Children, Youth & Families

Whether your child is shy or squirmy, teddy-bear-clutching or bold, a boy in a tutu or a girl who slays dragons, your child will fit in fine! It is our joy to enfold all children – the outspoken, the diagnosed, the boisterous and the sweet, cuddly ones, too! – within the circle of community in at Old South church.

We strive to honor the intelligence and imagination of children in our care. Through biblical storytelling and open-ended questioning which invites children to wonder and make meaning for themselves, we seek to nurture a faith in children that can stretch and grow with them as they mature. In providing age-appropriate outreach and service learning opportunities, we endeavor to instill values of kindness and compassion that will serve them for life.

No registration is required to participate in care or church school, but every child must have a current Child Info Form on file. Masking is optional throughout Old South Church programs. 

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toddler looking over his dad's shoulder
(Green Room, 3rd floor)
Our loving and skilled childcare professionals are ready to provide safe and reliable childcare, treating children to love, warm hugs, books, toys, and coloring projects in one of our fully stocked preschool rooms. Childcare is available uninterrupted from 8:40am - 12:30pm. We also offer part-worship/part-care at each service. For 9am First Worship, parents can choose to have children brought down to join them at 9:30 in worship, enabling families to have communion together and children to experience a portion of the worship service. For 11am Festival Worship, parents can begin with their children in the Sanctuary, and then meet childcare staff following the Scripture reading in the back of the room, where we will proceed up to the 3rd floor. Parents are also welcome to play with us in the Green Room, or to keep your child with you in worship. We trust parents to know what is best, and are here to support you.
(Children age 3 - 2nd grade)
At age 3, we welcome children into church school where we practice Godly Play. Godly Play is a montessori-based Christian education curriculum where children explore the stories of the Bible and practices of the church through hands-on learning and play. Stories are told with hand-crafted materials, then children are led through a series of wondering questions followed by a period of self-directed work. This combined-age Godly Play class meets from 10am- 10:50 on the 4th floor in the Guild Room.

Children this age may choose between worshiping with families, playing in the Green Room with our loving childcare staff, or participating in any musical or dramatic offering that may spring up during a portion of the worship hour.

(3rd-5th grades)
Godly Play is a Montessori-based christian education curriculum where children explore the stories of the Bible and practices of the church through hands-on learning and play. Stories are told with hand-crafted materials, then children are led through a series of wondering questions followed by a period of self-directed work. This oldest Godly Play classroom will hear more extension than the younger classrooms, and introduces students to beginning Bible study each week. This class meets from 10am - 10:50 each week in the Tower Room (4th floor), and is conducted in hybrid format, allowing students to zoom in from home.

We encourage students in this age range to worship with their parents or to participate in the seasonal choir and drama offerings, often meeting from 9am - 9:30.
(6th-7th grades)
Our middle school students are in that “in-between” space. They aren’t children or teenagers. They don’t go to childcare but haven’t been confirmed yet. These students have a special Bible-intensive church school, may choose to attend worship or participate in seasonal musical or drama offerings like our annual Christmas Pageant.

For church school, students in 6th - 7th grades dive into Bible study as we Meet The Ancestors of the Old Testament & New Testament. Through video, discussion, and Bible study we get to know the stories of God’s leaders, and get a small taste of most books of the Bible. This class completed most of the Old Testament in 2021-2022 and will move forward into the New Testament during this school year. New students are welcome - each class is a new adventure. Meet the Ancestors class gathers from 10am - 10:50 in the Crawford Library (1st floor) and is conducted in a hybrid format allowing students to zoom in from home.
(7th-8th grades)
On Sunday afternoons from 1:30 - 3pm, students in 7th and 8th grades are invited to Our Whole Lives, or OWL classes. OWL is a comprehensive sexuality curriculum that was jointly written by leaders in the United Church of Christ (us) and Unitarian Universalist communities. These classes are a collaboration between First Congregational Church in Cambridge, MA and Old South Church, and we believe that holding these types of classes within a faith context is important. While the curriculum itself is not overly religious - all the instructors are members of our churches who weave in the elements of faith that relate to the themes for the day. We believe that having these sacred discussions within the context of church demonstrates our commitment to breaking down stereotypes and encouraging our students to live fully into themselves - exactly as God created them to be. It is an act of Christian witness, as much as advocating for change at the State House or feeding our un-housed neighbors.
Youth Group meeting
(8th - 12th grades)
Students in grades 8 - 12 are invited to join our Youth Group, which meets during church school from 10am - 10:50 in the Guild Room Kitchen (4th floor) - and is conducted in a hybrid format most weeks. Youth Group students help to design the group's activities and plans for the year, and so while most weeks we will gather at 10am, there may be weeks where we take field trips, have weekend events, or meet up for meals. Unlike church school for younger students, Youth Group lessons are chosen through student-interest and engaging in lived-faith opportunities. We are currently looking for our next Youth Leader, but until we meet the right person, Youth Group will be led by Dir of Children & Families Kate Nintcheu and longtime Youth Assistant Jimmy Kamel.