Christian Education

June / July 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 9:01 AM by Lee Church

Sign up for Secret Pals again this summer! Just send 2-4 postcards to your young Secret Pal to brighten up their mailbox and keep in touch during these busy months. In September we’ll have a special reception at church when our pals get to connect in person. This is a fun tradition started by Sheila Bennion and loved by all participants! 

Our Confirmation Service will take place on Sunday, June 4th @10:30. This beautiful service marks the end of an 8 month journey these young people have made with their dedicated mentors and Pastor Gail. I hope you can be there to support our young confirmands as they reflect on the earliest steps of their faith journeys and commit to the next part of their lives in the church.  It is always a meaningful experience for all. We will have our regular contemporary service at 8:30 that morning. 

Don’t miss Children’s Sunday at 9:30 on June 18th. This will be our first official single service to begin the summer worship schedule. Our students and teachers are developing some creative ways to show you some of what they have learned during Sunday school this year. The Junior Bell Choir will perform for us and Roxanne is planning something special for our students to entertain our church family. Each of our classes impressed me so much during last year’s special service and I know the congregation will love to witness all the spiritual growth in our students.  

We will not offer Sunday school classes over the summer. I will have age-appropriate activities available in the sanctuary for those young people who attend during these warmer months. I would like to continue growing the size of our teaching staff next fall, so teachers can have some more time to also attend worship. Please prayerfully consider how you can help our Sunday school program by helping with attendance, teaching 1- 4 times a month, or helping in the nursery. It will truly enrich your faith! 

May God lead your path,

Jill Paré, Director of Christian Education

 

May 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:59 AM by Lee Church

Christian Education Springs into May 

Our eager Sunday school students are bringing their spring energy into the sanctuary and our classrooms each week. It’s so much fun to watch them find new ways to learn about their relationship with God and share that growth with one another. I hope they are bringing some of that knowledge home to their family and friends during the week.

Physically our world is transforming from the cold winter pause into a bright, colorful spring. Emotionally our youth are experiencing the culminating moments of one school year as they look forward to those next steps on the horizon. This can lead to lots of extra excitement and some anxiety. Our children are blessed to have support from loved ones around them at home, at school, and from their Lee Church family as they explore their changing world.

Sunday school classes will begin to prepare for our Children’s Sunday which is just around the corner. Their teachers work closely with them to structure the entire service. That day most of the service is lead by students with support from the teaching staff. Our students love to bring some of their classroom growth and antics to our sanctuary on that special Sunday. I know this year will hold many special moments for all of us.

Below I’ve provided an overview of the next several weeks to help families keep track of our special events. I hope this will be useful to you in this busy season of beginnings and endings. 

Christian Education schedule 

May 7- Regular Sunday school classes for elementary and middle school

10:30 high school class taught by Judy Belanger

May 14- Regular Sunday school classes for elementary and middle school

Mother’s Day  Breakfast 9:30

May 21- Regular Sunday school classes for elementary and middle school

8:30 high school class taught by Shawn and Melanie Banker

May 28- Memorial Day weekend

Single 9:30 service, One room Sunday school for middle and elementary students

June 4- Confirmation Service (single 9:30 service)

Regular Sunday school classes available for elementary and middle school

(Students may stay in sanctuary to watch Confirmation, especially siblings of confirmands)

June 11- Music Sunday

Regular Sunday school classes make final preparations for Children’s Sunday

8:30 high school class taught by Gilles Dionne

June 18- Children’s Sunday (single 9:30 service)

Youth lead service

Junior Bells perform

Special presentation from children with Roxanne O’Connor

June 25- Regular summer schedule--One service @9:30

No Sunday school classes until September

 

Brightest blessings,

 

Jill Paré

Director of Christian Education

 

April 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:57 AM by Lee Church

During March we stepped in to Lent focusing on King Solomon and the book of Matthew. Our classes talked about different types of prayer, we went on a treasure hunt to learn about storing our treasures in heaven. The students looked at “The Golden Rule” by sharing doughnuts and cake. Many of our regular attendees have also had a chance to work on their Bible Bags. You’ll begin to see these appear in the sanctuary, keeping our students’ Bibles and Sunday school projects safe between church and home. I think you’ll enjoy the individual designs they have each created. Perhaps you can assist students near you in the pews as they thumb through their Bibles searching for our scripture readings. Following along in their Bibles during the readings will help them better engage with the messages we study each week, giving them a better jump start on our lessons in the classrooms.

Our high school class will continue to meet with Mr. Kindberg during the 8:30 service in classroom 3 to finish viewing and discussing the movie Risen as we approach our Easter celebrations. Mr. Kindberg’s movies and discussions are always a hit with our older students. They really appreciate the in depth conversations he inspires. Then we will continue those types of conversations as Judy Belanger, and Melanie and Shawn Banker return to their 2-3 classes a month with the high school class. It’s been wonderful to see our teens back in their youth room together. I have also appreciated watching several of them stepping up as ushers, readers, singers, and bell ringers, becoming full-fledged active members of our congregation. This month you’ll see more of our students contributing to our services in the sanctuary. Our Palm Sunday services will open with our students assisting the praise team and choir wave their palms to open that energy-filled service. The Youth Bell Choir will also perform at the 10:30 service that morning. On Easter Sunday, our Sunday school students will sing during the 9:00 service. It’s always wonderful to give our youngest members these opportunities to actively participate in our special church celebrations. They are truly an integral part of our congregation.

Enjoy the celebrations of spring!

 Jill Paré
 Director of Christian Education Lee Church Congregational

 

March 2017

posted Jun 23, 2017, 8:56 AM by Lee Church

Along with the congregation, our Sunday school classes spent the month of February getting better acquainted with the Ten Commandments. Crayons, paint, popsicle sticks, markers, plates, bowls and marbles helped us play games, create crafts, display our bulletin board, and decorate posters to help us remember God’s guidance. We learned how helpful rules can be even if they are sometimes hard to follow. It’s always fun to witness these young minds connect their days of cellphones, bus rides and sledding with those ancient words of the Old Testament. Even some of our teachers have a new perspective on how God works in our lives. 

Our high school students will have an exciting chance to view and discuss the movie, Risen, with Larry Kindberg as Lent begins in March. The movie explores the death and resurrection of Christ. Families should look for details in emails and the bulletins about when these classes will be held. The rest of our classes will learn more about the twelve disciples who followed Jesus and helped him spread his teachings throughout the world. 

Our staff still needs a few more adults to guide our young believers in the formation of their faith. Just as the Apostles learned from the word of God, the scripture and lessons will guide you--no theology expertise is required. The remaining positions are only once or twice a month, so it’s not a large commitment. Remember, we’d even take your help temporarily. (Perhaps you want to learn about the disciples in a new way with the students just in March.) Your faith and knowledge will strengthen along with the students. 

These are some current opportunities to join our Sunday school team:

-Our 8:30 elementary class could use a “sometimes” teacher. Michael Paré has really enjoyed spending his Sunday mornings with this small class, but there are times when he may need a substitute. Would you like to be spend a Sunday or two with them each month? They are creative, funny, and work very well together.

-Nancy McLean is doing a great job with our energetic 10:30 elementary class almost every Sunday, and I can’t wait until Mike Gregory finishes his Lee Church Child Safety Training so he can expand his biblical experience with our 10:30 middle school class . This group loves to play active games and are very eager to participate. 

Which of these classes would you like to help with one or two Sundays a month? -We’d love to have you observe a class that interests you or that your child attends. Also, please feel free to speak to our current teachers about how you could help them out. We’d love to involve more adults in our classroom activities.

May our blessing continue to grow,

Jill Paré

Director of Christian Education

 

February 2017

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:37 PM by Lee Church

We returned to regular Sunday school classes in January with some great news! Kirsten Berthiaume has rejoined Katherine Moore for our 8:30 class. Until we have three or even four 8:30 teachers, there will be a single class for PreK-8th grade. I provide varied activities each week that will apply to the wide range of developmental ages. Katherine and Kirsten both have lots of experience with our Sunday school classes, so they could also provide a great guide for aspiring teachers interested in joining them.

Kim Rydzewski and Nancy MacLean are working wonders with our 10:30 classes.  They have adjusted well to the unpredictable class sizes, ready to combine their classes into one when student numbers are low, and specialize activities for appropriate ages when they separate into elementary and middle school rooms. I have enjoyed watching these incredible women get to know our students better and grow in their gifts as teachers. They would appreciate a couple more teachers to join them, so they can be available to share their other talents on various Sunday. Let me know if you’d like to partner with them. For now, our students have had a great time learning about the Beatitudes in January, and will explore the Ten Commandments throughout February.

I am so excited to have our high school classes back! We are blessed to have Melanie and Shawn Banker, Judy Belanger, and Gilles Dionne return to our teaching staff. They have created a rotating schedule offering class once or twice a month. These classes will focus on connecting the Bible to our high schoolers lives through thoughtful, current discussions. I know that the students familiar with these incredible teachers will be eager to join them and our new high schoolers will find new mentors among these adults in no time.

You will find our February class schedule below as well as posted on the CE bulletin board in Fellowship Hall. Look closely to see if there’s anywhere you can offer your help. Post your children’s classes in your calendar, so they know what to expect. You don’t want them miss out on their time with these special teachers. 

May you feel the blessing of God’s love, 

Jill Paré,
Director of Christian Education

 

January 2017

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:35 PM by Lee Church

Our Sunday school classes had such a great time preparing for Christmas together in December. I've included photos from our Living Nativity and gingerbread nativities. It was so fun to celebrate the season with these wonderful kids. Thank you to everyone who helped make these special memories possible.  

Blessings abound,

Jill Paré, Director of Christian Education

 

December 2016

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:30 PM by Lee Church   [ updated Feb 3, 2017, 12:33 PM ]

Important Upcoming CE Events:

Sunday, December 4th

10:30 am service--Special advent activities in Sunday school classes

Sunday, December 11th

10:30 am--Rehearsal for Living Nativity

2:00 pm--Living Nativity Performance on lawn of Lee Church Parish House followed by cookie and cocoa reception in fellowship hall

Sunday, December 18

10:30 am services--Gingerbread Nativities with Sunday school classes

(2:00 pm--Weather postponement date for Living Nativity)

Sunday, January 1

No Sunday school classes to allow teachers to travel to family. 

If you are available to provide extra adult hands for any of these special events, please sign up to help. You don’t have to be a parent to participate, just ready to enjoy the excitement of this time through young eyes and sticky fingers. There will be sign-up sheets in fellowship hall near the CE bulletin board to assist with Living Nativity and gingerbread houses. There is plenty to do before, during, and after each event, depending on your expertise and preference. 

Merry Christmas! 

Jill Paré, Director of Christian Education

 

 

November 2016

posted Nov 2, 2016, 8:26 AM by Lee Church

As we enter this season of gratefulness, I would like to thank my current Sunday school staff members. Katherine Moore has rededicated herself to our youngest 8:30 Sunday school students for another year. She has also cheerfully welcomed older students to participate in or assist with her class while we await additional volunteers to join our staff. Nancy MacLean and Kim Rydsewski have stepped in to teach our middle schoolers and young elementary students during the 10:30 service. Krystin Hocevar, Linda Martin, Tom Landry and Michael Paré have also volunteered their time as substitutes this fall. I hope you take a moment to thank them for their invaluable contributions to our community. The kids love to share their completed projects and new realizations with me during and after their classes. Their smiles and enthusiasm are a clear demonstration of the impact our Sunday school teachers are having on their students. They are blessed by the service of these caring adults.

This month our middle school students will have the opportunity to help with the upcoming Holiday Festival. They have been asked to help create cat toys to sell at the pet table. If your church organization has any other way that our students can help support our church with their talents, please speak to me. I will help with those arrangements. I really would like our young members to become more familiar with the many ways they can be a part of our church community.

Thank you for helping our young people recognize that they are not just the future of our church, but they are truly integral to the present active life of Lee Church Congregational.

 Blessings abound,

Jill Paré

Director of Christian Education

 

October 2016 - Teachers Needed

posted Oct 3, 2016, 8:46 AM by Lee Church

I have really enjoyed reconnecting with families after their summer break. There are lots of stories to share of summer adventures and our students are eager to spend time with their Lee Church friends once again. Right away they expressed their desire to continue our study of the Bible through active, hands-on classes.

As a Sunday school teacher, my fall would begin with a stack of curriculum packets that would provide me with several weeks of activities and worksheets. These booklets helped shape the lessons I would cover with my students. Preparing for classes was quite easy, even for those who filled in at the last minute as substitute teachers on Sunday mornings. Unfortunately, the preassembled curriculum packets rarely covered the same scripture that Pastor Gail was examining with the rest of the congregation in the sanctuary. Sheila Bennion and Pastor Gail searched for curriculum that followed the lectionary, but they did not find any quality programs. At that time, it was decided to continue using the same curriculum that was functional and familiar.

After I was hired as CE Director, the Christian Education committee informed me that we would no longer purchase curriculum for our Sunday school classes. Instead we would prepare lessons that followed the lectionary ourselves. I saw this as an opportunity to provide a vital shared experience between families, our youth and our congregation every Sunday morning. Courtney Dionne and I found many free resources available online that we could use to put lessons together for our Sunday school classes. We both enjoyed discovering new approaches to teaching our students about faith. When Courtney cut back her CE commitment to care for her growing family, I fully assumed the responsibility of preparing the weekly curriculum. While I miss Courtney’s involvement and contributions, the curriculum I now arrange has become a critical contribution that strengthens our Christian Education program. 
Over the past 2 years of preparing these lessons, our classes have transformed. Each week I spend several hours researching a variety of free resources online and select activities related to our lectionary scripture and theme, being sure to address the development range from preschool through high school for our students. Each Wednesday I email the compilation to our teaching staff. They choose from the activities that fit their teaching styles and the needs of their students to personalize their 30-50 minute Sunday lessons. Though the system is quite different from our previous approach, teachers seem to quickly adapt to this format and soon become confident about customizing their classrooms as they experience what works well with their students. Our teachers feel more comfortable with their classwork and students truly look forward to what their teachers have ready for them each week.

For many Christians, Sunday school is the first opportunity to learn about and explore their faith. I think Lee Church has been providing a great experience for our youth. Their enthusiasm during classes and their fondness for their teachers is clear to me each week. I would like us to take the next steps in our program to enrich the lives of our youngest parishioners. Our middle and high school students are ready to learn more about becoming active members of Lee Church. We need more adults to help them learn about what it is like to serve God, our community and beyond. Your knowledge of our church’s missions will help guide them to find their own roles in the work of our church and our faith. Our younger students understand the lessons of scripture best by creating with their hands and moving with their bodies. I’ll provide frameworks, games, activities, supplies, and guidance. 

Please email me about experience, skills, and talents you can share with our kids. Let’s honor their commitment with our support.

Prayerfully,
Jill Paré
Director of Christian Education

September 2016

posted Aug 26, 2016, 11:13 AM by Lee Church

The summer of 2016 for this stay-at-home mom found me away from home quite a bit. Honored by the support provided by our church family, all 3 of my children had the opportunity to attend summer camp at our UCC Horton Center. I was lucky enough to spend a few days there with my youngest 2, taking in the beautiful scenery, playing games, and experiencing the relaxed and enriching worship inspired by this God-filled sanctuary at the top of Pine Mountain. The middle of July brought me to Oceanside, NY on Long Island with 20 of our LCC teens and 4 dedicated adult leaders to help the community continue their recovery from the damage of Hurricane Sandy. Our youth put siding on a house, stained decks, landscaped 3 properties, and truly spread the joy of serving others for God throughout their adventure in New York. We were repeatedly greeted with grateful smiles, hugs, and warm conversations from those who witnessed the delight with which our youth do God’s work together. We look forward to sharing more of our mission experience with you soon. I am blessed to have this time with my family to step outside our usual schedule and experience life in new ways that refresh, revive, and reinforce God’s love for us.

 Once again we would like to invite students of all ages and local educators to join us at the beginning of our 9:30 service on August 28th for a backpack blessing. We will take a few minutes to affirm our support of them as they return to school and remind them that God will be there with them for their new adventures and challenges. Please encourage kids to come with their school bags to provide them with a physical reminder of their jobs as students. Educators, whether you work in a local public school, drive our students in a bus, or work at UNH, we’d also like to help you start the year with a blessing from our congregation. We will host a special Sunday school class for the remainder of the service. I’m really looking forward to continuing this new fall tradition at Lee Church.

 Our regular Sunday school classes will resume on Heritage Sunday on September 18. We will distribute new Bibles to our 3rd grade students, older students who have not yet received their Bibles, and Confirmation Bibles on Sunday, September 25th. Our middle school class has their first mission project assigned. I could use the assistance of adults with computer experience and organization talents to support them in this task and could easily be a short time commitment to our program. Once again our classes will be reading the same scripture as the congregation reads during their services. Our lessons will be as creative and personalized as the size of my Sunday school staff allows. The more teachers I have, the more options we can provide to our students. If you are interested in giving any of your time to our Sunday school program as a teacher, substitute, or to provide administrative support, please contact me or Krista Butts.

 You may have noticed the jubilant sounds of much younger children in our pews lately. Would you like to spend one Sunday a month snuggling and playing with the toddlers and infants of our congregation who aren’t quite ready for Sunday school classes? Our nursery room is well-equipped with new toys, a changing table, and its very own sink to make caring for our youngest children much easier. Please contact me if you’d like to volunteer to help out during our 8:30 or 10:30 services or would be willing to take on the responsibility of scheduling our volunteers as nursery coordinator. Making our church a welcome spot for our youngest family members opens up a whole new world for our congregation.

 I’m looking forward to what this new school year has in store for our Christian Education programs at Lee Church Congregational. Please keep an eye out for how you can get involved in this lively, growing ministry!

 

Blessings ahead, 

Jill Paré
Director of Christian Education

 

August 28 @9:30 service--Backpack Blessing for students and educators from our community

Sunday, September 18@8:30 and 10:30 services--Sunday school classes resume & dedicate Sunday school staff

Sunday, September 25@8:30 and 10:30 distribute 3rd grade Bibles and Confirmation Bibles

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