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 the renovated first floor behind the Chapel and next to the Church School Room. 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 in the newly renovated first floor space. For the 2017-2018 year, Church School is built around a program called Living the Promise. Each month has a special theme and each month will feature a wide range of activities, overseen by two members of the congregation. A Church School Committee member is assigned to each month and helps the team of four volunteers create creative and interactive activities that speak to the theme of the month. Each week two of the volunteers take the lead in the classroom. Activities will range from cooking to music to crafts to inventing to more as the volunteers lead the children in understanding and experiencing an important principle.
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 accompanied by the teachers.
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 in the nursery 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
Christmas Pageant: Reenactment of the Story of Christmas
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
Fun for all is the special Blessing of the Animals worship where pets are brought in for blessings from the Senior Minister. Our Gathering Sunday outside barbecue/picnic with live music is also another favorite for families.