Christian Education and Faith Formation
Faith Formation equips people to live as disciples of Jesus. Faith formation informs, forms, and transforms the person, whether child, youth, or adult, into a robust, vital, and life-giving Christian with a faith that is holistic: a way of the head, the heart, and the hands. Faith formation can happen in many settings: the church, a coffee shop, online—just about anywhere!
Our church has developed a safe church policy to protect everyone as they participate in various ministries of the church.
Although these activities are designed for adults, they are also open to youth who are interested in deeper discussion.
Old Sloop Storytelling
This is a time to connect with others in the Old Sloop community. Listen to their stories and, if you feel up to it, share a story of your own.
During our Bible study we practice Lectio Divina, meditating with scripture by listening to the passage a few times to hear the word or phrase that speaks to us. After that we meditate together on the scripture, then share what we experienced.
The Women’s Retreat provides an opportunity for women to gather for prayer, reflection, song, and discussion each spring. It is led by a different minister each year and is attended by 20-30 women, from the congregation and from the community. The day-long event is held at a location away from the church, often at a retreat center such as Adelynrood in Byfield, MA. The Women’s Retreat provides women with a chance to get to know each other better while sharing stories in a beautiful, peaceful setting.
The goals of our youth formation programs are to help our young people to:
- Know God personally and know that God loves them
- Believe and know that their voices and opinions matter
- Know that they are in a safe space and can be who God created them to be
- Be able to explore and ask difficult questions
- Have fun!
All our programming is being held via Zoom during the pandemic.
Old Sloop Kids (Sunday Mornings)
Nursery is available for younger children. Our Sunday worship begins with the children in service until after the passing of the peace/special music. An all ages class from preschool through 6th grade meets most Sundays excluding holidays, and school vacations.
Pie Bake for Open Door
The pie bake is our annual service event for which the people of the congregation donate supplies of apples, pie crusts, pie tins, etc. to the teens who assemble and bake about 40 pies that are donated to the Open Door. The event is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Every winter our teens and leaders get away from the busyness of life and head to Monadnock Christian Ministries. Monadnock is a place for the teens to “discover where Christ’s story meets your story.” We gather with churches from other denominations in New England.
Confirmation class is available for our ninth through twelfth grade students who want to take the next step in their faith and become members of our congregation. Confirmation involves study about the UCC and our church history, the Bible, and time with a mentor to explore their experiences and stories together. Mentors’ relationships with their mentees are crucial to their faith journeys into adulthood. Most mentor/mentee relationships last a lifetime.
Community Babysitting Nights
As an outreach for our families with young children in the Cape Ann area, community babysitting nights are offered a few times a year on Friday evenings. The children are dropped off at the church and split into groups. They rotate through crafts, games, and snacks and end the night with a movie. Potty trained through fifth grades welcome!
Young Adult Formation
Our young adult formation is for all post high school, college students, and college graduates (18+). We meet monthly as a group via Zoom to check-in with each other and discuss how God has been at work in our lives.
The Old Sloop intergenerational ministry focuses on connecting multiple generations in faith-forming relationships cultivated through times of corporate worship, intentional discipleship, and ongoing mentorship.
Intergenerational ministry is much more than a Sunday morning experience. At its heart is a focus on generational discipleship and experiencing our faith together as a community. During the pandemic we worship via Zoom and Facebook live on Sundays at 10 a.m.
Boston Common Cathedral
Common Cathedral is an outdoor church located on Boston Common for people experiencing homelessness and their friends. Once a year our students and adults prepare and distribute sandwiches, fruit, and snacks to the homeless community.