FREE CHILDCARE AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 5 YEARS OF AGE DURING WORSHIP SERVICES
At Woodmont United Church of Christ we currently offer two Sunday school classes: Kindergarten through 3rd/4th and Grades 4th-7th, and a youth program for high-schoolers. Our teachers Ms. Sandy Steady and Mr. Rob Schwartz, also Youth Group leader, are devoted followers of Jesus Christ, veterans at their craft, and great sources of inspiration for the children and youth, who are important members of our church family. Confirmation classes with Pastor Kim begin Sunday, October 30th for grades 8th-high school if never confirmed before.
Our children and their families are taught they are precious in the sight of God, never forgotten, always forgiven, and are forever loved by their Creator. We support and nurture our children with the desire that they grow in their faith by educating them through scripture and by example. We encourage responsibility in the world around them and provide our kids with hands-on experiences through community outreach and creative expression.
A Look at Our Sunday School and Youth Group Programs
Ms. Sandy's Class
Ms. Sandy is friendly, upbeat, welcoming, and patient. She’s never without a big, hearty smile. Her class is referred to as Faith Formation: Integrating stories and rituals to help children develop a relationship with God, each other, and the congregation at large. She usually follows the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) curriculum, but will supplement Bible stories, artwork, music, and crafts, especially to resonate with missions and wider church programs. For example, if a Bible story compliments the mission of creating and sending cards to our Living Treasures or shut-ins and college students (termed “Card & Postcard Ministry), it will be included in the class’s focus. Class usually begins with candle-lighting and a prayer then a sharing of the joys and challenges of the prior week, lifting them all up to God, followed by Bible study. Overall children learn Christian values such as loving and respecting God, Jesus, and others. In Ms. Sandy’s words: [children leave her class] “knowing that God’s love and forgiveness never ends.” Her kids also learn tolerance and how to incorporate Jesus’ teachings in their everyday lives. Sandy believes Sunday school should be “rewarding, exciting, and fun [as kids] make the connection between hearing and practicing God’s Word.” Other important ministries of Ms. Sandy’s class: Planting spring flowers at the church’s main entrance; making punch for and/or hosting the WUCC Coffee Hour; and Fellowship Time modeled after the WUCC Coffee Hour, where the children commiserate with each other, while enjoying snacks.
On the left see a typical day in Miss Sandy's class along with an image of her of the primary Sunday School's vegetable garden.
Mr. Rob's Class & Youth Group
Mr. Rob believes change keeps this particular age group motivated. His program alternates annually between the UCC’s lectionary and singular stories of the key people in the Bible. He uses what is called “The Action Bible” designed with graphics, which says Rob, “Tends to engage [the children] more. They can’t wait to find out what happens next, so they read it on their own. A great thing.” He also includes a game, craft, or activity to further reinforce the week’s theme.
Rob believes each child learns differently. So, he generally leaves it up to his students to decide what they want to incorporate in their studies. However, the core lessons of Scripture remain: loving, respecting, helping, and supporting each other and others in the wider community. On their Bulletin Board, they share signs of these values with all who enter the church. They also participate in and occasionally lead worship, particularly on Christian Education Sunday.
Overall the young people in Mr. Rob’s class learn how to confront the issues of maturity and life in general from a Christian perspective: calling on God and Jesus’ help. Rob is determined to ensure that the biblical lessons and the good values they learn remain with them for life.
Though Sunday school officially begins in September and ends the first week in June (children receive certificates), children are welcome at anytime!
Youth Group is run by Mr. Rob and his two assistants Ms. Melissa Osanitsch and Ms. Britni Cotter. They use a four-point system with their students.
(1) A look at their role as Christians. With the Bible as guide, they explore what being Christian means.
(2) A look at what it means to be Christian at Woodmont UCC. They study and implement ways to fit in and serve the church community such as promoting it through social media.
(3) A look at themselves as Christians outside of Woodmont UCC. They develop ways to work with the homeless in Milford (Bethel Center and Boys and Girls Club) and those struggling with mental illness (Bridges).
(4) A look at themselves as Global Christians. How to respond to domestic and international issues?
Along the way, they also learn lifelong Christian principles they can apply to adulthood, including how to interact with each other in loving and supportive ways despite their diversity and differences. They are a warm, friendly, caring, and welcoming bunch. And they know how to have fun too! Their leaders wouldn’t have it any other way.