Participating in the worship of the larger church family is an important aspect of a child’s religious education. To that end, the Southport Congregational Church invites the children to participate in the opening parts of the Sunday services with their parents. This includes the Call to Worship, the opening hymn, the Prayer of Invocation and the Lord’s Prayer, and ends with the Children’s Sermon.
CHILDREN’S RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
All children, from Kindergarten to Grade 6, participate in Children’s Chapel. Following dismissal from the Sanctuary, the entire Church School gathers for a Chapel service that include singing, games, scripture as well as lessons and discussion. 7th and 8th Grade youth leave the Sanctuary and go directly to their classroom.
BABYSITTING AND NURSERY CARE SERVICES
For the comfort of all in worship, we offer babysitting for infants and toddlers in Room 3 in the lower level of our Education Wing. Our Nursery Caregivers are in the Nursery from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Parents may drop off infants and toddlers prior to the start of the worship service. Children must be signed in and signed out of the Nursery. Please bring a diaper bag with additional diapers, wipes, change of clothing, and an extra bottle.
It is our belief that children can understand the gifts they have an that theOn the first Sunday in September, children will receive their own offering envelopes. Collection is received every Sunday in Children’s Chapel. The donations are given to a charity determined by the Church School in September.
SACRAMENT OF COMMUNION
Based upon study, prayer and reflection of this issue over the course of several years, the Church Council voted to adopt as church policy the following: "It is the practice at the Southport Congregational Church to welcome all people to the Lord's Table who wish to receive the Sacrament of Communion. We believe that the decision regarding what age is most appropriate for a particular child to receive Communion should be made between a parent and a child. Therefore, the elements shall be offered to all in attendance, since some may choose to receive Communion and others may not."
JYG (Junior Youth Group)
The JYG is open to all sixth, seventh and eighth graders and meets on Tuesday afternoons, as the occasion arises, to talk about current events and how their faith is relevant and to do hands-on mission work in our greater community. We strive to live out Jesus' commandment to "love our neighbor as ourselves" by giving what we can - our time and our hearts.
SHYG (Senior High Youth Group)
The SHYG is open to all ninth through twelfth graders. We have created a program based upon the four marks of the Church - education, mission, fellowship and worship. Almost every week, we gather for fellowship, fun and meaningful discussions and programs from 7 - 8:30 p.m. in the Youth Room with Laura Whitmore. This group focuses on religious and social issues which deal directly with the lives and pressures of teens. Through opportunities for discussion, reflection, recreation, and service, high schoolers are encouraged to continue on with their faith journey through relationships with peers and adults. Whether through arts and music, volleyball or bike riding, being a Church School Shepherd or Junior Deacon, repairing a roof or cooking a meal, everyone is invited to share their God-given talents with the Church Family, the Community and the World. With an emphasis on putting faith into action, we go on an annual mission trip, which is often the highlight of the program year.
Our Grade 9 students are invited to attend Confirmation Classes. These classes will meet on Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Meals are provided by the families of the Confirmation Class. Our Minister of Christian Education and Youth, Laura Whitmore, will teach this class. The Board of Deacons sponsors the Confirmation program, and the Deacons will be acting as mentors to our Confirmands. In addition to the weekly classes, the Confirmation Class will attend two retreats at Southport Congregational Church, attend the Annual Meeting of our Church, and will lead the Sunrise Service at Sasco Beach on Easter morning. The culmination of this class will be Confirmation Sunday in May where each Confirmand will have the opportunity to share their faith journey with our church family.
The Junior Deacons, under the supervision of the Associate Minister and the Board of Deacons, is a select group of tenth through twelfth graders. They are chosen because they show maturity of faith and a desire to continue their faith journey, as well as exhibiting a strong commitment to community service and the worship life of our church.This group of youth will have an assortment of responsibilities, which will grow and change as the program grows and changes. In this year, the Junior Deacons will serve as bell ringers, acolytes, ushers and greeters.