Programs for All Ages
At Chatham Summit Friends Meeting we recognize that families come in all sizes and kinds. We value diversity of families and seek to provide spiritual nurture for all ages. This includes child care for our youngest; First Day School for school age children; affinity and spiritual affinity groups for young adults and parents of young children; and meeting-wide discussions and learning programs.
Young children are welcome to attend worship, or they may go to the light-filled nursery room where child care is provided for children aged 0 - 6 every Sunday as well as during meeting-wide programs. Parents are also welcome to bring young children into worship; gentle sounds from the very young are welcomed by the worshiping group.
First Day School
Referred to by the traditional Quaker name for the first day of the week, our classes for school-age children and youth are held every Sunday from September through June. Lessons include principles of Quaker faith, Friends' history and practices, the life and teachings of Jesus and sacred stories from the Judeo-Christian and other religious traditions. We use stories, song, and activities to inspire wonder, thought and reflection about what it means to "let your life speak." The Godly Play curriculum is one of the resources we use to honor and develop children's inherent spirituality. We support our children in taking a leadership role in service projects and celebrations such as the annual meeting-wide picnic. Our policy on child safety aligns with our goal of creating a community in which young people feel safe, welcome, valued and loved.
Multi-generational activities and celebrations provide our children with experience with silent worship and meditation and enhance a sense of belonging to our meeting. Children join worship every Sunday for 15 minutes before leaving for their classes. Once a month we have intergenerational worship in which a story is shared and all children are invited to do quiet activities while they stay with adults in worship.
To build community and connection and to offer opportunities for spiritual growth in different life stages, the meeting sponsors age affinity groups. These groups gather for sharing experiences and spiritual conversations. The young adults group is composed of GenX, Millennials and GenZ who meet informally for dinner several times a year. The "Full Nesters" group, comprised of parents of school-age children, goes out for dinner together at casual restaurants while child care is provided at the meetinghouse.