Christian Education

Christian Education Committee

When the disciples asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:1-5)

Rye Congregational Church is blessed with a very vibrant and dedicated Christian Education Committee that works tirelessly to make sure the children are not only learning but also enjoying their lessons and activities which are many.  Some of the additional activities the children enjoy are singing with Sparrow Spirit Youth Choir or playing various instruments, singing solos during worship service, and participating in our annual Christmas Pageant. Just for fun activities involve family movie nights with popcorn, ice cream socials, picnics and visiting with Pastor Jon during our Children’s Moment on Sunday Morning and hearing a children’s version of the sermon topic.  Many of our youth (ages 12 and up) are preparing for their confirmation by attending confirmation classes on Sunday afternoons.

Our Christian Education Committee consists of four (4) elected Church members and a Deacon Representative.  The committee members are elected for a two-year term with two (2) members elected each year.  This committee works with the pastoral staff and under the direction of the Board of Deacons in developing, approving, and supervising Christian Education for our youth and young adults.

The Christian Education Committee for 2023 is: Janet Whitehouse, Chair, Laura Walsh, Secretary, LiYuen Buesing and Camden Mitchell. Deacon Representatives:  Peggy Scott and Jim Sheerin


Janet Whitehouse, Chair

Sunday School

The children gather for worship with the adults at 10 am on Sunday mornings.  About 10-15 minutes into the service, following the opening prayer, Scripture, and a hymn, Pastor Jon gives a special message to the children.  Then they are dismissed to the Sunday School program.  They re-join the adults following the service at the coffee hour fellowship in the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday School starts with prayer in the Church’s chapel then moves to the classroom next door.  The lessons, which mirror the subject of the sermon the adults hear during the worship service, are based on the life and teachings of Jesus.  These are taught at a level children can understand and implement in their lives. They will learn that God loves them and all people.  His teachings help everyone live a good and meaningful life here on earth and finally share eternal joy and peace in Heaven.

Sparrow Spirit Youth Choir

RCC we are blessed to have such talented children who are willing to share their God given talents to enhance our worship service.

Our youth choir called, Sparrow Spirit, started several years ago. They chose the name, Sparrow Spirit, because the Bible uses sparrows as an illustration of God’s love.
A favorite hymn is entitled, His Eye is on the Sparrow. It reminds us that no matter how small we may be, God cares about us, provides for us and is always watching over us.
The group is currently practicing a two-part song called Shine, Shine Your Light! A very catchy tune featuring lyrics like, “Children of God, We are the Light of the World”, and embedding the classic, “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let it Shine.”  We also practice songs that combine the youth and adult choirs.  Through the Eyes of a Child and Teach Me to Walk in the Light are just two examples. We also have several amazing individuals who grace us with solos and duets.
Soloists have sung If We Seek Him in the Christmas pageant entitled, On Our Way to Bethlehem.  The duet, Mary and Joseph’s lullaby opened the Christmas Eve Service.   The triangle was played to enhance the pageant songs.


We also added bell ringing a couple of years ago.  On Palm Sunday, we performed a song called Prepare the Palms of Praise.  This selection combines the adult choir, hand bells and piano.  For the first time, we will have adults and youth playing together as this is a very challenging piece.  But, the bells add an element of joy to this anthem.

Our Nursery and “Crying Room”

Our nursery is available for our youngest members, children up to three years of age.  Radio transmitters are available which help us stay in touch with parents, if necessary.

Children’s Moment

Children attend the first portion of the Sunday service in the sanctuary as a family.  Each week, one of the children is chosen to light the altar candled at the beginning of the service.

After announcements, scripture readings, prayers and the anthem sung by our adult choir, the children come to the steps to the altar to participate in a special children’s moment.  Pastor Jon talks to them in terms they can relate to, relaying the key message from his sermon for that day.  This is an interactive time where the children are encouraged to answer questions and share their thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes, we even have furry friends participate in the message.

Lessons vary from week to week, but may include a video, game or Bible verses which all relate to the specific topic.  We are currently using a curriculum from FaithWeaver Now.  A few topics have been:  calling the disciples, the Beatitudes, Salt and Light of the Earth, and Miracles.

After their lessons have finished, children join their parents in our Fellowship Hall for snacks and time together.  On special occasions, we will have an activity for children during fellowship, such as making a valentine card for a special person.


Our church facility also contains a library filled with Christian literature, available to read there or to borrow and read at home. Our Library has a cozy nook where children may read a book or watch a DVD.


We are also very fortunate to have a gym in our facility, which is very large.  Children can use the gym for Four Square and other activities.