“Grounded in God’s Love: Your Opportunity to Serve”

“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (John 3:18)

Our church school’s goal is to enrich the children with stories from the Bible that support the church’s theme this year, Grounded in God’s Love: Your Opportunity to Serve. In church school the message reads God’s love helps us to help others. The Bible stories that the children encounter will allow them to understand when the opportunity arises to be of help. Experiencing the chances to do that will also nurture their faith, God is with them always and with God they can do great things.

Each Sunday, our Pre-K/K children will go to the classroom just next to the church office on the second floor.

Grades 1 – 4 will be meeting on the third floor in the classroom across from the craft room. Depending on the activity of the day, children may go to the Bean Room.

Grades 5-7 will comprise the Middle High Youth Group (MHYG) and will also register online. The goal for MHYG is that of “Grounded in God’s Love: Your Opportunity to Serve” adapted in an appropriate format for the age group, derived from the Spark curriculum. We will meet in the Bean Room, on the third floor, after Children’s Time, each Sunday morning, and follow the Church School Curriculum. More information will be forthcoming, meanwhile, if you have questions please email Marilyn Gibson, Church School Coordinator (or call 673-3231 xt 20).

Registration should be completed on line: Registration Form.

It is so important to register, even if you will be out for a number of weeks. The church school needs health and contact information on file.

Church School Makes Faith Real!

In Church School, children from age three through seventh grade meet God at their own level. They develop a foundation of faith through Bible stories, games, and scripture discussion.

IMG_6456Children enjoy the first part of the worship service with their families. During the worship service we have Children’s Time: they participate in a short spiritual conversation with the pastor or another adult. After children’s time, students move to their classrooms for activities with their teachers.  Church school activities continue until approximately 11:15 am; parents can meet children in their classrooms or in the community room during fellowship time after the students complete classes.

We welcome volunteers at any time to be part of our vibrant, busy program.  To enroll your children, volunteer to teach, bake, or lend a hand, please contact our Church School Coordinator, Marilyn Gibson (673-3231 ext 20).

Click here to register your family in the Spark programlogo_spark

The Christian Education Committee spent a great deal of time and energy researching a new curriculum that would infuse excitement for our faith and also give the children a solid knowledge of Bible basics. As opposed to the lectionary-based curriculum we’ve used in the past, the new Spark lessons (published by Augsburg Fortress) take the kids on a Bible journey each year. Starting with Creation, Noah and the Old Testament in the fall, it moves into anticipation of Christ’s birth during Advent, his Passion during Lent and moves into the early church in the spring.

IMG_6454Annual Events:

Rally Sunday, early September: Registration and celebration for the first Sunday of the church school year. 

Bible Sunday for 3rd graders, Fall: Each fall our church gives Bibles to current third graders (and older students who may have missed the opportunity).  Published by Augsburg Fortress, the Spark Bible (NRSV) is accessible to third graders, but will grow with them through grade school years and into Confirmation. Engaging items invite children to imagine how they would meet challenges of the early Christians, think how to apply Biblical lessons to their lives, and challenge them to live a radically compassionate and faith-filled life in the footsteps of Jesus.  Older students who have not received a Bible from the church are welcome to receive one on Bible Sunday.

mission1Mission Sunday, November: We may never know all the ways our church school children touch the elderly residents at the MillApartments in Milford during Thanksgiving weekend.  We do know that over the years they have referred to the traditional event as Turkey Soup. We call it the Mission Luncheon. It all starts in our own church kitchen. After much shopping and pre-prepping, the entire church school will gather on a Sunday morning in November. Each class is assigned one or two items to cook or prepare for the meal. At no other time of year is the spirit of cooperation better illustrated.

mission3Starting with the tiny ones who make a table decoration all the way up to the seventh graders who prepare the turkey soup from scratch, each class is assigned a different part of the meal.  After the meal is made, children and their families transport food and amenities to the Mill Apartments. They not only serve it to the residents in the dining room, they sit and talk with them, learning how to speak clearly and comfortably with older people, while learning holiday meal etiquette. They even bring trays to the residents unable to leave their rooms.

A longstanding tradition at the Congregational Church of Amherst, the meal brings together children and seniors, church and community. The bustle in our kitchen and community room sees floured hands and sometimes floured faces, mashers, peelers and loving hands working. The children learn to share the kitchen space. They learn that friendly conversation makes a task lighter, and they start out the holiday season with more giving than receiving.

Christmas Pageant, December:  The pageant is presented as part of the regular worship service the Sunday preceding Christmas Day.  On Sundays following Thanksgiving, in classes and rehearsal sessions, students prepare their roles as narrators, actors, stagehands in the pageant. The content of the pageant is often adapted from children’s Christmas stories, like The Last Straw by Frederick Thury, Carol Heyer’s The First Christmas.

Children’s Sunday, June:  Children from all grades present a joyful service to highlight the year’s mission projects and show their growth and learning over the year.  They participate in all elements of the worship, share their mission projects with the congregation and enjoy ice cream sundaes, compliments of the Fellowship Committee.

Vacation Bible School, Summer