Educational Vision & Guiding Ideas
Safe Harbor UCC welcomes all children, youth, and adults to its education programs. We work to create an inclusive environment that is accessible to each of our congregants. We strive to model and teach kindness and openness to others and to new ideas. We do so by cultivating relationships of trust. Our children primarily learn by listening to stories, playing games, and doing crafts. Our youth learn by engaging in guided reflection and lively interaction. As adults, we learn by bringing each of our diverse experiences to the table, listening to others, and reflecting together.
Our guiding scripture is Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Redeemer.” Our primary goal is to share the good news that God loves us, all of humanity, and all of creation. We learn who God is through the life and teachings of Jesus, who was the image and incarnation of God. His ministry of teaching and healing shows us how to love God and our neighbors, particularly through his friendship with the oppressed, the outcasts, and the marginalized. Jesus’s Spirit continues to live in and through us in the church whenever we embody love. We gather to learn God’s wisdom, to practice following Jesus, and to organize acts of service that will benefit others. Our motto is, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God.”
Nursery & Play Area
Our congregation is intentionally multi-generational, which means that we want our babies, toddlers, children, and youth to be active participants in our community life and worship. Parents and/or families with little ones are welcome in the worship service and all community events. We appreciate the joyful noises they bring to our community, and embrace all of our congregants no matter their age or their noise levels!
If your little one needs a break from the adults, we get it. We have a nursery in the Community Building that is available for children and parents under 5 years old, stocked with toys, games, and books. You’re welcome to use it any time our doors are open, and we're happy to provide nursery care during worship services. As another option, we have a play area in the entryway of the Worship Building so that during worship services, you can listen to the service while your little one plays, and rejoin the service whenever they are ready.
During the academic year, our children (pre-K through 5th grade) gather at 4pm each Sunday before worship to engage in learning activities centered on God’s love for them and others. Our teachers are volunteers from the Safe Harbor community, who undergo background checks and boundary training every year. Their love for our kids is inspiring, and we are grateful for their work with our precious little congregants. Please join us in the Education Building as we learn about the Creator’s love, Jesus’ life and ministry, and the Spirit of Christ that enlivens the church. The kids are also invited to go forward during each Sunday worship service for a children’s sermon with the pastor.
Fluid Youth Group
Our youth group is a safe place where 6th through 12th graders can explore who they are and who they are becoming. We have discussions, engage in service projects, and have a lot of fun with friends. Our teachers are volunteers from the Safe Harbor community, who undergo background checks and boundary training every year. Their work of connecting with our youth as mentors is invaluable. Join us in the Education Building at 6pm every Sunday during the academic year!
Wednesday Discussions (Adult Education)
Safe Harbor is a wonderful place to ask questions, raise doubts, and try out new ideas. We are all on a journey of meaning-making in our lives. We might think and feel differently, and that diversity is precisely what is beneficial for our community. It allows us to offer different perspectives, share our experiences, and give one another food for thought. In these ways, we help to form one another in our covenantal community and provide opportunities for growth. We meet during the academic year on most Wednesdays at 7:30pm.
Through the generous funding of the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ, we have a well-stocked library filled with resources for children, youth, parents, and families who want to incorporate Christian education into their family life. Please stop by our library in the Community Building (in the church office) to check out a couple of books! You can take them with you and return them when you’re finished reading.