Christian Education for Youth and Adults

Christian Education for youths and adults meets at 11 a.m. to noon, September to May

Christian Education follows a half hour fellowship time after worship

Childcare is available for infants and toddlers

 

Program for Adults (Faith Formation)

Programs of continuing education for adults are offered at various times between September and May. Other opportunities include periodic evening programs, online videos, and a blog discussion linked from the church’s homepage.

All Faith Formation offerings for adults are designed to assist congregants in their personal faith journey. A general balance is sought among three general types of programming:

  • Biblical and/or Theological Studies
  • Social Justice Issues
  • Personal and/or Community Growth

Youth Christian Education

At the New Ark, we have two or three Christian Education classes for children and young adults each year depending on the age clustering:

The elementary age students have lessons from a curriculum selected by the teachers. We have a number of units including "Jesus in the Temple," "Digging into the Bible," "Lost and Found," and "Peer Pressure." A pool of teachers chooses lessons according to their own interests/talents such as story, video, games, music, cooking, science, etc.

The middle school and high school youths study "units of interest" developed by our teachers. Topics have included "Living Green," "Art & Bible Stories," and "Biblical Writing" to name just a few. Our older children also enjoy worship planning with our pastor and it has become their tradition to plan the Earth Day service.

Christian Education sponsors several special events throughout the school year. We kick off the CE year with Rally/Welcome Home Sunday the weekend after Labor Day. In December, we hold an intergenerational Advent party and there is a Christmas play. In the spring, our youths enjoy cupcake decorating and an Easter egg hunt. The CE year ends with Celebration Sunday, which is held the first Sunday in June.

'Our Whole Lives'

Within the Christian Education program, the "Our Whole Lives" program is integrated. This program, also known as OWL, is a comprehensive healthy sexuality curriculum which provides youths with age-appropriate, accurate information on sexual health, human development, sexual behavior, relationships, and communication skills in the supportive setting of their faith community. The 4th through 6th grade program is an eight-week program which is available when we have a cohort of youths ready for this program. The 7th through 9th grade program is a full-year program, again, which is also available when we have a cohort of youths ready for the program. For more information about the content of these programs, please click here to view the OWL brochure (PDF). Because this program was developed by a collaboration of the national offices of the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Church, we sometimes partner locally with the Unitarian Fellowship to offer this program to the children and young adults of both congregations.

Our children are a tight-knit group who enjoy coming to church and attending Christian Education. Many of the younger children view the older youths as their big brothers and big sisters. They genuinely care about and take care of each other.