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Christian Education
Youth, and Faith Formation Ministries

Jennifer deSimas,
Director

ceminister@avon-church.org
Office: 860-678-9068

All Are Welcome!

Our children are marvelously and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14). They are lively and talented, funny and compassionate and smart. But do they know how to be still, and converse with God? Are they comfortable with that silence? Are they involved in groups that nurture their spirits, people who are willing to share wisdom they’ve gained through years of living, conflict, sorrow? People who welcome them and love them just for who they are – bright little kids with years stretching out before them?

Sports teach strategy, strength and confidence. Music teaches collaboration, beauty and self-expression. Academics stretch our minds. All of these are good and necessary for the growth of any human being, but they don’t help people grow their faith – that is not their goal.

Where can you stretch your soul? Where can children build inner faith and confidence that will carry them through times of sadness or conflict? What places, what programs exist only to nurture the spirit? Places like Avon Congregational Church, where families walk together on their faith journeys, where God’s spirit shines through prayer and discussion, where children are cherished and parents find an understanding nod and smile. I’m grateful that ACC is such a place, and I’m so glad we are all together on the journey. Welcome back!

 In Peace, Jennifer

 Youth Groups

Our youth groups are inclusive communities that challenge a growing culture of self-absorption and superficiality. We gather for informal lunches, hike together, travel on service outings locally and out of state, meet to ponder issues of injustice, inequality and exclusion, and help each other navigate the middle and high school years. We also have a lot of laughs and fun! We Are:

        ACCtions:  (ACC teens in outstanding new service) students in grades 9-12

        CIA:  (Christians In Action)  students in grades 6-8

        God Squad:  Combined high school youth of ACC and West Avon Congregational churches. Occasionally we team up with other local churches for service trips and projects.

Other Faith Formation
Ministry Activities

Children’s Chapel:  Approximately once a month, all Church School children gather for Children’s Chapel, where worship is similar to “big church” but with much more interaction and noise!  We discuss topics such as holidays, beliefs, sacraments, prayer and more in a safe, open and loving atmosphere.

Christmas Pageant Church School children and youth participate in our annual Christmas pageant, a joyful, creative  presentation of the story of Jesus’ birth. Watch for pageant information in early November.

Bible Buddies: Third-grade Church School students (and children who are new to ACC) partner with sixth graders to learn how to use the Bible through games, crafts, cooking and more.

Confirmation Class:  Classes begin every other September and conclude with the Rite of Confirmation. This is an activity-based program of faith formation open to church youth in eighth grade and above.

Community Service:  We work together to follow Jesus’ call to show love for others by sponsoring food, clothing, book and toy drives; collections for pet shelters, hospitals and homeless shelters; meal preparations for area soup kitchens; community outreach, and more.

Adult Education: Short-term, small-group studies on varying topics such as Listening for God in our Dreams, Mindfulness, Prayer, service opportunities, book discussions and more.  Additionally, Rev. Martha Chenault teaches the Bethel Series, which provides students with a unique overview of the Bible through an immersive historical approach.

Church Library:  Located upstairs in the sitting room, the Library offers children’s books and family-oriented videos and DVDs as well as books on church history, Christianity, philosophy, life issues (marriage/work/raising children), biographies, devotional guides and prayer books and more. 

 

 

Look at the Monthly Newsletter for information about recent activities and coming events.

Link to Church School Registration Form

Link to Fuller Scholarship Forms
Link to Fuller Scholarship Information

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The Faith Formation Ministries team envisions that all young people enrolled in the Avon Congregational Church School over a number of years will have a solid Biblical background including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Joy comes from giving of oneself, not acquiring for oneself.

  • Joy comes from cooperation, not competing to see who’s better.

  • Joy comes from our faith in God, and gives us strength.

 In addition, we teach our children…

  • God's name is Love

  • God's nature is Compassion

  • God's presence is Joy

  • God's word is Truth

  • God's will is Peace

  • God's gift to all is Eternal Life

The Board of Christian Education envisions that all young people enrolled in the Avon Congregational Church school over a number of years will have a solid Biblical background including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Old and New Testament Stories

  • The Holy Spirit

  • The Ten Commandments

  • The Lord's Prayer

  • The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40)

  • Doxology

  • Gloria Patri

  • The Sacraments of Baptism and Communion

  • The Cycle of the Church Seasons

  • Mission and Stewardship

  • Skills necessary to use the Bible

  • Personal favorite passages from Scripture

Church School: Our Church School students study the incredible stories of the Bible and learn the basic tenets of Christianity through classes, special events and community service. Our curricula are chosen for their relevancy to today’s kids and how they help them apply Christian principles to everyday life. We welcome all questions and encourage dialogue as students nurture their emerging faith. Our teachers are completely at ease with discussions about the nature of God, Jesus and our challenge as Christians in a secular world. We also expect children’s participation in the life of the church; we encourage them to participate in worship services (as ushers, acolytes or greeters), sing in the choir, and help with Coffee Hour or the annual Rummage Sale.

Nursery/Crib Room: A place for our very youngest friends to grow in God’s love, the Nursery is for Newborns through Age 3. Parents are also welcome! An overhead speaker allows adults to follow the worship service while their children relax and play. For everyone’s health, we ask that you keep your child home if he or she has a fever, runny nose, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, unknown rash, discharge from the eye, or an illness that has been treated with antibiotics for less than 24 hours. The nursery is open Sunday mornings from 9:45 until directly following the worship service.

Church School

Students in Pre-K through Eighth Grade are welcome year-round in the Church school while their parents attend worship. Children attend the first part of the service, and leave with their teachers after the Children’s Message. During summer months, classes are less structured as we join in union services with our sister church, West Avon Congregational, UCC.