Children and Youth: Faith Formation
At Hancock, we believe that faith is a journey throughout life. Spiritual formation doesn’t stop at Confirmation, or with the exciting time spent in Kentucky with friends in the youth group. We nurture and encourage spiritual inquisitiveness through programs for adults as well.
Nursery and toddler care
Available in the Christian Education wing starting at 9:45 am on Sunday mornings.
Church School is for children in Pre-school through 5th Grade on Sundays from 10:15-11am.
For the month of September 2014, our theme is Jesus the Teacher.
“Discovering the Beatitudes and Jesus’ call that we are the salt and light of the world!” -Matthew 5:1-16
The Hancock Church Sunday School welcomes and supports with love and rejoicing all children by providing them with the fundamentals of faith through the learning of Bible stories, traditions, and worship practices. Through participation in community service projects, the children learn the importance of serving neighbors in the larger community. Recognizing the children as important members of the congregation, the children take part in worship services on a regular basis, sharing their gifts with the congregation through music, art, dance, and other mediums. The Sunday School aims for the children to become life-long learners of faith. We also support children and families through scheduled family movie nights throughout the year. Read the Junior Youth and Church School blog for the most up to date information.
Junior Youth Organization (JYO)
JYO is for youth in 6-8 grade on Sundays from 10:15-11am.
We will create our own covenant for JYO and keep it posted for the year as our guide (our promise to each other and ourselves). We will research our local communities and discuss ways we may participate in helping them. We will discuss what it is to be a community of blessing. We will find out and discuss how communion is represented in various Christian faiths and in our church.
Upcoming Activities: Creating a Word Cloud poster for our JYO covenant; making breakfast and sharing a meal together; Halloween Party; preparing sandwiches for the Outdoor Church of Cambridge; Creating our own prayers of blessing for Communion Sundays; designing and creating polar fleece scarves for City Mission Society of Boston. Please contact Barbara Callaghan, email@example.com, if you have any questions or concerns!
The Junior Youth Organization (JYO) is for kids in grades 6-8. It meets during church most Sundays from 10:15 until 11:00 following the children’s sermon. A new UCC curriculum will focus discussions and activities this year on Faith Practices as the group explores the themes of Hospitality, Keeping Sabbath and Building Community. Classes are led by the Director of Children’s Ministry and Lay Leaders. Other JYO activities include service projects with The Outdoor Church, City Mission Society’s Christmas Shop, the Interfaith Garden and the Walk for Hunger. Additional social activities have included Snow Tubing, Late Night Gatherings and Bon Fires. Read the Junior Youth and Church School blog for the most up to date information.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
OWL is a program for youth in 8th grade on Sundays from 7-8:30pm.
Our Whole Lives is a year-long, sexuality education program offered for 8th graders. Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. Adults receive extensive training before teaching this program. OWL is open to any families and faith communities who are interested in participating. Please contact Student Minister David. C. Clark for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confirmation is for youth 9th grade on select Sunday evenings.Please contact Andrew Harris if you’re interested in attending, email@example.com.
It has been a long tradition at Hancock to gather students over the course of their 9th grade year to learn and to reflect upon some of the central themes and principles of the Christian tradition. The curriculum of the confirmation Class includes discussion on faith and belief, the Bible, creation and evolution, forgiveness and grace and justice and peace. The Confirmands lead and participate in two services every year – Christmas Eve family service and Good Friday. In June each year, the Confirmands affirm their baptismal vows and become members of Hancock church.
Hancock Youth Group (HYG)
HYG is for youth in 9-12th grade on Sundays from 7-8:30pm, right after Evening Worship @the Well.
The Hancock Youth Group (HYG) is a vibrant and exciting group of 50 high schoolers, who value community, social justice, and faith. HYG is comprised of 9th-12th graders and they meet weekly on Sunday evenings for meetings and activities. In the fall, HYG has a kick-off retreat to the Grotonwood Conference Center in Groton, MA. In the spring, during either the February or April school break, HYG travels to East Kentucky to build and repair homes for people in need through HOMES, Inc. HYG is open to members and non-members of Hancock.
HYGers love to discuss relevant issues of faith, play silly games, eat lots of ice-cream, and strive to make the world a better place.
An HYG faith story:
I was unsure whether I believed in God or any higher being, and none of it really mattered to me. My time at HYG has changed my faith: Faith is trusting God and others. Faith is believing that there is someone or something out there that can help control your life if you let them. I feel God’s presence most when: I am in Kentucky surrounded by people who are happy with less and who make the most of it; we must complete jobs to help others and come together every night to share and worship.
A JYO faith story:
I come to Hancock to learn and get loving support. I come to greet people and make new friends no matter how old they are or how young they are. I come to be happy and joyful. I am a “Hancockian”! -A Hancock Middle Schooler