Page updated 22 February 2021
Children & Youth
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are not meeting in-person in our church building. Many of our church groups are meeting virtually via Zoom. But we felt that adding a Zoom Sunday School class to other virtual education our children and youth are dealing with is not a good solution for their faith formation. Instead, we are providing age-appropriate materials by email to support family discussions around faith issues. We are using Illustrated Ministry faith-formation resources this winter. If you’d like to receive these faith-formation resources contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Our congregation helped organize New England Glow, a joint youth fellowship program for churches across New England. The goal of New England Glow is to provide a safe, joyful space for youth to be themselves, take risks, grow in faith and explore how faith becomes loving, life-giving and liberating actions in our churches, communities and around the world. Activities include game and movie nights, Bible studies, service projects, and more. Visit the New England Glow website or their Facebook page for information on upcoming events and activities.
We encourage youth to participate in worship leadership as lay worship assistants. This winter, our youth participated in a warm clothing drive for those served by Common Cathedral, an outdoor church for people in Boston experiencing homelessness. The youth also participated in the the Souper Bowl of Caring by helping to collect food for the Burlington Food Pantry. We have a monthly “Youth Check-In” following Sunday morning worship via Zoom on the 4th Sunday of the Month.
Safe Child & Youth Policy
Children are a gift from God. Leaders of programs for children and youth in our congregation are responsible for demonstrating God’s loving care. Leaders must follow guidelines of the congregation, providing appropriate supervision of children and youth.
The goal of our Safe Child & Youth Policy is to ensure that we provide a safe place for children and youth to be nurtured in Christian faith. The Policy also provides guidance on how to respond to an allegation of child abuse, being sensitive to the needs of the child and the accused in a manner befitting a Christian community.
Our Safe Child & Youth Policy is a comprehensive document that you can access here. Some key provisions of the Policy are summarized below:
- All church staff and volunteers who work with children and youth must be evaluated by a screening committee and approved by the church session
- The evaluation includes a Massachusetts CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) background check, updated every 3 years
- At least every 3 years, all those who work with children and youth must receive training on the Policy, including how to recognize child abuse or neglect, within or outside the church and their responsibilities as mandated reporters
- Two adults or one adult and a youth aide must be present for all group activities involving children or youth, whether in person or virtually. At least one adult must be screened and trained. Any activity or class lacking two leaders will be canceled.
- Identifiable photos/videos of children/youth shall not be posted on social media or websites without the written consent of the youth and parent/guardian. Children shall not be identified by name on social media or websites.
- Permission slips are required for any off-site activities
- No food will be given to any child without the prior permission of that child’s parents due to unknown food allergies the child may have.
- Detailed instructions and responsibilities are provided for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect to civil and church authorities
Women’s Bible Study
Our Women’s Bible Study group meets Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:00 am. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been meeting virtually over Zoom and the occasional open-air meeting. All women are invited to attend! In addition to growing in understanding God’s word, participants in the Women’s Bible Study group enjoy fellowship together and uplift one another in prayer in a small group setting. You can join in the weekly Women’s Bible Study using this Zoom link.
Camp Wilmot is a Presbyterian-supported camp in New Hampshire, a bit less than 2 hours North of Boston. The camp features ~200 acres of wooded areas, a beautiful field, and a pond. Camps are offered for families and for campers ages 8 to 16, where kids have a chance to enjoy traditional camp activities and a personal connection to God in a technology-free environment. We hope that Camp Wilmot will be able to host a summer camp program in 2021 if the Covid-19 pandemic is brought under control.
During Youth Summer Camps an experienced team of staff, directors and counselors offer a program featuring a welcoming Christian curriculum with outdoor activities including hiking, archery, a ropes course, arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and more!
Our church has a long history with Camp Wilmot, we’ve supported the camp with a new freezer for the kitchen, and scholarships to welcome children who might not otherwise be able to attend. Over the last few years, many of our youth have spent a week or two up in the woods, playing, praying, singing, and growing in faith. The 2020 summer camping season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check the Camp Wilmot website for ongoing information.
Tuesday mornings at 10:00 we gather together via Zoom for a time of Morning Prayer. You can join us in our morning prayer using this link.
Here are some additional resources you may find useful for daily prayer and devotions:
d365: This is a short daily devotion designed for students but appropriate for anyone. The devotions are written by ministers, professors, students, teachers, missionaries, denominational leaders, and others who work with and care for students. Typically, an author writes on a single theme for one week. In these devotions, you will read honest struggles and questions, all in the context of real faith.
Daily Worship from the Iona Abbey: This interactive daily worship is taken from the Iona Abbey Worship Book. From Monday to Saturday each week this service of Morning Prayer is said on Iona. Each day follows the same form but with different voices, songs, psalm, reading, and prayer of the day. All the words are included in the presentation so you can join in with those responding; however, you will need to choose your own scripture reading(s) and have this ready before you start.
Northumbria Community Daily Prayer: The Northumbria Community provides a daily written service of morning prayer that includes prayers, scripture readings, and a brief meditation. Customized readings are provided for every day.
PC(USA) Daily Prayer App: This app for mobile devices (smartphones & tablets) combines services for daily prayer from “The Book of Common Worship” with daily Bible readings from the two-year daily lectionary, and weekly readings from the three-year Revised Common Lectionary The app costs $2.99 to download; proceeds help pay for the development of additional updates and new features. Search for “PC(USA) Daily Prayer” on the iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon app stores. The latest update will be free for those who already have the app.
Daily Bible Readings: This page, based on readings from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship, provides morning and evening psalms plus additional scripture readings for each day of the year in a 2-year cycle. Here is a link to audio podcasts of the daily readings. Each day’s readings take between 10-20 minutes (average is around 13) and links to the readings are included, in case you want to read along. Or you can just listen, and let the Spirit take over from there.