at South Church
At South Church, church school is for age 3 through grade 6. Children attend the first part of worship with their families then leave at approximately 10:30 to go to their classrooms. Classes end at 11:30.
The curriculum we use runs in a three-year cycle and is written by our Associate Minister, Susan De George. In year one, classes study stories from the early part of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). In year two, we explore life in the Promised Land, the prophets, and the exile (the latter part of Hebrew Scriptures). In year three, we delve into the main stories of the Christian Writings (New Testament).
All grades (and often adults in worship) are exploring the same story/theme each week. Different ages do so, however, at different levels. For the 3s and 4s class and the kindergarten and first grade class, the goal is to know, enjoy and be able to repeat the stories learned. With 2nd and 3rd graders, lessons focus on the connection the story has with the individual’s life. In grades 4, 5, and 6, the center of attention in a lesson is what the biblical story tells us about how to live in the world. At all grades, appropriate music, artwork (both “classics” and modern), videos, drama, social justice and service projects, field trips, and crafts are built into the lessons.
All children are welcome to attend our church school or childcare programs. We ask, however, that before doing so parents fill out a registration form for each child. Forms can be obtained from the class teachers or from our church school administrator, Tara Melvin.
We offer childcare for the youngest children, ages birth through 2, in our “Swaddler-Toddler” room beginning 10 a.m. each Sunday.
7th and 8th graders meet every two or three weeks, allowing for busy schedules. The group may be working on a service project, eating together, playing games, discussing a current event or book, exploring questions of faith, role-playing, taking field trips, or meeting with other youth groups. An atmosphere of community, trust, and service allows our middle school kids to celebrate the transition time from youth to young adulthood.
9th through 12th grader and their leaders meet about once a month to explore ways of being in community. Members help determine the activities, such as: activities in NYC, the Midnight Run, games night lock-in, fundraising walks, a night at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Christmas caroling, ice-skating, retreats, and discussions on topics that matter. Meeting times vary, depending on the activity.
Adult Education at South Church is us trying to stay awake —to recent thinking in biblical scholarship, to issues with moral/ethical dimensions, to matters of justice, with special attention currently to poverty, prison justice, immigration, racial and gender justice… all of this in small groups and from time to time.
Adult Education at South Church is us trying to make how we live and how we pray symmetrical. It is us trying modestly and locally, to live as though there is one earth, with one life, one history, and one destiny.