Introducing. . . Our Safe Church Policy
The Church Council in October directed Pastor Rachel to put together a team of people to create a Safe Church Policy for our church. The team worked diligently to develop a Safe Church Policy that defines abuse prevention and response policies, as well as creates an atmosphere of truth-telling and education around being a Safe Church. Serving on the team: Pete Emerson, Pat Furber, Linda Inman, Laurie Kellner, and Pastor Rachel. The Safe Church Policy was adopted by the Church Council on April 5, 2017 and is available below.
Safe Church Policy (PDF)
“One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: "Let the children alone, don't prevent them from coming to me. God's kingdom is made up of people like these." After laying hands on them, he left. Matthew 19:13-15 The Message
Welcome to the 2017-2018 Program Year at Community Church of Sebastopol!
We have some exciting new programs and a new format for Sunday mornings, and it all begins on Launch Sunday, September 10th. The biggest shift is that we will now have an educational hour with programming for all ages 9:00-10:15am every Sunday morning. The whole church will join in worship at 10:30am, with the option for children to continue to Children’s Worship in the Chapel after the Children’s Sermon.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) Curriculum
What is OWL?
Our Whole Lives/Sexuality & Our Faith (OWL) is a comprehensive sexuality program created by our denomination, the UCC, alongside the Unitarians. Our religious heritages compel us to create safe settings where people can come to understand and respond to their experiences as sexual beings. OWL is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, young adult, and adult. The program provides an opportunity for children, youth, and adults to learn about sexuality in the affirming and supportive setting of our church. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, it provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but also supports participants in clarifying values, integrating sexual and spiritual understandings, building interpersonal skills, and understanding the spiritual, emotional, social, and political aspects of sexuality.
Why is our church hosting an OWL Training?
Our church is gearing up to be a host site for training leaders in OWL this July. Both UCC and UUA (Unitarian) churches will be sending leaders to be trained at the Community Church. We (the Community Church OWL Team, a sub-group of the Children’s Faith Formation Team) have hired two high-quality trainers, who will lead a weekend- long intensive in OWL. What this means is that our church is providing space, hospitality, and training for OWL leaders to go back to their home churches and lead OWL programs for grades 7-9 & 10-12 in the upcoming year. There are already host families from our church opening their homes to people attending our training, and the OWL Team is working hard to register and prepare for the training. Hosting an OWL Training really puts us on the map as a church that supports holistic sexuality education! Hurrah!
What’s Happening in OWL at our Church Next Program Year?
Informational Meeting June 3 @ 9 am
Our own church will be offering OWL for 8-9th Graders during the 2018-19 program year. Parents of rising 8-9th graders are invited to an informational meeting in the Chapel on June 3rd at 9am. At this meeting you’ll have a chance to preview the curriculum books, get an overview of the program, and meet the leaders. Come learn more about what OWL is all about! (There will be an official Orientation for Parents and Students in the Fall, before the program begins.)
We are delighted to announce our OWL co-leaders Andy DelMonte and Kendall Tripathi-Clark who will be leading OWL with our 8-9th graders in the fall. Please contact Pastor Rachel with any questions.
Our Godly Play program continues in May, through May 20, for children Preschool-5th grade, in Room 5 at 9:00am. May 26 and June 3 will be multi-gen worship Sundays. Look for our summer Godly Play to move to the 10:30 worship hour beginning June 10. If you’re interested in joining our Godly Play ministry, please contact Pastor Rachel
May 2018 Godly Play Schedule:
9 am, May 6 - Parable of Parables -
Storyteller: Sophia Broadbent-Bell / Storyteller Supervisor: Pastor Rachel / Door Helper: Sheina Slack Curtis
9 am, May 13 - Mother of Jesus -
Storyteller: Sophia Broadbent-Bell / Storyteller Supervisor: Pastor Rachel / Door Helper: OPEN
9 am, May 20 - Story of Pentecost -
Storyteller: Tamar Knuth / Storyteller Supervisor: Pastor Rachel / Door Helper: OPEN
In Godly Play, Storytellers memorize a story and present it with the children, using wooden pieces. Door Helpers offer support as a ministry of presence, assisting children with art and “the feast.” We are looking for more Storytellers and Door Helpers who are available to help lead the program. If you’re interested in joining our Godly Play ministry, please contact Pastor Rachel.
A new hangout for parents who have children in programs and want to join in conversation with other parents. Meet up in the Fellowship Hall, where there will be coffee & snacks, and a suggested topic for conversation.
What is Happening with Children & Worship?
Children are part of the congregation and are always welcome to stay and participate in worship with their families. We welcome children of all ages in the sanctuary every Sunday, and strive to create worship services that are accessible for people of all ages.
For children and parents who wish for an alternative, we invite children to begin worship in the sanctuary with their families, then continue to Children’s Worship. After the Children’s Sermon, they will walk together to the Chapel to continue worship with scripture, music, an offering, prayer, and Communion with Pastor Rachel. At the end of Children’s Worship, the group will rejoin their families in the sanctuary.
May 2018 Children's Worship
May 6 - Multi-Generational Worship & Holy Communion - children stay in worshio with thier families
May 13 8 - Eastertide
Minister: Pastor Rachel; Musician: Vicki Reno & the UkeStars; 2 Shepherds: Jeff Boal and Lesie Wood
May 20 - Pentecost: Christian Symbol Stones
Minister: Pastor Rachel; Musician: OPEN; 2 Shepherd : Teri Harper and OPEN
On Communion Sundays our children will begin worship in the Sanctuary with their families and then at the middle hymn, children ages 3 and up will be invited to join Rachel in Faith Chapel for a Chapel Circle. The children will then return to worship in the Sanctuary during the Doxology to partake in Communion with their families. Children under age 4 may go the Nursery in Room 4. As always, children may stay with their families for the entire worship service in the Sanctuary if they wish. Activity bags are available from the ushers and a changing station is available in the restroom at the back of the sanctuary.