Church School for Infants through 8th Grade at UCC Keene
Care for children from birth to age 4 is available for all Sundays in the Nursery. The Nursery is located in Room 302 on the third floor—the room with the Noah’s Ark theme. To the extent possible, it is staffed by the same people on each Sunday so that children will feel comfortable and get a chance to know the Nursery staff. If there is a problem, the nursery staff person will text the parent during the service. Nursery children are picked up by their parents immediately after the service, although extended care will be provided during congregational meetings. The Nursery is a bright, cheerful, nurturing environment to keep your child busy while you worship. There will be a short program on most Sundays including reading a story and a song or two. If you are new to the UCC Keene, please see one of the Deacons at either the front or rear entrance for help in locating the Nursery.
Church School for Children K – 5
Church School is offered for all children in grades Kindergarten through 5 on the third floor. A typical Church School program includes welcome and greetings, reading of a story from a children’s Bible or other age-appropriate source, a song or two, a prayer, and some type of art or game activity. The emphasis is on learning simple Bible stories, especially the life and lessons of Jesus, and on learning to be comfortable and feel welcome in church.
On most Sundays, children start in the sanctuary seated with their parents. Within the first 15 minutes, the pastor will invite the children up to the front for a Children’s Story. Following the story, the children go to Church School.
On some occasions, there will be an “Intergenerational Sunday”. On these Sundays, the Nursery is open but there is no Church School. Rather, the church service is designed to be of interest to children as well as adults. On Intergenerational Sundays, children and youth are encouraged to participate in the service by handling out bulletins, lighting candles, helping collect the offering, and reading the Scripture.
Regardless of the church school schedule, please be assured that your child is always welcome in either the church school or the church service. If your child is over 4 but would prefer to stay on the third floor during Intergenerational Sundays, he or she may be cared for by the nursery staff. If your child would rather stay with you during the service on a particular Sunday, that is fine also.
Church School Activities
In addition to Sunday programs, the Church School offers other activities which vary from year to year. These may include:
Advent Sunday: Making advent wreaths after church
Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner: Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins, and eating pancakes was a traditional English way to use up eggs and butter which were not allowed during Lent.
Easter Egg Hunt following the service on Easter Sunday
Middle School Church School
Church School for Middle School students is also offered on the third floor on most Sundays except for Intergenerational Sundays. The program for these sessions will vary but they often include short video’s, discussion, and games or other activities. Other activities include organizing presents for the Church’s Giving Tree program and stuffing Easter eggs for the Egg Hunt. Middle School students also go to the service for the last 15 minutes of the service and children’s story.