Summer nUUs from Religious Education

8th grade Coming of Age youth, parents, facilitators, and mentors.

Happy Summer Everyone!!!

Well, as we launch into these warmer sunny months, the construction crews are breaking ground in the basement at church. In just a few short months, we are going to be moving back into a newly renovated program space! I want to thank all of you for your flexibility as we have shifted to the balcony program. The transition has been challenging in some ways, but the children have made the shift with such grace and enthusiasm- – It has been inspiring! If you have not yet signed up to volunteer, I encourage you to do so, as it is illuminating. Either way, please read through the summer program outline below so you understand the basics of how it works.

In this post… 

  • South Church Retreat on Star Island
  • RE Summer Program Outline for Parents and RE Volunteers

South Church Retreat on Star Island- Deadline June 30th! Make time for deepening and connecting on beautiful Star Island during the annual South Church Star Island Retreat. 4 days of rest, restoration and reflection starting on Saturday, July 28. Revs Chris and Lauren will facilitate and Cat Lyons, our RE Program Assistant, will be overseeing children’s activities every morning- parents will tag team volunteer duties to help make it happen so everyone can enjoy time relaxing kid free, and also keep our young ones safe and engaged! More information is available at or by contacting Janis Wolak at Family program questions can be directed to Cat Lyons at

RE Summer Program Outline- The plan for Religious education for the next few months is all about exploring the gifts of worshiping together as a whole church, while also working together to problem solve some of the challenges that will surely arise.

Logistics: We have created a resource area in the open landing outside the balcony in the sanctuary, where families can come and chose materials that will help their child engage with the topic of the worship.

On Sunday Mornings: families have two options for how they use the balcony space:

  1. Families are welcome to arrive a few minutes before the start of church and go together to the balcony area to choose materials they would like to bring with them down to the sanctuary while they sit together with parents. (the balcony is not supervised during this time, so parents should remain with their children.)
  2. Alternately, children may begin worship with parents in pews as they typically have, listening to the story for all ages, and then join the other children and RE volunteers as they are sung out to the balcony program. During the balcony  where they will then select materials and choose to:
    • Sit in the balcony pews to listen to worship (with or without quiet activities/materials they have chosen). A balcony volunteer will be there to help children follow along with hymns, to remind them to be extra quiet during prayer and meditation, and to make sure they are not leaning on/using the front ledge.
    • Or, for children who do not want to be in worship space, the balcony landing will also offer space to sit and explore, create art, make poems, do some yoga stretches, or set up a pillow in our library area and read a book. Volunteers helping in this area will be able to guide children in finding an activity that interests them, help to remind children to put away materials they are done using, and keeping everyone safe and somewhat quiet.

Resources in the balcony space will change over the course of the experiment, reflecting the worship themes, and keeping fresh options for returning children so that engagement remains high. Throughout the summer, children will have worship journals, specifically theirs, into which they can glue activity pages, respond to provided prompts, reflect on worship experiences, draw, etc.

If you have ideas for a worship activity, we’d love to hear about it! Children are absolutely encouraged to bring something from home if they think it will help them feel engaged as they take in the experience of Sunday worship.

Upcoming Themes (2018-2019 Church Year):

What Does It Mean to be a People of…
September:  Vision
October:  Sanctuary
November:  Memory
December:  Mystery
January:  Possibility
February:  Trust
March:  Journey
April:  Wholeness
May:  Curiosity
June:  Beauty

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