Every Sunday, we gather together as a community to worship, learn about God and one another, and work together to share God’s love in the world. Children are always welcome in the service. We celebrate their noises and wiggles!
Children always participate in the first part of our worship service, and after the scripture reading, the minister or one of our members has a special conversation with kids. Then, children and youth are invited (but not required!) to join their peers in an age-specific class for fellowship and faith exploration. Our staffed nursery for children ages 0-2 is available downstairs throughout the service. Feel free to pick up a worship toolkit at the welcome table to tangibly engage in the service. Contact AnnaSannes@fccithaca.org for more information.
FROLIC NURSERY (6 WEEKS TO 2 YEARS)
We’re a proud Frolic Nursery, a space featuring storytelling and music for children ages 6 weeks through 2 years. Our nursery is open throughout the whole service and is staffed by two loving caregivers each Sunday. We have toys and snacks for busy toddlers, as well as a comfy space for babies. It’s a fun place to be, filled with plenty of laughter and love!
Parents and caregivers are welcome to drop their little ones off at any time. There’s a sign-in sheet where families can put their phone number so that the nursery staff can text them if needed. And of course, parents are always welcome to stay in the nursery too, whether to help their children adjust, to feed a baby, or just to play for a bit! Our speaker system also allows us to play the sound from the service in the nursery, if desired.
FROLIC PRESCHOOL (3 YEARS TO 5 YEARS)
Our Frolic Preschool leverages best practices in early childhood education to allow young people to explore faith concepts the way they know best – through play! Each week, two volunteer teachers help us explore a Bible story, music, prayer, and creative play stations. Children will go home with a letter to families summarizing our activities, suggestions to engage the topics throughout the week, and a coloring page right from the story book! Children can be dropped off in classroom #3 after the Conversation with Young People and picked up after the worship service.
PRIMARY PEACEMAKERS (KINDERGARTEN TO 3RD GRADE)
Our Primary Peacemakers nurture their inner light with Shine, a curriculum which invites children and families to grow their love of God and love of others. Each week, we engage in imaginative, interactive storytelling, ranging from shadow puppets to musical re-enactments. Children are invited to share their wonder and reflections, not forced to take away one message. We cultivate different age-appropriate spiritual practices and sing joyful songs of love and welcome. Each week’s story is connected to our lives today, when we consider where we can be peacemakers and seek justice. Children can walk with a teacher to classroom #2 after the Conversation with Young People and can be picked up after the worship service.
YOUNG ACTIVE CHRISTIANS (4TH – 6TH GRADE)
Young Active Christians (or “YACs”) connect our faith and our lives by creating and collaborating together. We learn about one another through team-building and cooperative games. We explore Bible stories through questioning, wondering, and reflecting. YACs also develop service projects to live out their faith in the world. In past years, we’ve held fundraisers for the SPCA, made blankets for resettled refugees, and created meaningful crafts for our homebound members.
MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH (7TH – 8TH GRADE)
On Sunday mornings, Middle School Youth explore what it means to “be the church” by re-enacting Bible stories around the UCC charge. With a mix of games, acting, and service projects, we think about what our faith means for our lives today. We build community with each other through social events and connect with our neighbors through service projects. We help lead the worship service at least once a month as readers, greeters, and ushers, and we participate in confirmation, Our Whole Lives, and work trips.
HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH (9TH – 12TH GRADE)
Our High School Youth gather to play games and act out Bible stories, but also to engage in hard conversations around our faith and our lives. We help lead the worship service at least once a month as readers, greeters, and ushers, and we participate in confirmation, Our Whole Lives, and work trips. Some of our youth participate in the service as liturgists, share their music during the prelude or postlude, volunteer to help with the children, or participate in Action Groups as a part of church life.