snacks are provided.
After music, children in the 2nd/3rd grade class gather for a short time to share about their week and receive jobs for the day. Next they listen to a story and participate by thinking about “wondering questions” that help the students to insert themselves in the story. They also do an art project or activity and have communion. Melissa Anderson and Jenni Piotrowski are the lead teachers. All of the classes have volunteer helpers to assist the lead teacher.
The K–1 class is led by Carla Huff and Carol Matthews who work together to create lessons that the younger ones can enjoy. They follow the same format as the 2nd/3rd class. As in all the classes, our focus is to help the children connect with each other and God.
All of the above classes use lessons from Shine Curriculum by Brethren Press. Shine is a story and prayer-based curriculum that is similar to the Godly Play method, begun by Montessori programs.
We have a PreReaders class for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds. These children use the Godly Play curriculum and also have a snack and receive communion. The lead teachers are Molly Morton and Jessica Harris.
The youngest children are from 0–2 years old. They meet in the Nursery and are cared for by Val McMurtrie, Cheryl Makolin, Amanda Rodeffer, Betsy Salzman and Oceana Bailey, who take wonderful care of our little ones.
Diane Sonda is our children’s ministry director.
Middle & High School
Middle schoolers, 6th–8th grade, meet before our worship service at 10:30 a.m. in the youth lounge in the church. At 11am they join the larger congregation, including our high school students, for Sunday service and are invited to participate in various ways such as reading Scripture or serving communion. Our high school group will begin meeting this winter (2017). Stay tuned for details. Caroline Kittle is our youth group leader.