Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting

Welcomes Families

to our Meeting

The Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting welcomes families with children to our silent meeting for worship. We value the presence of children in our midst because we believe that God is present in everyone, regardless of age. We know that the quietness of the room can sometimes magnify the noise and movement of small children, but often it is the parents who are bothered the most by these sounds!

All ages of Friends worship together for the first fifteen minutes of the hour, then, on the first, third, and fifth Sundays, we invite all children to attend First Day School.

Our Religious Education mission is to provide a nurturing and safe environment for children, to provide a spiritual foundation of Quaker values, beliefs, history and process, and to build community between families, the children themselves, and the meeting as a whole.

Motivated volunteers lead First Day School in age-appropriate activities designed around monthly themes. The children begin with a short candle-time that provides practice in contemplation and Quaker process. A lesson and craft or activity follows. Children are summoned at the rise of meeting for sharing, announcements, and introductions. Parents are free to stay in Meeting or to attend First Day School along with their child(ren).

Sample First Day School Schedule:

10:30-10:45: Children attend Meeting for Worship
10:45: Children adjourn to First Day School
10:45-10:50: Candle-time (children are asked to consider a particular issue in silence)
10:50: Candle-time sharing
10:55: Presentation of lesson (often includes book reading or storytelling)
11:05: Crafts or other hands-on activities relating to lesson
11:25: Wrap-up
11:30: Children return to Meeting for announcements and sharing of names

Please inform First Day School leaders of any special needs your child might have or any other concerns regarding your child.

Volunteers are essential to our Religious Education program. Please consider volunteering to lead or co-lead a First Day School lesson. Contact a member of the Religious Education Committee to be placed on the schedule.

Books to Help Introduce Children to Quaker Meeting

Daniel Goes to Meeting by Barbara Janoe (preschool)
On Sitting Still by Mary C. Test (primary)
Portrait of Friends by Harvey Gillman (high school)
We’re Going to Meeting for Worship by Abby Hadley (primary)

Stories on Quaker Themes and Values

Quakers on the Move by Religious Education Committee, Friends General Conference (upper elementary)
Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle (primary)
The White Feather by Ruth and Allan Eitzen (primary)
Lighting Candles in the Dark by Religious Education Committee, Friends General Conference (upper elementary)
The Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill
The Elephant and the Very Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont (primary)

Most of the above books can be found at the FGC Bookstore – www.quakerbooks.org, 1-800-­966-4556.

Others can be found at www.amazon.com.