Sunday Mornings

On this page:

 • Worship
 • Christian Education, Faith Formation
 • Adult Forum
 • Sunday School
 • High Schoolers
 • Children and Holy Communion
 • Nursery For Infants, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
 • We Welcome Kids In Worship


We worship at 10:30 AM.

On the first Sunday of the month, we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

2nd graders through adults stay in worship the whole time, from prelude to postlude. K/1st graders and younger are in worship through the Time With Children, and then leave the sanctuary to go downstairs with the child care providers.

Nursery Care is available for the youngest year round. We have a child potty seat and changing table in the upstairs, all-gender accessible restroom.

Christian Education, Faith Formation

We value life-long Christian Education and Faith Formation. It is a priority here at St. Anthony Park UCC, and it comes in many forms.

September through May, there is weekly faith formation on Sunday mornings:

9:15-10:15 AM Adult Faith Forum

9:15-10:15 AM Gathering Time for children, youth and teachers, then to separate Sunday School classrooms

There's a place for you! See below for detailed information.

Adult Forum

The Adult Forum meets in the Parlor from 9:15-10:15 AM on Sunday mornings September through May.

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Pastor Victoria, members of the congregation, and occasional guest speakers lead the Forum. All are welcome to take part in this time of intellectual and spiritual renewal. Christian education is a life-long journey and quest!

The Forum at-a-glance, September thru December 2023

September 10
Routines & Rituals during Ordinary Time
Victoria Wilgocki

September 17
Connecting with more than the Human World through the Practice of Forest Therapy
Ann Schrooten, Certified Forest Therapy Guide

September 24
Climate Change: What About Our Church Building?
Tim Wulling

October 1
Beyond Self-Care
Jennifer Wilgocki, Psychotherapist

October 8
The Myth of Closure
Pauline Boss

October 15
Womanist Pastoral Care: womanist theology, the mistreatment of Black women in maternal health care, how chaplains can integrate spiritual traditions of indigenous Black birthwork to their care of Black women.
Jessica Chapman-Lape, faculty member at United Theological Semina

October 22
“Seeing White” TED Talk by John Biewen, journalist and documentarian
Facilitated by Marilyn Benson

October 29
Creative Ideas for How To Use/Spend/Save/Give Away Our ERC Money
(ERC = Employee Retention Credit)
Facilitated by the ERC Ministry Team

November 5
Natural Options at the End of Life – ways your final footprint can have a gentler impact on the Earth, including green burials, water cremation, natural organic reduction, and home funerals
Angela Woosley, Licensed Mortician

November 12
Second Harvest Heartland’s Food Rescue Program
Lorne Petkau, Food Rescue Specialist

November 19
After the Civil Rights Trip: Reflections on our time in the Deep South
SAPUCCers who traveled to Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee

November 26
Godly Play as Advent Begins
Sharon Gowdy Wagener

December 3
SAPUCCer Faith Journey
Ali Akbari

The Forum does not meet on December 10, 17, 24 or 31.


Here are the Top 10 Reasons to attend the Adult Forum:

10. Get curious with your heart and your mind
9. Try something new
8. Give your presence as a gift to yourself and your faith community
7. Revive, rediscover, refocus, reveal, renew, reexamine, and reap the spiritual rewards...
6. Get a good parking spot
5. Learn from and with your fellow SAPUCCers
4. God and your pastor are pretty sure it will be good for you
3. It’s free – zero dollars! -- but worth a lot
2. You get all the learning without the tests, papers, deadlines or grade point averages

And the number one reason to attend the Adult Forum:
1. Christian education is a life-long spiritual practice. If not now, when?

Sunday School

9:15 AM Gathering time
9:30-10:15 AM Classroom time

Godly Play, age 3 through 2nd Grade
Godly Play is a Montessori based approach to teaching young children the Christian tradition. Developed by an Episcopal priest, it is now used by a variety of Christian denominations, including many congregations in the United Church of Christ.

Teachers use figurines and other objects to tell Bible stories, parables and liturgical concepts. Children are invited to wonder and discover meaning in the stories through open-ended questions. Children are then asked to respond to the stories through art, conversation and retelling the stories using the materials. Every gathering closes with a 'feast' of crackers and water together.

Some of the stories we share are: Creation, Abraham and Sarah, Exodus, Ark and Temple, Circle of the Church Year, Baptism, parables of the Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan, and the Twelve Disciples. Our teachers are certified or have received special training to teach Godly Play.

Sunday School, Grades 3-5
The 3rd, 4th and 5th graders meet in the Shadrach Room. The “Shine!” curriculum invites our teachers to create a space for children to be open to God’s spirit. “Shine” includes a variety of activities to engage learners of all kinds. Each session includes options for children to explore the Bible story through active movement, creativity and the arts, and engaging student resources. In this classroom we also are investing in the work of environmental stewardship through worm composting. This group of youth is helping maintain and care for the worm bin at SAPUCC.

Middle School, Grades 6-8
As our young people’s independence begins to grow, so do their wonderings. The middle school class strengthens relationships among students as they explore the relevancy of a life of faith. We continue to engage with the Bible and its stories, learn spiritual practices, and utilize tools of the faith passed down through the centuries and those of our current culture. Creativity continues as we create art together. We also gather outside of Sunday mornings for service projects and intergenerational events.

High Schoolers

High school students are invited to come together at different times throughout the school year, sharing some of their reality of life in high school as they continue to grow in body, mind and spirit.

High school youth are also encouraged to attend the Adult Forum on Sunday mornings.

We celebrate each other's milestones and accomplishments, such as driver’s licenses, prom, recitals, theater productions, sporting events and ACT/SAT exams.

We explore the intersection of theology and faith with current events or aspects of our culture. We also dig deeper into scripture and continue a variety of spiritual practices.

Sometimes we gather for food and fun; sometimes we gather for a service project or justice-making experience; sometimes we gather for quiet, reflection, prayer and mindfulness.

No matter what shape it takes, High School faith formation is a dynamic process!

Children and Holy Communion

"Children’s participation in the sacrament of communion is based on their faith and trust, rather than extensive theological understanding. Young children can be nurtured in the trust and grace of God, and can come to the table with a sense of belonging and of receiving. Their presence helps the whole congregation to act as a community called into being by Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ includes all ages!"

~ Rev. Carolyn Landers Pettigrew,
from the Worship & Education Team of the national UCC

At St. Anthony Park UCC, we believe that the communion table is open to all people – no exceptions, limitations or qualifications. Christ is the host and Christ welcomes everyone. On the first Sunday of every month, we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion, and all children and youth are welcome to participate.

+ Children can understand 3 key theological components of communion:
1. God’s people share a meal together as God’s family
2. We say “thank you” to God
3. We remember Jesus

+ Children can observe, wonder, witness, absorb and participate in the whole liturgy of communion

+ Communion engages all of the senses: see, hear, taste, touch and smell

+ Children may not fully understand the sacrament, but their experience of it will grow and deepen as they mature

+ It is important for children to witness their parent(s) and other adults in the community receiving the bread and cup

+ Children learn to be in worship only by being in worship; it is a learned behavior

+ Children are capable of meeting high expectations

+ Adults ought not underestimate the spiritual capacity of children

+ Finally, if the parent(s) or child prefer that the child not commune, they are welcome to witness the sacrament but not partake of the bread and cup.

Nursery For Infants, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

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The Nursery is located on the lower level of the building, and is staffed by paid child care providers every Sunday. Parents are encouraged to visit the Nursery prior to the service to familiarize themselves with the room and the caregivers. We have a toddler potty seat available in the all gender, accessible restroom off the Fellowship Hall upstairs.

Parents with an infant are also welcome to keep their infant with them throughout the entire worship service. There is a changing table in the restroom upstairs, off the Fellowship Hall.

While in worship, please feel free to use the space and items in the Quiet Corner, located under the Rose Window.

We Welcome Kids In Worship

"Let the little children come to me." ~ Matthew 19:14

For parents or caregivers:

+Model being in worship: your attendance, participation and attitude speak volumes

+ Remind children that worship is a gift we offer to God

+ Allow time to make bathroom visits and get settled before worship

+ Sit toward the front. Children who can see what’s going on are more likely to be engaged

+ Greet friends and visitors and emphasize how good it is to be together as a community

+ Guide your child through the bulletin and hymnal

+ Activity bags are hanging near the table at the side entrance to the sanctuary. We understand kids might get restless. It’s fine to let them read or draw, especially during the sermon

+Talk with your child about their joys and concerns before worship, and encourage them to pray silently or aloud during the Prayers of the Church

+ Help them appreciate the sanctuary: the stained glass windows, flowers, paraments, candles, organ pipes and so on

+Encourage them to say “thank you” after the service to people who led worship that day

+Have a conversation about the service on your way home – "What did you enjoy?" "What part was hard to understand?" "How did you feel when …?"

For the congregation:

+ Remember our congregation’s commitment to children and youth and the promises we made at their baptisms

+Extend the Peace of Christ to children as well as adults; call children by name

+Please refrain from entering or exiting the sanctuary during the scripture reading, sermon or prayers

+Appreciate that parenting is hard and holy work

+Remember that you were once a child, too

This page last modified on September 9, 2023