Due to the Pandemic, our last in-person Sunday School class was March 15, 2020.
Immediately, our weekly lesson with accompanying relevant activity pages were emailed to all of our families. Our 2019-2020 Sunday School Year ended with a wonderful contact-free, drive-by Children’s Sunday in June 14. When our new year began in September, 2020, our weekly lessons were presented as video recordings posted the DCC site, as well as emailed to our families. Our second modified Pandemic Children’s Sunday was held during in-person worship in our Garden Sanctuary in June. Video recorded lessons continued throughout the summer. There was so much hope that we could resume at least a modified in-person Sunday School in September, but with the rising numbers and the fact that our children under eleven years old are waiting for a vaccine, we were advised by the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ to not meet with our youth in person. On September 12th, our traditional “Opening Day,” each of our children received a hand-delivered “Love Kit” to start their year. Also on that day our congregation was able to choose a note card addressed with each of our children’s name to send their love and assure our kids that they are still an integral part of our faith community….and dearly missed. We have also adopted a special time in our weekly worship to honor and pray for our absent children. Video recorded lessons have become our new normal.
It is now October, and the approval of a vaccine for our younger children seems imminent. The numbers are coming down, and the hope of having our beloved children back with us is rising.
When we eventually meet in person, our children meet in the Church Sanctuary at 10:30 to join our church family for the beginning of worship. After announcements, the Call to Worship, the first hymn, Unison Prayer, and the Anthem, our Traceymay calls the children and young adults forward by name and they settle in for a wonderful “Children’s Time.” The congregation then “sings” the children out of the Sanctuary to their Sunday School class, held in the Dublin Community Center. Our Sunday School space is a large, light-filled space, with walls adorned with rotating art exhibits.
All children from nursery school through eighth grade are welcome to join at any time throughout the year. Our multi-age classroom is for first through eighth graders. There is a separate space for nursery aged children, but, if at all possible, we like to keep the little ones close by in the classroom space – everyone seems to benefit from the inclusion!
Yummy Cady is our teacher; there is always either a high school assistant or parent present in each class. Our program focuses on how each child can make a contribution to their faith, their church, their community and the world. Our teachings are grounded in social justice lifting up the teachings of the bible, offering alternatives to world views that emphasize power and wealth, and helping those in need, both locally and globally. All of the children have a most important place within our church and are deeply valued. They offer a beautiful Christmas Pageant every year, and lead the entire worship in June for Children’s Sunday. Throughout each year we focus on an on-going outreach effort that the children decide upon at the beginning of each year. During the four weeks of Advent our children lead their church family in participating in alternative giving through Heifer International. ( www.heifer.org) Our Sunday School is very child-directed, each class open to the spirit that our children bring.
For more information feel free to call our Superintendent of Sunday School, Yummy Cady, at 603-924-3120 or email her at email@example.com. We are an Open and Affirming Church affiliated with the United Church of Christ.
We look forward to seeing you! Remember—children can join Sunday School at any time during the school year.
ABC’S for Worshipping with Children
Action: Kids are where the action is! Children are a huge part of the Love and Spirit of God. Giggles or the sound of small feet hitting the backs of the pews are joyful sounds! Sitting up front, where the kids can see everything that’s going on can help focus their attention.
Bulletins: The Children’s Bulletins can be both engaging and educational. There are puzzles and activities that relate to the scripture reading for the day. Make it part of your child’s job to pick one up when entering the church. Drawing supplies are also available.
Children and Youth Message: Encourage your child to go up front for Traceymay’s meaningful message and prayer. You are welcome to come, too! We all learn a lot from that time in our worship!
Demonstrate: Help your children move through the parts of worship by pointing out to them the various things that are happening in the Order of Worship in your bulletins. Help them participate in the Call to Worship, let them help you find the hymn number (or, if older, encourage them to stand and sing the hymn), during the Unison Prayer show them what it means to be “at prayer” with your church family, and they can definitely be part of our glorious Alleluia Response. And one of the big positives for sitting close to the front is that the children can see our wonderful choir sing!
Energy: Remember to celebrate the energy and vitality our children bring to worship every week. Children model Christ in ways we can’t imagine, but for their example. Smile at them, encourage them, as we, in turn, are encouraged by them to see and hear God in new and exciting ways.