Nursery care is available during choir practice, adult education sessions, and worship for little ones from birth through age 5. Our paid child care staff provide a loving and consistent atmosphere for our youngest church-goers. The Nursery is staffed from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 pm every Sunday morning. The indoor space for this age group is located at the back of the social hall. We also have a lovely outdoor playground where children enjoy playing in fair weather.
During worship, children (and adults too) are invited to gather in the center of our worship space to hear a story or other lesson, usually based on the Bible or other reading for that Sunday’s service. These are led by adult volunteers.
For the protection of all children and youth, all paid and volunteer adult caregivers, Sunday School teachers, and off-campus youth activity leaders must take training in and commit to complying with our Safe Sanctuary requirements based on corresponding United Methodist policies. Among other things, Dumbarton requires that at least two adults trained in our Safe Sanctuary requirements be present with any child, young person, or youth group under the church’s care, on or off campus.
We encourage children and youth to be present and fully participate in worship. They can serve as acolytes, read scripture, offer joys & concerns for prayer, or play hand chimes as a choir, for example. A children’s table at the back of the sanctuary welcomes children with books, paper and crayons, and quiet activities. Youth are welcome to hang out in the “youth lounge” in the balcony during the service.
—All ages Sunday School and fellowship hour
Each month all ages–small children, teens, adults, & seniors–share mindful tasks together to build community, find enrichment, and enjoy each other. The hour begins with a brief introduction to the day’s theme — maybe a 3-minute video, a poem, a story or a scripture. Then participants enjoy refreshments and move as they wish between three or four activity stations set up around the room. Here are some examples of what might happen at a Second Sunday Celebration:
* make and share a beaded friendship bracelet
* have a cup of coffee or juice
* discuss the day’s theme with someone at your table
* help a child with an activity
* fill a toiletry kit for distribution to new immigrants bused into DC
* munch on a muffin or a piece of fruit * write names on paper leaves and hang on a prayer tree
* be surprised
* glue fabric pieces on a welcome banner
* feel welcomed
* contemplate on the day’s theme while coloring pictures of stained glass windows
* write note cards to friends
* enjoy warm fellowship
* decorate & fill gift bags or bake muffins to give to unhoused neighbors at our upcoming Pop-up Breakfast Cafe
During the worship service, a friendly church member guides our younger children through art projects and quiet play at the Children’s Table, which is conveniently located at the back of the sanctuary.
A specific part of our worship service, Time for All Ages, is dedicated to sharing an age-appropriate message, one that is related to that Sunday’s Scripture verses and/or special readings, to children.
Child care is provided during Adult Ed and Worship for children through age 6 from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Sunday morning. The indoor space for this age group is located in the nursery off the back of the social hall. We also have a lovely outdoor playground where children enjoy playing in fair weather.
Dumbarton’s confirmation class is usually offered to youth, beginning in the fall or winter. Each student is paired up with a mentor, typically someone they know from our congregation, and with whom they meet regularly throughout the duration of the class to discuss what they are learning. A special part of our annual church retreat at West River is celebrating those students who completed their confirmation classes.
Providing meals or collecting personal care items for our unhoused neighbors; showing up to bear witness at a march or rally, planting trees on Earth Day … these are just a few of the many, many ways Dumbarton children and youth can make their faith come alive—in our local community, across the city or nation, or around the world. Many of our social justice ministries are suggested by our children or youth; we love following where they may lead us to serve.