Church School for Children

The Rev. Calvon Jones and the Church School team are excited to announce the launch of our newly designed MemChurch School digital platform. Our children and families will have access to fun, exciting, and educational episodes, steeped in stories of love and humanity. Take a virtual journey to a digital place where the Bible comes to life.

 

The Memorial Church of Harvard University welcomes the involvement of our community’s young people and their families. In addition to multigenerational worship services, we also provide Church School for children ages 3 through 16. The program is part of a nurturing Christian environment that strives to honor the intelligence, creativity, and diversity of the children in our care. Church School staff are also dedicated to health and safety of all our children and members of our Church community.

 

Church school begins Sunday, Oct. 3,2021. Please check this page or the website calendar for updates as we continue to develop our Church School program in creative and innovative ways. Contact the Rev. Calvon Jones for information or questions about Church School programs.

 

All are welcome!

 

The Rev. Calvon T. Jones

Assistant Minister

Memorial Church of Harvard University

calvon_jones@harvard.edu
617-384-6960

 

 

Church School Registration

COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

Health Requirements and Safety Guidelines for Children and Families

We ask that each Sunday of Church School parents register and/or sign-in their children. Families will be asked to attest to their health before entering the Church School space. This will help staff and teachers to not only keep record of the children who are in our program, but to also ensure the safety of families amidst COVID. If any health issue arises at Church School, we will notify all families.

For Church School and all events related to Church School, all children and individuals from different households will be asked to maintain physical distance of 6 feet. Note: We will ensure that we do not exceed capacity limits in our classes.

All members of the Church School community (children, families, teachers, and staff) will be required to be masked indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Food and beverage will not be served for the time being.

Pagers will be provided to families as they enter the church. The pager system allows teachers to communicate with families in case any concerns arise while children are in Children School.

For a more information, please consult the healthy and safe measures outlined by the Memorial Church and Harvard COVID guidelines.

 

Arrival and Departure

We begin every Sunday service as a multigenerational community in the Church sanctuary. Young people will be invited to participate in Church School activities by clergy following the Passing of the Peace, about 15 minutes into the service.

Please be prompt when picking your child at the conclusion of Sunday services, in the lower level of the Church. We kindly ask that all parents adhere to safety policy.

On communion Sundays, the children return to worship to celebrate communion with their families.

 

Safety and Security

The Memorial Church of Harvard University is committed to providing a safe environment for everyone. All members of the Church staff uphold University standards for the safety and protection of minors; information regarding this policy can be found here. All Church School staff are CORI checked and trained in the Church’s emergency protocols.

We require families participating in Church School to obtain a pager upon arrival to the Church. One pager per family is required. The pager is used to communicate with family members who have young people attending Church School. To obtain a pager, please speak with an usher.

  1. Church School teachers are required to complete the Responsible Adult training programs offered by Youth Protection at Harvard.
  2. Annual safety instructions (such as fire drill and lockdown,) are conducted with children and teachers.
  3. All Church School staff are subject to annual CORI background checks to ensure the safety of our children.

 

Curriculum

The Memorial Church of Harvard University is broadly Protestant and inter-denominational, which means that Church School differs from other programs offered by single denominational parishes. Each Sunday we emphasize biblical themes and scripture, Christian responsibility and service, and components of Protestant worship. Our curriculum is age-appropriate and carefully planned to meet the spiritual, emotional, and cognitive needs of each child, nurturing a faith that can stretch and grow throughout maturity. We also aim to connect the themes and practices of the main worship service upstairs into the Church School experience.

  1. Each Sunday, Church School with begin with a gathering of all participants in Buttrick Room for group worship time, which includes introduction to Bible story, a discussion about the church season color, its meaning and symbols (Advent, Season after Pentecost for example.); collection of offering and discussion; one song and prayer. Church School is based on the Revised Common Lectionary, to easy facilitate connections with the Sunday worship service and sermon in the sanctuary.
  2. Church School will feature a digital component this term lead by the Rev. Jones. This gives students and families an opportunity to view creative and illustrative lessons before Sunday or afterwards for review. More information will be available soon.

Class Structure

Young people are grouped into classes according to age so that we may provide developmentally appropriate instruction – pre-K and kindergarten, first and second grades, third and fourth grades, and fifth and sixth grades. Each Sunday, following group worship, music, and a lesson from the scripture, the children break into their classes for small group discussion and activities that reinforce the lesson. A light snack is provided at the end of the small-group lessons. Children also engage in service projects throughout the year, including fundraisers, such as toy and clothing drives.

Confirmation is offered for students in grades seven and eight. Confirmation offers a way to engage the questions of Christian identity and one’s personal faith. The class examines elements of the Christian tradition and explores the themes and books of the Bible, while also taking part in interdenominational and interfaith experiences. The class concludes with a confirmation service in May.

The Teen Class is offered for young people ages twelve through sixteen. This class is designed to continue the development of Christian identity by engaging religious literacy and topics of faith such as justice and love. Students have the opportunity for service leaning, teaching, and monthly community building activities.

Possible Events (Tentative)

Fall Term:

  1. Welcome Back Gathering at Sparks House
  2. Pipes, Pedals, and Pizza with organists
  3. All Saints Day costume parade in worship
  4. Thanksgiving Digital Video Celebration
  5. Parents Night Out
  6. Christmas Children’s Parade/Program

Spring Term:

  1. Valentine’s Day party to make cards for local nursing home
  2. Book Talk
  3. History Month
  4. Palm Sunday Message/Parade
  5. Easter Egg Gathering
  6. Concluding Party

Creative/Imaginative Ideas for the Program

  1. Please bring any creative ideas to the Rev. Calvon Jones
  2. More creative ideas for the year are forthcoming

Please send requests and questions to the Rev. Calvon Jones at his email, calvon_jones@harvard.edu or the Church School email, memorialchurchschool@harvard.edu

 

Family Involvement

Parents are the most vital component in the spiritual growth for their children. We encourage parents to have an active role in their children’s faith formation by reinforcing themes learned about each Sunday. Re-read passages from the Bible with children and talk about their significance. Discuss how the themes or stories relate to our daily lives. Review the take-home portion of the learner leaflet. Also, be sure to watch the Church School Youth Segment by the Rev. Jones.

The Church School hosts various family events throughout the year, such as our annual Book Talk and Easter Egg Hunt. Additionally, parents can get involved by volunteering to provide snacks (this may change as a result of COVID-19) or to be a substitute teacher, or to aid the Rev. Jones in the Youth Segment videos.

 

Family Reading Resources

For Young Readers

"Snuggle Time Prayers” by Glenys Nellist

“A Church for All” by Gayle E. Pitman

“Maybe God is Like That Too” by Jennifer Grant

“For the Beauty of the Earth” by Folliot S. Turner

“Adriana’s Angels” by Ruth Goring

“When God Was a Little Girl” by David R. Weiss

“God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu” and Douglas Carlton Abrams

“Images of God for Young Children” by Marie-Helene Delval

“At Your Baptism” by Carrie Steenqyk and John D. Witvliet

“The Lord’s Prayer, Illustrated” by Tim Ladwig

“I Miss You: First Look at Death” by Pat Thomas

“Manger, Illustrated” by Helen Cann and poems selected by Lee Bennet Hopkins

 

Bibles for Young People

“Forlic First Bible: First Faith” by Sparkhouse Family

“Children of God Storybook Bible” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 

For Teenage Readers

“Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible” by Caryn Rivandeneira

“The World Jesus Knew: A Curious Kid’s Guide to Life in the First Century” by marc Olson

“Dark Sons” by Nikki Grimes

“A Wreath for Emmett Till” by Marilyn Nelson

“Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry

 

For Parents and Families

“Faith Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home” by Traci Smith

“I Wonder: Engaging a Child’s Curiosity about the Bible” by Elizabeth Caldwell

“Devotions: The Selected Poems” of Mary Oliver

 

New Digital Memorial Church Youth Segment

· Weekly Creative and Innovative Episodes and Lessons that families around the world can view and share with each other.