Religious Education

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The Religious Education program at the Eliot Church is one of our most vital and important ministries. Our Sunday School and Youth Group programs provide our children and youth with the skills to pursue a mature spiritual journey. Sunday School as well as the Middle School and High School Youth groups are directed by the Minister, alongside the Religious Education Committee. All of our programs are also open to visitors!

Our Goals

To explore our religious and biblical heritage, provide an opportunity for worship, give each child a sense of belonging to a church community that cares about them, and help each child develop a sense of commitment toward creating a more just, compassionate, and free world.

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Worship

Worship is a vital part of our religious experience and community at Eliot Church. Our religious education program provides opportunities on several levels for children to participate in the community’s worship life. All children and youth attend worship. Our services are designed to engage people of all ages. During the service we hold a Children’s Focus in which we hear a story or other message and talk about its meaning with the children. After the Children’s Focus, preschool age children have the option to play with peers and babysitters in the RE classroom.

Sunday School

The Eliot Church is excited to offer Sunday school classes. They are held approximately twice a month before church 9-10 am.

 

The classes offered depend on the number of students and their interests. Curriculum is designed by the minister, RE staff, and RE committee members to fit the needs of our Children and Youth.

Preschool (Birth-Kindergarten)

During the service our youngest Children are welcome to play in the RE classroom.

 

The activities offered by babysitters include playing with toys, drawing, and reading stories from our collection of children’s books.

Elementary School (Grades 1-4)

Classes for elementary school students are provided on an as needed basis.

 

They cover Biblical literacy and world religions.

Middle School (Grades 5-8)

This year’s middle school curriculum focuses on religious heritage and history. We will study transcendentalism, learn how social justice is vital to our faith practice, and begin conversations about personal faith development.

 

The course is designed to provide a solid grounding in religious and community identity to prepare Youth for their upcoming confirmation year. 

Confirmation (Grades 8-10) 

Confirmation is open to any 8th through 10th grader who wishes to join the church as an adult. Confirmands examine and explore their own religious and ethical beliefs over the course of the year with the guidance of an adult mentor.  This culminates with the development of a faith statement, delivered at the Children’s Sunday service in the second week in June.

Social Activities

Religious Education in the Eliot Church goes beyond projects and worship on Sunday mornings! It is also about teaching our Children and Youth how to build a community of friendship and support.  We do this through a series of social activities and parties.  These meetings will typically be on Friday Night, and involve food and a fun community building event.

Youth Group (Grades 5-12)

Middle and High School Youth are welcome to join us for youth group activities. We offer regular Dungeons and Dragons games, board game nights, and this year we are having a lock-in!

High School Participation (Grades 9-12)

High School Youth at the Eliot Church get the best of both worlds. They participate in social activities and parties with the other youth in the church and, after they join the church, act as full members.

 

Students at this age participate fully in the life of the church as adults, serve as deacons and on other church committees, and attend worship regularly.

Other Opportunities

For Children and Youth

Ukestra (Ages 13-130)

The Ukestra is the Eliot Church’s intergenerational folk music ministry. Open to all over the age of 13, this group is primarily Ukelele based, although guitars and banjos are occasionally tolerated.

 

They perform in church about 4 times a year, with other opportunities available for particularly interested folks.

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Lay Readers and Volunteer Musicians

 

Our youth are especially invited to be involved in our lay reader and volunteer musician program.

We also participate in a variety of community service activities as a congregation, which Children and Youth are a vital part of:

Family Promise Metrowest

Food Pantry Donations

Natick Service Council Activities

Christmas Toy Donations

Community Outreach

Open Door Community Dinner