Plan & Program for 2016-2017 Church Year

 

CHIPMAN-HARRISON LEARNING CENTER
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH

INFANTS/TODDLERS
United’s Nursery Program

Who are The Infants and Toddlers?

Any child who is under the age of four is enrolled in United’s nursery care program for infants and toddlers who need a place to stay and play while mommy and daddy attend worship. The infants and toddlers are attended in two (adjoining) rooms at the entrance to the Learning Center that make up the Nursery. Those rooms are:

The Osborne Room which has been specially outfitted to accommodate babies. There is plenty of safe, clean infant furniture for your baby to nestle into, a collection of soft, safe, clean toys designed specifically for children under 24 months; and a comfy rocker where one of the three attendants can cuddle and rock your baby while you worship.  The adjoining room is …

The Thayer Room adjoins the Osborne Room and has been set up specifically for our toddler population: little ones who may not yet be “potty-trained”, but are no longer confined to cribs and baby walkers — they’re on their feet!! If your child is old enough to toddle about on his/her own little feet and hasn’t yet reached his/her fourth birthday, he/she belongs in this classroom which has been outfitted with blocks and duplos, Christian videos, story books, and a hands-on Noah’s Ark among other wonderful things.

What curriculum is used?

There is no formal curriculum at this age level; however, we believe that from the time children are born, they begin learning what God is all about. An infant can see God in your face and feel God in your touch. A toddler can hear him in your voice and experience God in play and interaction with others. When you are worshiping within the walls of the Sanctuary, we will provide that loving care in our Nursery. United’s babies receive wonderful, warm, well-attended “sitter care” from our Nursery Staff and Nursery Volunteers under the supervision of our Nursery Supervisor, Archana Sharma.  Archana and her assistants and volunteers spend the worship hour cuddling, rocking, holding and playing, while Mommy and Daddy attend the church service carefree.
We ask that parents label their child’s belongings and provide the caregivers with a change of diaper (whether disposable or cloth) for their child. We also ask that parents of infants and toddlers observe the wishes of, and respect the meditation of, the other parishioners in the church by taking advantage of our nursery care. This sentiment is clearly expressed in our bulletin each week as follows:

“A one-hour service seems like an eternity to a child. How fortunate for our children that we have an excellent adult-attended nursery and child care for young children. Parents are invited to take advantage of this service; you and the people around you will then worship in comfort, and the children will be in a surrounding conducive to their needs. The children will thank you!”

Please do not hesitate to leave your infant/toddler child in our care while you worship in peaceful silence and meditation.

Who are the caregivers for the infants/toddlers?

Two paid staff persons and one volunteer provide attendance. The morning will consist of coloring, music, Bible stories, and free play.  The Nursery Supervisor, Archana Sharma, is in attendance in the Nursery every Sunday morning, and if you have any questions regarding the Nursery program, please feel free to contact Archana or Megan Weymouth, Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministries (401)-846-3515.

 

LITTLE FISHIES
United’s Four- and Five-Year-Olds

Who are Little Fishies?

Jesus called His followers to be “fishers of men”, and this class represents the youngest of our little fishermen. Designed especially for United’s four- and five-year-olds, this class will introduce them to favorite Bible stories using books, puppets, songs, dance, simple crafts, and other fun activities.

What curriculum is used?

A simple program adapted for pre-schoolers from the “Seasons of the Spirit” curriculum will be used at this level. For more information on this curriculum in general see “United’s Learning Program”. At this age level we will also periodically use the “Godly Play” storytelling method.

What is the objective of this curriculum?

The objective of this class is a simple one: to help your preschool child build a relationship with God and Jesus, and to build a closer spiritual relationship within the child’s whole family. It will also ease the child into a regular habit of weekly worship and an understanding of church community.

How is this objective accomplished?

Each week the class time for this age level will be broken out into several distinct learning segments which include: welcome and introduction; story time; activity time; and free-play. The class activity whether a cutting/pasting creation, a “let’s pretend” role-play, a cooperative game, or a special song or finger game, will help to enhance the story of the day. During free play, the children can choose from a variety of toys, which have been purchased or donated specifically with that age-level in mind.

Who teaches the Little Fishies?

For the sake of constancy and stability, a select handful of volunteers has generously agreed to teach this class for the entire year. Volunteers from within the church family sign up by month to serve as weekly assistants to the permanent teachers.

The Little Fishies class is housed in the Gardner Room (see map).

 

ELEMENTARY
(Grades 1 – 6/7)

United’s 2014-2015 Elementary Learning Program

What curriculum is used for the elementary grades in the Learning Center?

A heavily-modified version of the Seasons of the Spirit curriculum, by Logos Productions, Inc., will be used for all elementary grade levels in the Learning Center.

What is “Seasons of the Spirit?”

“Seasons of the Spirit” is a lectionary-based curriculum that will integrate worship and education, and will encourage family interaction well after families have returned home from church.

What is the “Lectionary”?

The Common Lectionary was developed by 19 different denominations (last revised in 1992) in an effort to create a closer relationship between the various denominations by encouraging them to study from the same biblical passages each week. The lectionary also creates a closer relationship in a single denomination, however, in that everyone — from the 3-year-old to the 83-year-old — is “on the same page” each week in worship and in education.

Why “Lectionary”?

Our main reason for incorporating the Common Lectionary here at United is that it integrates worship and education. John Westerhoff, noted author and lecturer, once suggested that one of the reasons we were losing our youth participants is that worship and education were so totally separate. Before Pastor Joe came to us, the power of that connection was not fully understood by us, but now the lesson for the day in the Learning Center goes hand in hand with the sermon delivered by Pastor Joe every Sunday. It’s a wonderful integration for our church family and perhaps that lesson continues over Sunday evening dinner tables throughout our community.

The Lectionary also accommodates the cycle of the Christian Year, a concept which we have begun to intentionally present to the children in the past few years. The Christian Year is delivered to the children as a cycle of colors, symbols and stories. The children’s worship space in the classroom is color-coded for the season, the Acolytes wear a season–representative color in their sash each week, and the stories and symbols to support each season are energetically presented.

How is family life integrated into this curriculum?

Family decisions and conversations play a major part in a child’s faith development. If the parents and the children are receiving the same scripture lesson each week, follow-up conversations at home are natural and easy in a way that is not possible when adults and children are focused on different Bible stories. Please contact the Learning Center Office (846 3515) if you would like some suggestions for family discussion relating to the Sunday sermon and Learning Center lesson.

Who teaches the elementary Classes?

The teaching staff for Grade 1 through Grade 7 is comprised of volunteers from within our church family.   Megan Weymouth, Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministries, oversees the program and prepares the teachers.

 

YOUNGER YOUTH (Grades 6-7)
United’s Younger Youth Program

This year our Younger Youth (grades 6 and 7) will engage in their own unique curriculum.  They will enter into a three-year cycle of study, volunteer work, mission work and spiritual retreat  Within the first two years of the program they will make that final decision: whether or not to commit their faith to the Christian Church.  During the third year, “Discipleship year”, they are required to complete a full year immersed as new members into the life of the church.

Year ONE:  studying Christianity

In the first year their lessons will be taken from several different sources, and each week of each month we will juggle the formats.  Here is a menu of the formats that will be used during the second year.

Sermonastics:   Jr./Sr. High classes will attend the worship service, as a group, to engage in an exercise called “Sermonastics” Using a worksheet as a guide, they will develop a deeper understanding of the Minister’s message.

The Gospel According to Harry Potter:  At least once a month, we will take a Bible Study lesson from Connie Neal’s book of the same title. This is a wonderful new formula for Bible study that is designed to attract kids, and yet offers wonderful insight into subjects such as “Many Gifts, One Body,” “Overcoming Prejudice,” “What it means to be ‘called’,” etc.

The Gospel According to The Simpsons:  Alternately, we will take a Bible Study lesson from Mark Pinsky’s book of the same title. Like the Harry Potter series, this is a wonderful new formula for Bible study that is designed to attract kids, and yet offers wonderful insight into Christian-based subjects.

Multi-media Week:  This is our ethical issues week. We will discuss a particular “hot” issue, and we’ll use pop songs, newspapers, video and TV as a vehicle for discussion around that particular issue.  The third week of the month is also the week when our Discipleship Year kids spend the morning in service to the church. They will be assigned morning duties (i.e. nursery care, coffee hour, greeting, etc.) as a part of their confirmation preparation.

Cooperative Games/Activities: Occasionally we will play games — Bibleopoly, Bible Pictionary, Jeopardy, WWJD and even Twister just to name a few.. The purpose of these games is multifold, but mostly it builds community within the group.

Extreme Challenges: Every week the students will be given a challenge which will help them see what it is to serve, to make healthy decisions, to give of themselves, to learn to what it means to be a disciple. The challenges may include making a sibling’s bed for a week, joining a new club at school, or introducing themselves to a member of our church family, and spending a few minutes with that person during fellowship hour. All challenges must be signed by a parent upon completion.
Community Service: All of the children at this level are expected to complete a minimum of 15 hours of community service over the course of the church school year, and an additional 20 hours during the summer. If your teen has trouble finding ways of donating their time to our community, please feel free to contact the Learning Center Office (846 3515) for some “leads”.

YEAR TWO:  THE LIFE OF CHRIST

In year one the current class studied the life of Christ through the book of Luke and the film series, “Jesus of Nazareth”.

What is the enrollment for this program?

During the second year of the program, this Younger Youth class is open to all students entering grades 7 and 8 for the current school year.

What support/adult involvement is required of this program?

In the faith formation of teens, the Christian educator faces a great deal of skepticism and even apathy from his/her audience. This is the most challenging age level to deal with in Christian Education. Please help to guide these young people into a full life within the Church. Also please volunteer to assist teaching at this level for a month or even just a single Sunday.

Who teaches this program?

The youth class is taught by Megan Weymouth, Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministries along with assorted volunteers from within the church family.

 

CONFIRMATION PREP
United’s Confirmation Preparation Program

Included in year two are confirmation preparation classes for those students who are interested.

This is a year of preparation for confirmation in which the kids study, volunteer, perform mission work, retreat, and ultimately make that final decision: whether or not to commit their faith to the Christian Church.  Confirmation Prep students attend their regular class on Sunday morning and attend Confirmation Prep classes on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.  Confirmation Prep classes will be held on Sunday evenings at 6:00 p.m. in the Learning Center. The framework of William H. Willimon’s Making Disciples will be used and 13 mentors will be chosen for one each of thirteen steps in the journey for the entire group. Each mentor will team up with the Coordinator for Children’s Ministries to instruct the confirmands in just one session — one Sunday evening — of the program. The benefits are twofold — the Mentors are not overwhelmed, and the kids have the benefit of 13 mentors as opposed to just one!

A calendar of the dates, topics, and leaders will be sent to every youth who signs up for the Confirmation Prep Program.  Please encourage your 8th grader to enroll in this important program. Enrollment in no way commits your young person; it is his/her opportunity to make that decision for him/herself — a most important phase in faith formation.

During the confirmation preparation process, the students will read the entire book of Luke, studying the life of Christ, and will engage in some extracurricular activities to round out the process:

Extreme Challenges: Every week the students will be given a challenge which will help them see what it is to serve, to make healthy decisions, to give of themselves, to learn to what it means to be a disciple. The challenges may include making a sibling’s bed for a week, joining a new club at school, or introducing themselves to a member of our church family, and spending a few minutes with that person during fellowship hour. All challenges must be signed by a parent upon completion.

Community Service: All of the children at this level are expected to complete a minimum of 15 hours of community service over the course of the church school year, and an additional 20 hours during the summer. If your teen has trouble finding ways of donating their time to our community, please feel free to contact the Learning Center Office (846 3515) for some “leads”.

At the end of the school year the Confirmation Prep students are asked to commit to a minimum of 20 hours of community service for the summer, are encouraged to attend national/regional events, and are asked to spend the summer considering their life as a Christian and what it means. When they reconvene in September, they will be invited to attend the Confirmation Retreat, and those who so choose will be confirmed that fall and will enter into their Discipleship Year.

What support/adult involvement is required of this program?

It is a difficult time when someone who is in their early teens becomes an adult member of any organization. They still need guidance, support, and nurture from the other adults who can provide leadership. Please help to guide these young people into a full life within the Church family, and encourage them to continue to ask questions.

 

DISCIPLESHIP YEAR

Upon completion of the two-year confirmation preparation program, the new confirmed members are required to commit to a full year as an active member of the church:  their Discipleship Year. Discipleship Year kids are required to attend Sermonastics one Sunday per month, fill a volunteer slot in service to the church one Sunday per month, and help in the Learning Center on the fourth Sunday of the month (“Sunday Funday”).

What People are Saying

This church has a warm and friendly staff and membership. It's like a second home for me. — Curt, Age 84
This church offers friendship, music and the preaching of God's word.
I found a loving and caring family when I joined the church! — John, Age 54
I have fun playing games while I learn about Jesus. — Nik, Age 10
This place is a very warm, friendly family of believers, sharing the struggles of life, supporting each other along the way. — Melissa, Age 51
I most appreciate the closeness of everyone in our church. It's like one big family. — Rebecca, Age 18
The kindest compilation of friends and family reside within our community. I've made some of my best friends here and joining the church is the best decision I've ever made. — Noah, 16
I appreciate the strong sense of community that is always inclusive and welcoming. — Elaine, Age 57
We have had 17 moves. Every time we came back to Newport we were welcomed as though we had never been away. — Debby, Age 79
Bright! Cheery! Friendly! Great Pastor! Great music! Comforting, helpful and warm! Uplifting illuminating sermons. Our church has it all! — Bob, Age 72
Sunday Morning Worship Schedule: Worship: 10:00 - 11:00
Sunday School: 10:00 - 11:00
Fellowship Time: 11:00 +