~ Sven & Gina Peterson
As parents of young children, Sunday school is one of the most important parts of the church for our family. In fact, the active Sunday school program is one of the main reasons that we initially chose UCUCC. We think Sunday school is important for our children and their peers for many reasons.
It provides a consistent, structured place for them to go during service with teachers who are members they know, trust, and recognize. Our kids have been going to Sunday school since they were in the baby room. As parents we feel comforted knowing that they are in a safe place while we can be in service.
It allows teachings and discussions of the Scriptures in an age-appropriate way to come from other adults, not just us, which provides opportunities for discovery, review, and interaction they might not get at home. There are many lessons that are better received from another trusted adult, and as parents, we certainly don’t know everything. It does take a village. Moreover, they are in a non-judgmental, open, sharing, and positive learning environment where there may be discussions of personal issues and real-life questions, all of which help create a foundation for developing strong bonds and relationships among their teachers and peers. This church has a great group of children and youth who support each other. The children really look up to the youth.
It has provided an opportunity for our children to become aware of other cultures, social issues, gaining strong leadership skills their generation will need. For example, they’ve learned about the people of Rabuor, Kenya through Loyce’s teaching about Mwanzo Proud Farmers, writing with pen pals and donating resources. Through food-packing and Tent City, they’ve learned what it means to be homeless and what our responsibilities are in the face of homelessness. And they’ve gained more awareness of racial justice and gender identity – issues that are made much more real by their interactions at church as they learn how to treat others with respect and love.
With so many messages of materialism, greed and hate being spread in the wider society, we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to raise our children in an accepting, loving, and multi-generational church where they can learn to reject the false gods of society and to meet hate with reconciling love.
We are so thankful for all of the members of our church community who give their time, talent, and treasure to make this possible.