Youth Ministry at All Saints
The Underlying Principles
When a child is brought to the waters of baptism at All Saints' Church the parents and Godparents take responsibility for bringing up the child in the Christian faith and life. They also promise to pray for and witness to the child. The primary place where youth ministry occurs is at home. At the baptism, the community of faith promises to do all in its power to support the newly baptized in their life in Christ. This means the entire community is in a supporting role.
Because Christian parenting is the heart of youth ministry, the community gathered for worship is at the heart of Youth Ministry. Children who see their parents engaged in worship and making it a priority, learn the importance of worship. As children grow at All Saints' it is our goal to expose them to worship more and more. Middle-schoolers and high schoolers should be in worship with their families on a regular basis as part of their Christian formation.
Structured Support for Christian Parents
We plan regular opportunities for parents and concerned adults to come together to talk about the process of raising Christian children. The goal is to help equip the community to identify specific ways to live into our baptismal promises. These gatherings occur on select Sundays after worship.
Although the gathered community is a very small part of Christian formation for children, the Godly Play program is our primary Sunday focus for the formation of children and the formation of those involved in leading the program. Children and the adults who lead Godly Play together draw closer to God. Godly Play encourages engagement and wonder. It is attentive to sacred space and time. We have made a major commitment of time, talent and treasure to pursue excellence in this program. The Rev. Cheryl Minor is our Godly Play coordinator. She also regularly teaches the middle school Godly Play class. This connection allows Cheryl to model the importance of Christian faith and to build relationships. All of the teachers share in this work.
Many of our young people become involved in helping to lead worship through service as acolytes. They lead the processions, receive the offerings, ring the Sanctus bell, and learn to be attentive to the rhythms of worship. On special days they help the congregation experience worship in deeper ways. They contribute to our common life. Serving as acolytes also brings these young people in close contact with the clergy, especially before worship as they gather to pray and prepare with the altar guild and Eucharistic ministers.
Other Forms of Service
Some of our youth are involved with service in the church such as childcare, helping with the Bristol Lodge soup kitchen meal, and supporting a child in Zimbabwe.
Children and young people of all ages enjoy Christian fellowship after the worship service. This time of fellowship builds community and helps to integrate our youngest members into the household of God. This is a time when we encourage all the adults in the parish to engage young people in conversation and encourage them in the faith.
All Saints' Church
17 Clark Street
Belmont, MA 02478
Office Hours are by appointment only. Please call the parish office at 617-484-2228 before coming to the church.
Stories from our Community
"Two years ago I went to my first Agape meal with my son, who was five at the time. To my surprise, when it was time to pass the peace during the service, he greeted those near by, and then proceeded to greet others around the room, adults and children, known and unknown. I realized then that my faith community here at All Saints', was also his community."