Children are a very important part of our congregation. They join us in worship each Sunday, sitting with their families for the first part of the service. We offer communion on the first Sunday of the month and encourage our children of all ages to participate with their parents. We frequently have a children’s message where the children are asked to come forward if they are comfortable doing so. The children and teachers leave worship as a group to attend Sunday School. Parents are welcome to go with their children to get them settled and then return to worship. All of our children’s and youth ministries participate in our safe church policies.
Our Infant and Toddler Room is located on the lower level of the Parish Hall. The room is usually un-staffed, but parents are encouraged to share child-care responsibilities if they so desire. A sound system broadcasts the worship service to this space. Parents may leave the worship service at any point to bring their child to the Infant and Toddler Room.
Sunday School for children ages 3 through 12th grade begins around 10:15 a.m. and ends at 11:15 a.m. giving the children a full hour and the parents some time for fellowship after worship. All of the classes use the Seasons of the Spirit curriculum developed by our denomination, the United Church of Christ. The lessons are based on the same Bible verses that we hear in church each Sunday.
Our Sunday School is organized into the following grade levels:
PreK (age 3) – Grade 1 will meet with a team of devoted teachers experienced in working with young children in the nursery school classroom, on the lower level of the Parish Hall.
Grades 2 through 12 will divide into groups for their classes. We are blessed with having two brightly colored and inviting classrooms on the bottom floor of our church building. The classrooms were designed to stimulate your children’s senses as they learn Bible stories and lessons of God’s love. Please feel free to check these classrooms out. On any given Sunday we may also be using the kitchen or be outside.
Throughout the year the children participate in a variety of special events including our kick-off Sunday School Sundae, Thanksgiving pumpkin bread baking for our home-bound members, Christmas Pageant, Seder Supper on Maundy Thursday, etc.
Vacation Bible School
Each summer we offer a week of Vacation Bible School for children ages 3 through 5th grade. Our pre-teens and teens serve as counselors, working along with many of our Sunday School teachers. This fun-filled week is theme based, with games, art work, science projects, outdoor fun and delicious snacks, all of which connect to the daily Bible story. The joyful enthusiasm of VBS is found by all ages. We welcome anyone from the community.
Sunday School Missions Programs
A key part of our Sunday School program is our emphasis on mission outreach. Each Sunday, an offering basket is passed in each classroom for our separate Sunday School Mission fund. Our Sunday School supports an overseas child in need. Along with sending support money, we communicate with our child on a regular basis. We also support Heifer Project International which helps families from around the world become more self-reliant through the gift of animals and training. Our children regularly participate in our all-church mission projects such as working at the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries.
All youth in Grade 9 or above are eligible to attend Confirmation Class. This year-long program, which is facilitated by our Pastor with the assistance of the Christian Education Committee explores the faith development of the confirmands and prepares them for full membership in the church. We use a mentor-based confirmation curriculum, Making Disciples, which pairs each youth in the program with an adult mentor from the congregation. The class also meets as a group several times throughout the year to participate in service projects, attend different worship services and to share some fun with each other and their mentors. A new class forms each September and is
welcomed into membership of the church during a special service in the late spring.
High School Graduation Scholarship
The Scholarship Fund was established in order to help advance the post-secondary school education of the youth of our Church. Funds for the scholarships come from contributions from church members, as well as from fundraising events, such as the annual Fall Harvest Dinner, held
each November at the church. The Scholarship ($250 per student) is available to high school seniors who have been accepted to and plan to attend an educational program beyond high school. Application to the Scholarship may be delayed one year; it is also open to college freshman, if they did not apply during their senior year of high school. Applicants must have attained membership in the Congregational Church in Killingworth, UCC by September 15th of the school year of application. Application forms for the Scholarship are available in the church office. The deadline for applications is April 15; the scholarships are awarded in June.
GIV2 Youth Group
Our youth in grades 7-12 have joined with several area churches to participate in the United Church of Christ GIV2 program. We meet as a group 6-8 times a year for service projects along with fellowship and fun. The GIV2 concept is very simple - when you give of yourself, you also receive. We give our time and labor in the service of others, and in return we are blessed with gifts of gratitude, compassion, and wisdom. Our gifts of hospitality multiply exponentially when we work together to heal the world! Our GIV2 group is open to any student in the community who would like to share in our mission projects. By joining with other churches, we have an enthusiastic, large group of kids ready to serve and to have fun.
Adult Education Programs
Our First Monday Bible Study is an on-going Bible study offered on the first Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. and is open to everyone. During the year we offer additional programs, including information and walks on our outdoor labyrinth.