When children are baptized, the congregation promises to “love, encourage and support” them by “teaching the Gospel of God’s love, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer and service.”
We seek to be faithful to those promises in several ways, one of which is by offering Christian education opportunities for children, youth and adults. From the youngest to the oldest, the Community Church of Glen Rock is committed to the faithful nurture of its members.
Church School classes are offered from September – June for children Pre-K through grade 12. Age appropriate classes and curriculums are used, with an emphasis on telling children the stories of the Bible and inviting them to interact with those stories according to a variety of learning styles.
Teachers use scriptural based lesson plan materials that are infused with arts and crafts. Whenever possible, senior high students will assist in the classroom, giving our youth the opportunity to take on a volunteer leadership role. The Pre-K through 8th graders stay in worship and leave for classes after the Children’s Message – approximately 15 minutes into the service. Classes are scriptural based and lesson plans explore both the Old and New Testaments. The arts hold an integral place in the development and retelling of the biblical stories.
The Bagels and Bibles Senior High youth group meets for spiritual enrichment twice a month during worship hour. Theirs is a discussion-based study of the Bible and how it applies to the daily challenges of being a teenager. The students also take part in community service projects during the course of the year, putting their words into action. Every other year the Senior High students have gone on mission trips, rebuilding homes in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and, of late, doing home renovations in the Appalachia region.
Confirmation is an affirmation of baptism, rather than a separate sacrament in the Reformed tradition. The confirmation program is intended to offer young people a focused exploration of what it means to be part of the particular Christian community that is the Community Church of Glen Rock (CCGR) as well as part of the larger Body of Christ that is the Church Universal. Classes meet weekly on Sunday afternoons from January to June. The students explore other faith practices and traditions. The class culminates with an annual overnight faith building youth event at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.
In addition to Adult Bible Study, Book discussion groups gather once a month to read and discuss novels, inspirational stories and topical non-fiction. Activities such as Craft Night, Wreath making, and dinner / theatre outings give the congregation all important fellowship time outside the four walls of the church. Recently, as part of a worship focus on the Potters Clay, a group of parents took children to a local pottery studio where both children and adults created their own works of art that were displayed as part of the worship service. This opportunity was a beautiful example of the intergenerational learning that we seek to encourage at the church.
Other programming activities have included Movie Night. Members gather in the relaxed setting of the parlor to view a movie that has a Christian / Spiritual message. Then, following the viewing, the pastor leads a discussion about the film and the guiding points it makes for our own spiritual journeys. Some of the most profound revelations have come from these enrichment opportunities.
Currently there is a quiet space in the Narthex to take young children if needed. In the future we look forward to once again providing childcare for infants and toddlers up to age 2, where loving and capable attention will help them to begin forming positive feelings about their church.