Children




 


Nursery

Nursery care is available for children under three years old on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff consists of two caring adults who are in the room at all times and are supervised by the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, Ray Aucoin, who can be reached at youthministries@fmcquaker.org. Age appropriate toys are available in the room.

     HOURS: Sept – June, 9:15 am - 12:15 pm
            July – Aug, 10:15 am - 12:15 pm

 


First Day (Sunday) School (FDS)

First Day School (FDS) is the Quaker equivalent of Sunday School. FDS is available to the children of members, attenders, and visitors, ages 3 and older. The First Day School is under the care of the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, Ray Aucoin, youthministries@fmcquaker.org

First Day School classes are clustered by grade levels, usually grouped as: preschool (ages 3 & 4), K-2, 3-5, Jr. High (6-8), Sr. High (9-12). Regular attendance is encouraged, but one-time or irregular attenders are also welcome.

 HOURS:  9:15 - 10:30am childcare available
        10:30 - 10:45am children attend Meeting for Worship
        10:45 – 11:45am classes meet in classrooms

After 15 minutes of silent worship in the Meeting House, the Friend holding the FDS banner rises and quietly leaves the Meeting House. This is the cue for children, teachers, and parents who wish to assist their child to rise and follow the banner to the classrooms in the Friends Center.

First Day School Committee

The First Day School Committee works with the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator to plan and refine the curriculum for preschool through high school, to recruit and support First Day School teachers, and to maintain a caring nursery staff. The committee has care of the religious education and spiritual growth of the infants, children, and youth of the Meeting, manages the Children’s Library, and supports parents in raising Quaker children and nurturing family spirituality. The Committee seeks to help children and adults have meaningful worship experiences, and to raise awareness and concern for children and families in the Meeting as a whole. Meets monthly on 1st Sundays at 12:15pm.

Quaker Principles:
The First Day School Committee seeks to nurture and support the Meeting’s young people and their families in their spiritual journeys. They wish young people to become aware of the content and practices of basic Quaker principles not just on First Day in the classrooms, but throughout the week as well. These include:
• There is that of God in everyone
• Worship is a way of being in communion with and discerning the will of the Divine
• Honoring connections between spiritual values and life in community and in the world as expressed in social action
• Following the Peace Testimony and paths of non-violence
• Simplicity is a way of life

Curriculum:
FDS explores age-appropriate values, traditions and ideas. It aims to provide resources that enable young people and their families to learn about their own, the Meeting’s, and Quakers’ place in God’s world and in the stream of Judeo-Christianity, children #4honoring both our Christ-centered and our Universalist heritage and seeking to reach that place where the words come from. We also want to increase awareness of and respect for other religious traditions throughout time. The lessons include:
• Study of Quaker faith, practice & history
• The New Testament & Hebrew Bible
• Community service & activism
• A variety of understandings of God
• Judeo-Christian, Universalist & other religious traditions
• Opportunities for worship, play, community building, & expression

Teachers:
Our First Day School is taught by volunteers from the members and attenders of FMC, who are under the supervision of the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator. If you have been regularly participating in the life of our Meeting and would like to become a teacher, or be more involved with FDS, please contact Ray Aucoin, Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, at youthministries@fmcquaker.org


Intergenerational Fellowship

There are many opportunities for fellowship among Friends of all ages. Hikes, Family Game Nights, storytelling events, and FMC Work Days are just a few examples of opportunities to connect with Friends.

Family Worship:
Family Worship takes place at 10:30 am on the first Sunday of the month (October through June) in the Friends Room.  It is an intergenerational Meeting For Worship and all are invited to attend.  The program is interactive, and usually includes singing, a story or other presentation, and an activity based on a chosen theme for that Meeting.  The program ends with a period of waiting worship.  There are no First Day School classes on this Sunday and parents participate in Family Worship with their children, along with unrelated interested adults.  Children of all ages are welcomed to attend, and Nursery care is available for infants and toddlers during any or all of that time.


 

Teen Worship

The first Sunday of the month (October through June), junior and senior high school students have the option to gather in the far parlor for worship and discussion. They are encouraged to attend the regular Meeting for Worship when they are ready.


Youth Groups


FMC YOUTH GROUP:
The Youth Group is made up of the Meeting’s 6th through 12th grade youth. It is organized under the staff supervision of the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, Ray Aucoin, (youthministries@fmcquaker.org), and falls under the care of the Youth Programs Committee. Teens in the program are decision-makers about their activities and also administer a Youth Leadings Fund that helps to support Young Friends’ desire to complete service efforts. Teens periodically report back to the Meeting as a whole about activities and goals.

Youth kick off the year in early September, when everyone comes together to meet one another and brainstorm themes and activities of interest. Throughout the year, the group meets approximately once per month. Although specific activities vary based on the interests of the group, events emphasize community building, spiritual seeking, and service. Past activities have included:

  • Halloween pumpkin carving
  • A session on the spiritual meaning of the Mexican Day of the Dead. Youth made sugar skulls to represent loved ones who had passed on and heard a presentation from a Meeting member about her experience at Casa de los Amigos in Mexico City.
  • A session on the nature of spiritual leadings. A member of the Meeting shared her own personal experience with leadings.
  • Baking fundraiser. After a fun-filled evening of baking (granola, pies, etc.), youth discern together about what to do with the money they have raised. For the past two years, at least part of the proceeds have been brought to Haley House; in 2011, a donation of $295 to Haley House enabled the purchase of more than $2,000 in pantry food for people in need in the Boston area. In 2012, the FMC’s young friends decided to put some proceeds toward creating a Youth Leadings Fund.
  • Volunteering at the Haley House soup kitchen, where individuals in need can find a healthy meal
  • Easter egg coloring with fellow Meeting members
  • Bread baking and spiritual reflection
  • Participation in building a First Day School labyrinth

Contact our Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, Ray Aucoin, at youthministries@fmcquaker.org for information about upcoming Youth Group activities.

BEYOND THE WALLS OF FMC:
Boston Area Quaker Youth Group: For high-school aged youth. Quakers and non-Quakers are invited to Saturday night gatherings for dinner, Quaker Spirit & fun; from 6:00-9:30pm. The group gathers at Wellesley Meeting unless otherwise specified below.
Dates for 2016-2017: 9/24, 10/22 (+ Parent Potluck), 12/10, 1/7 (Friends Meeting at Cambridge), 2/4, 3/11, 4/8 (Friends Meeting at Cambridge; Parent Potluck), 5/27 (Beacon Hill Friends Meeting). RSVP appreciated so food can be planned. Send questions & RSVP to bostonquakeryouth@gmail.com.

Retreats – New England Yearly Meeting: The youth at FMC are regularly involved with retreats sponsored by the New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM).

Senior High Retreats:
The high school-aged youth group for NEYM is called Young Friends. They hold 5 weekend retreats throughout the school year plus a 4-day retreat over winter break. For more information about these retreats and what you could expect, send an e-mail to the Young Friends Coordinator, Nia Thomas: yf.yafcoord@neym.org; or go to: neym.org/young-friends.

Junior High Yearly Meeting Retreats:
Junior High Yearly Meeting (JHYM) is a Quaker youth program within NEYM for middle school-aged youth in grades 6, 7 and 8. They hold 5 weekend retreats between September and May in various locations throughout New England. These provide wonderful opportunities for Quaker middle school youth to be part of a wider spiritual community beyond the walls of FMC. The JHYM Coordinator is Gretchen Baker-Smith. For more information, contact Gretchen at jym.jhymcoord@neym.org or go to: neym.org/junior-high.

Junior Yearly Meeting Retreats:
Elementary school-aged youth in 2nd through 6th grade are invited to participate in Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) activities, Quaker youth programs within NEYM. Weekend-long retreats are offered between September and May in various locations throughout New England. These provide opportunities for youth to connect with Friends beyond FMC while exploring topics relevant to their Quaker faith. For more information, contact Gretchen Baker-Smith at jym.jhymcoord@neym.org or go to: neym.org/junior.

Youth Programs Committee:
The Youth Programs Committee works together with the Youth & Family Programs Coordinator to fulfill its mission of promoting a sense of community among the Meeting’s Junior and Senior High students. In the spirit of fostering young Friends’ Quaker identity and sense of community, the committee works with students to organize fun, spiritually enriching activities. The Committee, together with the First Day School teachers and First Day School Committee, aims to enrich the students’ understanding of and commitment to Quaker principles and practice. For more information, contact committee office@fmcquaker.org — Attn: Youth Programs Committee.

Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator:
In working with the Youth Group, Ray Aucoin, Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, aims to promote a sense of community among the Meeting’s Junior and Senior High students. He works with the Youth Programs Committee and the Meeting’s young Friends to organize Youth Group activities during the academic year. These include monthly social, service, and worship activities. For more information, contact the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator at youthministries@fmcquaker.org.


Child Safety Policy

Friends Meeting at Cambridge (FMC) has a strong commitment to ensuring that all members and attenders, including children and youth, are treated with respect and consistently experience FMC as a community that is safe and spiritually nurturing. Over the past two decades, FMC has provided educational opportunities, adopted policies, and developed protocols that affirm that commitment and seek to proactively reduce the risk child abuse.

In our faith community, it is all of our responsibility to keep our children safe. This brochure provides a summary of key safety procedures, as well as some thoughts on how we can all work together to create a safe and nurturing space for young people. A trifold version of this brochure is available here and in hardcopy at FMC.

While we are dedicated to reducing risk, we are sadly aware that abuse of children and youth occurs in religious communities as well as in the wider society. As such we have a moral, and a specific legal, responsibility to respond to any concerns related to the abuse of a child. For more detailed information about our plans for such a response, please see our Policy on Child Safety and the accompanying protocols. These set forth FMC’s administrative, personnel, and program expectations for reducing the risk of and responding to any concerns of abuse.