(Children’s Sunday School)
Christian faith formation at every age is about living out the experiences of our faith while journeying together on what the earliest Christians called, The Way. This Way of life transforms our lives and provides us with purpose, meaning and fulfillment. God celebrates children and so do we!
Avon Congregational Church offers children and youth an experience that is so much more than a Sunday ‘school.’ We strive to partner with each young person as s/he discerns what God and Jesus’ lessons of compassion and care means for life in the 21st century.
Pastor Chris comes from a lifetime of nurturing and building creative educational experiences for youth in churches, schools and the community. He partners with parents, guardians and adult church members to present thematic lessons in a ‘rotation-style’ curriculum that engage all of the children’s senses. Scripturally-based lesson plans enfold over a course of weeks. They are presented in various ways including story, cooking, games, science, art, music, movement and drama.
Our aim is to help children and youth apply faith concepts of healthy living, spiritual reflection and ethical mutuality to their lives. Like us, our children need to experience Christian faith to know it as relevant and necessary. We also emphasize a life of engagement – the outward practice of mission and service – and we seek every opportunity to meaningfully engage children and youth into our worship services.
From September thru June, all children and youth start in Sunday worship services at 10 a.m. After all, we are one family of faith. Often, there is a Time for All Ages – a message geared for the youngest among us, but something from which we all learn! Following this, children and youth are invited to their faith formation activities
Infants – Age 2, Nursery Crib Room
Even when Jesus’ disciples didn’t children to bother Jesus, he stopped them and said, ‘Let the children come to me.” And he placed them on his lap and he blessed them. In the spirit of Jesus’ blessing, we also welcome children. Babies of any age are welcome to worship with us. In fact, just watch the healing smiles a baby’s presence can give. We know life happens for babies – they get tired, get hungry and yep, sometimes have to answer the call of nature mid-worship. Never worry about bothering worship with a baby’s noise. These are the sounds of life. However, you are also welcome to use the Nursery Crib Room at any time, which is outfitted with a new changing table, rockers, a sink and play toys. There’s even a speaker system in there so you won’t miss anything happening in the sanctuary. Should you care to have very responsible infant care volunteers, we have many who have raised their families yet still love an hour or so with a precious infant. Just ask Pastor Chris or check in with the office in advance of a Sunday you know you’d like this free service.
Children of this age thrive best with consistency and routine. Under the nurturing guidance of experienced teachers, children engage the bible and concepts of faith through storytelling, crafts, music and time for play. Meeting in our state-of-the-art Avon Nursery School center, your children are certain to enjoy a wonderful experience. Parents/Guardians pick up children from the room at 11:15 a.m. Share with your child the blessings of belonging to a family of faith and knowing the love of God through others.
Using Jesus’ example, we are called to celebrate our unique selves, to recognize and use our gifts to make a positive impact on our community and to nourish our spiritual lives. Based on the ‘rotation model,’ youth are immersed in fully interactive ways. Our youth learn the great stories of our faith from many perspectives that engage all modalities of learning so that they may encounter God in a way that speaks to their own hearts. Specially-designed rooms on the second floor (activity room and book nook, arts and science) along with occasionally cooking in the kitchen ensure an ever-changing landscape for optimal learning and optimal fun!
Volunteering for this exciting ministry
We depend on the shared gifts and expertise of parents, guardians, grandparents and other adults filled with love for curious children. If you’ve ever learned alongside children, you know this ministry provides deep and abiding satisfaction. No special teaching skills are necessary. Have you ever been a child? Then you are mostly there! You just need to love the ever-changing spontaneity and honesty of children. That, and be willing to mentor in healthy ways, while being open to God’s Spirit working in your life will add immeasurable joy to your life. Ensuring the safety of our children and the critical knowledge one needs to know about boundaries and healthy relationships, background checks and a safe-church training session is required for all volunteers.
If we had a Children’s Ministry Creed, it may read like this:
We at Avon Congregational Church are committed to providing a caring, compassionate, supportive, welcoming and inclusive learning experience that empowers and nurtures a life-long spiritual growth and relationship with God. We strive to encourage a strong sense of belonging through each child’s participation in the practices of our faith community. We also enable our youth to act upon their Christian faith by respecting and caring for others and the world around them.