Children are Welcome

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Children are Welcome at Friends Meeting of Washington

 

  Children and families are a vital part of the Friends Meeting of Washington community. During Meeting for Worship we offer nursery care for babies, toddlers and children who desire it, as well as a boisterous First Day (Sunday) School program. We also offer childcare during events outside of Meeting for Worship. Please feel free to bring your nursery-age child (0-4) to the Decatur Place Room, starting at 10:20 AM, and pick them up there by Noon.

Our First Day School program nurtures the light inside of each child in the context of their family and our shared community. More conversational than lesson-based, our program draws on the life experiences of both adults and children, covering topics such as how we negotiate friendship, conflict, family, neighborliness, responsibility, life changes, and growing maturity with love for self and others. Through the narrative structure of the Quaker query and though craft projects, song, stories (including those of the Christian Bible, fiction, historical figures, and folk traditions of diverse cultures), and field trips, the FMW commitment to our children is expressed in supporting each child's growing ability to listen deeply.

Older children, middle school to high-school aged, are invited to be a part of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting's weekend retreat schedule in addition to our First Day School program. Baltimore Yearly Meeting is the regional organizing structure for Quakers in central Pennsylvania, Maryland, parts of West Virginia, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. It is through membership in a Yearly Meeting that individual Quakers become connected with the larger Quaker movement worldwide. Being a part of the "cons", as the retreats are called, is a way of meaningfully connecting to other youth all over the region in play and in the pursuit of service and always in listening deeply in the context of our families and community.

First Day School takes place at 10:30 AM. Our Friendly Office Presence, as our greeter is called, will show you to the appropriate classroom upon entering the building. It is helpful to arrive a little earlier than the start time to give children the opportunity to acclimate to their environment before we begin our time together. If you need to arrive after 10:30, you are still very welcome to join us; it is helpful to take a moment to sit with your young child to help them become comfortable in the space we share. We adjourn class and return to the Meeting room, where you will be reunited with your child, for the last few minutes of Meeting for Worship. We welcome adults in our classroom; please speak with our First Day School coordinator to volunteer.

Our First Day School coordinator is Windy Cooler. She can be reached at 202 643 0672 and at fmwyouthprogram@gmail.com. The clerk of all Religious Education at Friends Meeting of Washington is Justin Connor. He may be reached at justinconnor@gmail.com For more information about the Baltimore Yearly Meeting's retreat program please contact Alison Duncan atyouthsec@bym-rsf.org

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