for Children and
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with Children and Youth
The educational ministry of the Seekonk Congregational Church is to nurture
children and youth in their understanding of what it means to be baptized
as a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. We seek to help each
one GROW in faith by our worship and our learning together, supporting
one another in community, and reaching out in caring service beyond our
Sunday Church School
Church School on Sunday mornings meets at the same time as Worship. There
are two church schools~ one at 9 a.m. and one at 10:30a.m. from mid-September
through May. There is one (9:30 a.m.) worship service in the summer, and
Church School is at 9:30 as well for children K-5, with a separate class
for pre-school on the Sundays in June, July, and August as well as the
first two Sundays in September. On the Sunday between Christmas and New
Years, children come with family to church for “Bell Sunday”
and all ages worship together that day.
On the first Sunday of most months, beginning in October, the children
and youth begin in Worship with parents or other family members and then
move to the Hall for classes.
Passages on the Journey
This church believes it is essential to recognize our children’s
faith development and growth through the years.
• *Beginning in Kindergarten, students are invited to serve as acolytes
for the church services. This is an opportunity for them to serve the
congregation as they light the candles symbolizing Christ’s light
for the world.
• *2nd and 3rd Graders are honored at a Children’s Communion
Celebration every other year on the 2nd Sunday in June.
• *At the end of Grade 3, each child enrolled in the church school
is recognized and awarded a Children’s Bible for use at home and
in church .
• *5th graders have the honor of preparing the sanctuary on the
2nd Sunday of Advent in the Hanging of the Greens service. Rehearsal is
the Saturday prior to the worship service.
• An adult Bible is presented to those being confirmed on the day
Chapel ~ On the
Sundays when the children begin in the classroom, they all gather in Chapel
(Room 1) for a closing prayer, announcements and handouts. This is a very
special opportunity to be with ALL of our church school family and be
in community with one another. Many of the children have already established
special relationships with a younger or older child. The understanding
that we are all on this faith journey TOGETHER is a powerful message that
can be felt even in the youngest of years ~and… we give thanks for
At present we are using the lectionary-based curriculum called “Seasons
of the Spirit” and often our pastor uses the lectionary for her
preaching which then focuses the same scripture passages on a given Sunday.
This facilitates the continuation of Christian education in the home as
well as helping to integrate worship and education.
Our Children’s Ministry Teams are encouraged to use additional resources
such as drama, puppets, games, cooking, and other creative arts to enhance
student-centered learning and growth in faith.
We offer child care for infants and toddlers every Sunday of the year.
This is staffed by at least one adult and a helper. We encourage parents
to feel free to stay for a week or two if the child is fearful, but our
experience shows that most children are calm and happy within a few minutes
after the parents go to church. If there is ever a problem, the church
school coordinator will come into the Worship service to inform the parents.
Time is set aside in Chapel/classroom for the children to dedicate their
offering to God for our church and its ministries. We encourage parents
to help their child develop that spirit of giving by their regular participation
and set the example for their adult years.
Each year we select a mission project that ties into the Wider Mission
of our church and teach more about those in need. We also encourage angel
gifts and food pantry gifts at Christmas time.
Believing that worship of God in praise and prayer, outreach and community,
is our most important way to honor our baptism, we seek to educate and
nurture our children in the act of worship. As most children learn best
by ‘doing’, we try to provide opportunities for children to
worship with their families and witness the modeling of the whole congregation.
Intergenerational worship services are planned several times a year and
• Celebration Sunday in September,
• World Communion Sunday the first Sunday in October,
• All Saints Sunday
• Thanksgiving Sunday in November,
• Hanging of the Greens Sunday in Advent
• Christmas Sunday in December
• Epiphany Sunday in January
• Ash Wednesday
• Palm Sunday
• Maundy Thursday
• Good Friday
• Pentecost in May or June
• Children’s Sunday.
Communion ~ The Lord’s
Seekonk Church welcomes everyone of any age who loves / follows Jesus
to come to the Table and receive the bread dipped into the cup. (It is
up to the parents to decide when they feel their child are ready to receive.)
The Director of Christian Education, teachers and deacons nurture the
children in their understanding of this sacrament.
Alternating years a special Communion Celebration Ceremony in worship
on the 2nd Sunday in June. will be the culmination for those in grades
2 and 3. The Sundays between Easter and Children’s Sunday are set
aside every other year to learn more about the meaning of Communion.
This faith community celebrates infant baptism, (as well as baptism for
all ages). Parents and the congregation promise, on behalf of the child,
to nurture him or her into the Christian faith. The meaning of baptism
is explored in the church school. A special baptismal banner with children’s
names on it is being developed.. All children who are baptized receive
a pottery cup with their name and date of baptism on it. Confirmation
for Youth (9th grade and above) enables the young person to affirm their
baptism for themselves.
Confirmation is a year-long program (September to June) of exploring the
meaning of faith in worship, community, service, and learning. Our Confirmation
program is one of commitment and community as the Youth (9th grade and
above) are in worship each week at one service and in class during the
other hour. In addition they are required to do at least 30 hours of community
service and participate in Mission endeavors and special events.
A mentor is assigned to each confirmand in September to be a guide and
friend throughout the 9 months. In May the Youth present their ‘Faith
Journey’ to the Deacons and Mentors and are confirmed on the 1st
Sunday in June.
Our church seeks to provide opportunities for children and young people
to be involved in a children’s choir and on special occasions~ a
• Children’s Choir ranges in grades from Kindergarten to Grade
• Youth Choir is 6th grade and up…
• Tone Chimes are played in third grade and up.
All ages are invited to participate in this joyous and meditative form
of praise and prayer to God in special services such as Christmas Eve,
Easter, Pentecost, et.al.
Church School Library
Each week the special ‘Library on Wheels’ is set up in the
Church Hall during Coffee Hour. Parents and children are invited to borrow
books of faith for reading at home.
Special Events and Activities
Throughout the year, the Christian Education Committee sponsors a
variety of activities to enhance our education program.
*Vacation Bible School: (VBS)
Held 4 days in August for preschoolers through grade six~~ VBS is Monday
through Thursday from 9-Noon for a nominal fee. Many from our own church
attend, and we open our registration to welcome children from the community.
A closing ceremony is a highlight for parents and friends.
*Celebration /Welcome Back Sunday:
A great intergenerational worship and faith community time with
surprises each year.
An intergenerational gathering of food, fun, and friendship
This Coffee Hour happening is sponsored by the 8th graders and features
special pancakes and food.
*Advent Workshop :
A time to create Advent wreaths and alternative gifts and cards
An opportunity for individuals and families of all ages to offer the joy
of carols to those who are homebound and in nursing centers…followed
by hot chocolate and cookies at the church.
On the Sunday before Christmas all children participate in the Christmas
Tableau during the Lessons and Carols of Worship
*Christmas Eve Service:
This service is designed for families with young children as well as for
all ages. Children and Youth participate in choirs, drama, readings, sacred
dance and other aspects of this inspiring service.
During occasional February vacations we may organize a morning of creative
art activities for children. The results are shared in an art show for
the whole congregation to enjoy.
Mardi Gras (Fat or Shrove
This event is often is held on the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday as we
help sponsor a Pancake Supper or Pizza Supper that ends with a Mardi Gras
celebration of games and parade. Suggestions are made to families and
individuals of ways to enrich the Lenten Journey of the forty days before
Awards / Picnic
This is an intergenerational event that invites the whole congregation
to honor the children and teachers followed by food and fun.
*** *** *** *** *** *** ***
The Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ (of which we
are a part) sponsors many camping and retreat opportunities for children
and youth at a variety of sites including Irons Homestead in Gloucester,
RI. Information about the camps is generally available in the Spring.
Leadership of our Ministry
Our Christian Education Program depends heavily on volunteers and their
gifts of time and talents. We value all participation. Support and training
are offered regularly. If you are interested in helping, please speak
to the Director of Christian Education, Kristin Putney or any members
of the Christian Education Committee
Policies and Procedures:
Church School begins at 9 am and 10:30 am
If church is out early, parents are asked to have coffee and pick up children
at 10 or 11:30 am.
Children are to be placed in the same grade as they are in school –
unless there are unusual circumstances . For preschool classes , three
and four year olds should be the age before September 1 of the year they
Confirmation is for 9th graders and older. 8th graders
may begin their community service hours while in that grade level and
carry them into Confirmation.
Child Protection Guidelines, developed by our Christian
Education Committee, are in effect for Church School and we strive to
be a “Safe Church” for children and youth of all ages.
Outstanding attendance awards are given to children who
attend Church School regularly. Students who miss 5 or less Sundays during
the year will be recognized on children’s Sunday in June. Consideration
is given for attending other churches while out of town.
A Mom/Child Play Group meets once a month on the 3rd
Wednesday. We find that the children who are familiar with their surroundings
in the church on a regular basis think of this as their ‘church
*Seminars for Parents are part of our program offerings.
If you have ideas of helpful or informative presentations that would be
great to share with others, let us know!