The Church offers a variety of programs for children to explore, learn and have fun throughout the year:
|Sunday School||Peaceable Kingdom|
|Youth Group||Pilgrim Lodge|
Through our Christian Education program we nurture the spiritual growth and faith development of our children—from early childhood to adulthood. We seek to provide a caring religious community for them to grow in, to welcome and include them in all possible areas of our faith community, and to give them frequent opportunities to take part in the work of the church and to be of service to others. How do we accomplish this?
- Sunday School program that relates the Bible to the church year and natural year and makes the connections to our lives today.
- Time in church for children each Sunday, and encouragement of children’s participation in worship at other times; children’s attendance at Communion; the Deacon Assistants’ program; and at least four all-family worship services per year.
- Regular inter-generational events—coffee hour, church suppers and breakfasts.
- Youth fund raisers to help those in need.
- Recognition of special needs of youth—in our world religions course taught every three years; middle school curriculum; youth group social events.
Sunday School classes for children are provided from September through early June each year. SummerKids program provides activities for children during summer months (described below). Children attend the first part of the worship service each Sunday, then have a 45-minute Sunday School class. Sunday School is divided into two groups, elementary school and middle school (5th-8th grade). Nursery care is provided for young children. High schoolers are welcome to attend the middle school group.
Volunteer as a Sunday School Teacher
One of the most enriching ways to strengthen the Church and learn more about God is to serve as a Sunday School teacher or teacher’s assistant. Experience is not required; all you need is a love of children and a desire to help them grow in faith. You may volunteer for one day or weeks; any time commitment is appreciated. For information, or to sign up, please contact the Sunday School Superintendent or (207) 374-2891.
SummerKids offers activities for children during church time from June to September when Sunday School is not in session. Each year there is a unifying theme related to learning about God’s creation. Recent SummerKids themes include: Trip Around the World, Animals of the World, Our Five Senses, Music of Creation, and Celebrating Local History. In addition to children who live here year-round, SummerKids serves many summer residents and visitors.
Youth Group provides fun activities outside of worship for Middle School and High School youth (6th grade and up). The goal of the youth group is to serve the spiritual needs of youth in our Church. Each month the Youth Group leaders try to organize at least one fund raising activity and one just for fun (and often educational) activity, and a few community outreach activities per semester.
The Peaceable Kingdom Day Camp is a five-day morning camp held one week in June from 9am to noon at the Church. The camp is for children ages five to ten, and provides a fun week of nature explorations, creativity, song and play. Those older than 10 can serve as helpers. Our counselors have included our Pastor, Sundy School Superintendent, and other adults with teaching experience. Campers can look forward to nature exploration, singing, and individual and group creative projects, with an emphasis on learning about the natural world. Drawing, painting or simple journaling by the children may reflect their nature excursions of the day. Along with activities held at the church, there are field trips to enjoy some of the natural wonders nearby. There is no fee, although donations are welcome. Space is limited.
Pilgrim Lodge is a UCC summer camp in West Gardiner, Maine. There are many opportunities for camping experiences for all ages of kids and adults, all focused on helping people grow as Christians. They achieve this growth through week long experiences in group living, involving exposure to the world of nature, helpful caring relationships, experiences in sharing, recreation, fellowship, and worship. For more information go to www.pilgrimlodge.org.