Family-Friendly and Child-Centered Worship Opportunities

Children’s Worship is offered at both services most Sundays and is designed for 4-year-olds through fifth-graders. The service lasts about 25 minutes and includes a chalice lighting, story or exploration of our monthly worship theme, singing, an offertory, and a sharing of joys and sorrows. While this service is especially designed for children, all are welcome.

Story Sundays are days when our 4-years-old through fifth-graders attend the first 20 minutes or so of worship in the sanctuary. These Story Sundays are offered about once a month. While the children are in the sanctuary there is usually a story that is shared with the entire congregation. At the appropriate time, children are released to the Church Parlor where they are separated into their Religious Education groups and taken to their classes by teaching team members.

Multi-generational Worship Services are where everyone (of all ages) is in the sanctuary for the full hour. These services are designed to be intentionally child/family-friendly. There are usually no religious education classes offered on Sundays when we worship in multi-generational community.

Where to get information about the Children & Youth Religious Education Program:

  • Click here: Children & Youth.  Also, check out our AdultsCalendar, and News pages.
  • Weekly email newsletters from the church office and weekly email newsletter from the Director of Faith Development which contains information specific to RE
  • Order of Service insert—weekly announcements
  • Monthly church newsletter (bulletin) sent out electronically
  • Like our page Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist Youth Group or follow us on [email protected]
  • How to get involved with the Children & Youth Religious Education Program:

    • Volunteer as part of a teaching team
    • Serve as a Class Parent
    • Help care for the children’s playground
    • Help with and attend special events
    • Serve on the Children & Youth RE Committee
    • Share your gift or talent with the church
    • The Children & Youth Religious Education Committee

      The Children & Youth RE Committee meets monthly and works directly with the Director of Faith Development to ensure a comprehensive faith development program for nursery through senior high youth. The Committee is divided into subgroups focusing on: Special Events, Social Justice, Parent & RE Volunteer Support, and Safety & Playground Maintenance.

      Contact: RE Committee Chair Elaine Chapman

      Subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly updates on faith development activities.

      Ceremonies of Child Dedication

      Several times during the year, parents are invited to bring their children before the congregation to participate in a ceremony of Child Dedication. Theses ceremonies are usually offered on Ancestors’ Sunday (October), The Giving Tree Service (December), and again on a Sunday in May.  The Ceremony of Child Dedication welcomes the child with intention into the wider circle of the congregation. Parents pledge before the congregation their commitment to caring for their child in body, mind, and spirit with loving support and acceptance. The congregation makes the following promise:

      PROMISE TO ALL CHILDREN

      From your earliest infancy we give you our love so that you may grow with trust in yourself and in others.

      We will recognize your worth as a person and help you strengthen your sense of belonging to the whole family of humankind.

      We will respect your right to be yourself, and at the same time, help you to understand the rights of others.

      We will encourage you always to seek the truth.

      We will provide you with every opportunity possible to develop your own understanding of faith.

      We will endeavor always to inspire you to act on your faith.

      We will encourage you to strive to make the world a better, more caring, more whole place to be.

      This we promise to you with all our hearts.

      Are children welcome in worship?

      Children are always welcome to stay with their parents/guardians in the sanctuary for worship. Naturally, some services lend themselves more easily than others to a child’s participation and understanding. There are sanctuary “activity packets” next to the sanctuary doorways that are available for anyone. Packets usually include some sort of simple paper craft activity and drawing materials. There are also finger labyrinths and child-appropriate reading materials available at these locations. Please return materials at the end of the worship service.

      Comfort Room

      The Comfort Room is located near the Rugby Road entrance to the sanctuary and is designed especially for parents of infants and small children. A speaker in the room provides the sound from the worship service. The room contains several large, comfortable chairs as well as a floor rug and an infant diapering station.