Information for Visitors with Children/Youth

As a parent or guardian, you are the primary religious educator for your children. Your words, actions and relationships convey to your children much of what they understand about life and its meaning. Our church programs can help you fulfill your mission as a religious educator, but only to the extent of your involvement in it. The more you know about—and participate in—your child’s experience of RE, the more you can support its goals and lessons in daily life and the more enriching the experience will become for your child.

What to Expect on Sunday Morning

As you arrive at church, enter through the front courtyard on 18th Street, and you’ll encounter the Greeters’ table, with information about our program and special events and greeters eager to meet you and answer your questions about the church.

Families are invited to sit together for the first part of the Sunday service. Children will be invited to join the minister or speaker on the chancel for a “Story for All Ages,” (adults, listen up—the story is for you, too!) and once the story is finished, children exit the sanctuary and head to their classes. RE classes last until 15 minutes after the hour; parents are invited to enjoy the first 15 minutes of coffee hour before picking up their children.

Intergenerational Worship

Our children and youth are important members of our faith community. They learn by doing and experiencing firsthand. Regardless of whether they understand everything that happens, we believe that they will absorb information little by little, as well as develop a sense of identity as Unitarian Universalists. It is for this reason, as well as to celebrate being one church community together, that children attend the first part of the service each week. There are also several Intergenerational services during the year which take the place of our regular RE classes. Some families find that their children enjoy staying for the whole service; that’s ok too!

Hints for Parents

· Choose a seat in the sanctuary that allows a good view for your child. If you think you may need to leave, sit in a location where you can move in and out easily.

· If your child’s activity becomes disruptive to those around you, or your child needs to get up and walk around, leave quietly until they are ready to return.

· Review the Order of Service and help children understand what will be happening. Feel free to whisper instructions or answer questions to help children learn “worship etiquette.”

· If you have a nursing infant or toddler, they are equally welcome in our service or in the nursery, located in the cottage next door to the sanctuary.


Parents' Responsibilities

By enrolling your child in our program, you assume the responsibility of participating fully in our church and in our cooperative RE program. We expect that every family will support the church financially, through a regular pledge, whether or not you choose to become a member. We also expect that every family will support our program by volunteering in some capacity. We expect that every family will follow the RE policies outline below:

1. Registration. You must register your child in our program annually if he/she will be participating regularly.  Visitors are welcome in all of our classes, but are requested to register after the thurd visit.. Please fill out a Nursery or RE Registration form for each child and turn it in to the church office or your child's RE teacher.

2. Supervision. At all times when on church grounds, children must be supervised. When children are not in class or signed into the nursery, parents/guardians are responsible for their behavior and their safety.

3. Play yard. For safety reasons, during worship services (9am to 10am and 11am to 12pm), the play area behind the cottage is reserved for the exclusive use of nursery and preschool children. Older children may use the area before, after, or between services, but only under the direct supervision of their parents/guardians. Nursery and preschool staff are responsible for supervising only the children enrolled in their classes, only during class time.

4. Pick-up. We strive to provide a full hour of religious exploration every Sunday (beginning after the children’s story). After both worship services, please enjoy 15 minutes of fellowship at coffee hour and pick up your child at 10:15 and 12:15, respectively.

5. Drop Off. Children grades 7 and younger may not be dropped off at church. A parent must remain on church grounds at all times in case of medical emergency. If parents wish to designate a specific "church guardian," (e.g. grandparent or neighbor), they may fill out an additional form.