By way of introduction to what is available for children and youth at First Parish Church, let’s tag along with the Parish/Church family as they join us on Sunday morning. Sunday morning at the Parish/Church home is a little slower paced than most mornings because no one has to be out the door until after 9:00 am. The Parish/Church parents have 4 children – 16 year old Jenny, 11 year old Katie, 7 year old Matthew and 2 1/2 year old Samantha. The house is full of activity on Sunday morning as everyone is having breakfast together and getting ready for church. Well, almost everyone. Sometimes Jenny isn’t big on getting up for church in the morning, so sometimes she sleeps in on Sunday morning. She is beginning to enjoy the adult worship service but really looks forward to Youth Group which – bonus! – is after dinner.
With 3 or 4 kids and 2 adults coming to church on Sunday, its a good thing that Grandma likes to come to church, too. Two cars for 7 people is much better than one car for six!
Nursery When everyone gets to church, Samantha goes straight to the nursery. Children under 4 years old attend the nursery with our Nursery Attendant, Kelsey, in their own room with plenty of fun things to do. Sometimes, Sam needs to stay a little closer to her parents. This is not a problem. There is a table with crayons and toys in the back of the worship space where she can keep an eye on her parents and Grandma. Today, Sam is excited about seeing Kelsey and playing with her friend Bruce, so off she goes.
Opening Worship The rest of the family sits together at church. The adults and Jenny (she decided to come to church today) enjoy some coffee before the music starts. Kaeza plays some wonderful music, Christana welcomes everyone and we sing a song together. When its time for Hands of Fellowship, everyone gets up and says hello to each other again. Katie thinks this is pretty funny and she and her friends try to shake as many hands as possible before it’s time to sit down again. Matt’s favorite part of the opening worship is when Barry tells the Story for All Ages. After Barry finishes his story, the congregation sings again and all the kids and Sunday School teachers head off to Sunday School.
Sunday School Today is a really special day at Sunday School because Katie and Matt’s mom is volunteering at Sunday School. She was a little nervous her first time because she didn’t go to a UU Sunday School as a kid. It turns out it was lots of fun and well, let’s face it, they aren’t doing college level theology in Sunday School.
At the beginning of the year, Barry told the kids that they are responsible for helping anyone younger than them. Katie really likes this. It makes her feel a little grown up when Barry asks her to help out with an activity. Sunday School is a lot of fun. The kids do art activities and skits and learn about Unitarian Universalism. Katie is trying to remember all 7 principles. Matt is happy he can finally say “Unitarian Universalist.”
This year the kids are learning about being creative. They’re using their imaginations, trying new things and seeing how creativity, spirituality and our UU values fit together.
Coffee Hour When Sunday School is over, all the teachers and kids walk “quietly and calmly” over to Elizabeth Hall near the kitchen for coffee, juice and snacks. And guess what? There is another play space in Elizabeth Hall. Jenny and her friends grab a table together to talk about the next Youth Group night while the younger kids play and eat snacks. Before you know it, the adults are finished with their coffee and chit-chat and it’s time to go home.
First Parish Church in Taunton P.O. Box 614 76 Church Green Taunton, MA 02780 508.822.2107