Children + Youth

Youth and children are a central part of the vitality of our community. At Peace Church, there are regular weekly options as well as annual opportunities for kids of all ages to connect, learn, and grow in their spiritual journeys.

Kids from birth through 5th grade

Children’s Church – Gathering Sunday is on Sunday, September 11, 2022
Age 3-5th grade, Sundays during the 10:30am worship service–Email nathan@peaceucc.org for more info. So what is children’s church?  If you haven’t heard about it yet, the basic idea is that kids stay for the service until story for all ages, leave for Children’s Church for 20-30 min (where we might sing, do art, or tell stories with puppets), and then come back with the adults for communion/offering.  All kids (ages 3 and up) are welcome to join.  And if there are any middle or high school youth that want to come join as helpers, you’re welcome to join too!

Story For All Ages
A key component of both our 8:30 and 10:30 worship services throughout the year is a segment where kids gather in front to hear the stories of our faith told in a manner more easily grasped by our littlest parishioners. The Story For All Ages is designed to make the core values of our faith as concrete and understandable as possible, thereby offering a deeper understanding of God to all.

Kids’ Choir
Kid’s Choir is doing special music for our 10:30am worship service each month.  Any kids interested in singing in the Kids’ Choir, please email Susan Larson Kidd at Susan.LarsonKidd@drslk.com. Thanks!  Age 4 years old-6th grade, directed by Susan Larson Kidd.

Nursery 
We continue to have our 3-5 year old nursery room open again during our worship service this fall (starting Sept. 11, nursery open 10:00am-12:00pm).  Parents, please make sure to fill out the sign in/out sheet with your information before you drop off/pick up your kids.  We are looking for parent feedback to help us know the best way to serve our Peace parents in this time.  Please let us know if there are needs we are missing or any questions/concerns that you have as parents.  Thanks!

Seasonal Events

Many different programming opportunities for kids and families are scheduled seasonally at Peace. Events and opportunities vary, but may include movie and pizza nights, family campfires, bowling or other family outings. A few events reoccur annually, including VBS, the Halloween carnival, the Advent Family Fun Day, and the Easter Egg Hunt.

Peace Village Day Camp (typically in June)
The philosophy of Peace Village begins with the belief that collaboration within our communities is essential to peacemaking. Therefore, this camp is a joint offering between Peace Church and UUCD with the goal of increasing congregational involvement in the coming years. Peace Village is a multicultural day camp with the mission to provide a fun, educational environment in which children can learn the messages and practices of non-violence and peacemaking from various world traditions. All activities encourage respect for racial and cultural diversity. The Peace Village curriculum focuses on using Mindful Movement, Connecting to Nature, and Media Literacy to prepare campers for the development of real skill in Conflict Resolution. Stay tuned for more information on our next Peace Village Day Camp in June 2023!

Children’s Christmas Pageant
It is a special Sunday in December when our children present a pageant, always with a lovely Christmas message for all. Watch a video of our 2019 pageant here.

Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast
Easter Sunday, 9:30-10:15 a.m., Fellowship Hall
Every Easter families gather in the Fellowship Hall between worship services for breakfast and an Easter Egg Hunt. Middle school youth hide the eggs in advance for kids up through 5th grade to find; egg prizes are all allergy-friendly.

Middle School Youth (6th-8th grade)

Youth Group
6th-8th grade, Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 in the fellowship hall.
Everyone is welcome to join us for evenings filled with fun, conversation, snacks, and gaga ball! Youth group is a great place to make friends and companions on a spiritual journey. We meet weekly and have quarterly retreats/lock-in’s to build a community where all our youth feel loved, safe, and welcome.

Summer Camping Trip to Fenske Lake
Every August our middle school students have the opportunity to spend a couple days tenting and canoeing on beautiful Fenske Lake near Ely!

Events and Youth Leadership
Because we believe that quality time together is an important part of building beloved community, we offer opportunities for youth to build deeper relationships with each other once a quarter through lock-in overnights, trips to the BWCA, and weekend experiences at the MN UCC camp, Pilgrim Point. We also believe that youth thrive when invited into leadership roles, so we provide opportunities throughout the year for our youth to lead through helping support younger kids with Sunday school and vacation bible school.

 

High School (9th-12th grade)

OWL (Our Whole Lives) for 9th grade
9th grade, Sunday nights from 6:00-7:40 (must sign up in early September)
We want all our youth to have a solid foundation for healthy, mutually loving relationships in their lives. OWL is a unique comprehensive sexuality curriculum that the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalists created and have been using successfully for decades. Based on values of justice, inclusivity, and self worth, we currently offer OWL for 8th grade–a weekly program that runs from September to May.

Confirmation
10-11th grade, first and third Wednesdays from 7:15-8:15
While holding the importance of community as central, confirmation is an opportunity for youth to be together to learn about how the stories of Jesus and the Hebrew (Old) Testament relate to their lives today. Youth are encouraged to ask good questions and to explore what following Jesus means to them, and how they live out love and justice in their daily life.

Summer Youth Trip  9th-12th grade, typically last week of July
A highlight for many of our youth, Peace takes a week-long trip each year to give our kids the chance to practice a deeper kind service and experiential learning in the context of intentional community. Often a mixture of direct service work and justice focused systems change, the trip provides an opportunity for our youth to get outside their normal comfort zones and open their eyes to the wider world. Based in relationship with community partners, past trips have included traveling to rural West Virginia, Atlanta, Denver, and Chicago.

Regular Service Opportunities
In addition to a yearly weekend trip to the Twin Cities to participate in the Urban Immersion program, where youth spend a day of service supporting local organizations and reflect on how their work connections with faith and justice, Peace also offers quarterly service opportunities for parents and youth. Ranging from beach clean up to putting on food drives for the local food shelf, we know that the more opportunities that youth have to act in service with their parents, the more likely they are to continue living out service as they grow older.