First Day Digital Booklet
The fundamental purpose of Religious Education for Friends is to nurture the reponse of the whole person to God’s spirit in all life.
Each person learns to understand and support others in their attempt to live in the world according to the spirit and teachings of Jesus and the testimonies of Friends.
From Friends General Conference:
Eternal lover of thy Children
Bring us into thy life
Make us the sharers of thy love
And transmitters of it.
Help us to become serence and patient
In the midst of our frustrations.
But at the same time make us
Brave, gentle, tender
But without fear
And with radiant faces.
The mission of the Religious Education Committee of Sandy Spring Meeting is to develop, with volunteers and teachers, a curriculum that stimulates spiritual growth among the children of the Meeting. The Committee seeks to provide them with a foundation of biblical knowledge and Quaker history and belief. It also strives to foster Quaker fellowship within the entire Meeting by sponsoring, with the help of volunteers, special events that allow the association and participation of all Friends so that we may cherish and learn from one another.
Description of classes
First Day School (FDS) Classes
First Day School classes, divided by age, meet on the second, third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of the month from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in the Community House. Children above Kindergarten are strongly encouraged to attend Meeting for Worship with their parents from 11:00 – 11:15 before going to their classes. (Otherwise there is no adult supervision since teachers themselves, Grades 1-12, attend Meeting during this time.)
At 11:15 a designated member of the Meeting stands up and guides the children from the Meeting House to the Community House for classes. Parents may also accompany their children.
Please retrieve your children promptly after announcements at 12:00 noon!
First Sunday of the Month
Instead of the 11:00 a.m. Meeting for Worship, there is a Monthly Meeting for Business at the Meeting House, beginning at 10:30 a.m. to about 12:00 noon. During that time, children can participate in a program based on the Queries that includes music, stories, projects and worship. A family potluck lunch is held at the rise of Business Meeting.
Child care for children age two and under is provided from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 every Sunday with an additional hour (beginning at 9:30) on First Sundays.
Business Meeting (First Sunday)
9 am: Meeting for Worship
10:30 am: Children’s Program in the Community House (includes singing, worship, arts & crafts and games
Potluck Lunch in the Community House at the Rise of Business Meeting
9 am: Meeting for Worship
11 am: Meeting for Worship
11:15 am: First Day School Classes
12 pm: Coffee, Tea, Juice & Cookies
A list of teachers is available at Sandy Spring for parents.
Parents of children ages 1 – 7 are needed to assist or lead a class one or two Sundays during the year. Please see your child’s teacher to let her/him know when you can volunteer.
Every effort has been made to provide accurate information in this booklet, however amendments may need to be made. Please pardon any misinformation or misspellings that may appear. If there are changes, they will be announced after Meeting for Worship and in the First Day School classes.
Parents are Important
A child’s religious awareness begins at home. You can contribute to your child’s religious education at the Meeting by:
- Taking the First Day School program seriously, helping your children to attend classes as regularly as possible.
- Take your children to Meeting for Worship Often. See that they arrive in time to attend from 11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. before class begins.
- Prepare your children for Meeting for Worship by talking with them on the way to Meeting about worship. Help them to calm themselves down outward and inwardly.
- Consider your family rituals, traditions and celebrations. Consider the role your children how play in them and how to involve them more.
- Consider reading the Bible, Quaker Testimonies, and other spiritual books with your children. There are many age-appropriate selections within our children’s and adult’s libraries.
- Find time to slow down and be quiet together, whether in formal prayer or silent prayer or perhaps a period of grace before meals.
- Discuss the following queries with your children and perhaps make up some of your own.
- Do you think of God often during the day and try to understand what the Spirit says to you?
- Do you try to act, as Christ showed, so that there is no use for quarreling with other children? Do you forgive those who injure you by word and act? Are you careful to speak well of others? When your friends quarrel, do you try to help them feel friendly again?
- Do you try to be honest and truthful in what you say and do? Do you stand firm against acts that are sneaky and underhanded? Do you realize that we get the greatest enjoyment from the things for which we work, and that trying to get something for nothing seldom brings lasting happiness?
- Are you encouraging fair and honest games? Are you reading worthwhile books and getting acquainted with good music? When you go to entertainments, do you try to choose the good and avoid the bad?
- Knowing that God gave you your body and your spirit to dwell in, do you make the effort to keep your body strong and healthy by using moderation in all that you do and by avoiding those things which you know are harmful?
- Do you try to realize what it would be like to live as others do who are less comfortably cared for than you are, and do you try to make their lives happier?
- Do you go to your place of worship as regularly as you can, and do you make an effort to prepare your mind for helpful thoughts during worship? While there, do you try to find out what God wants you to be and do?
- Do you try to feel and show friendliness towards people of other races and nations, who like ourselves are children of God?
- Do you work hard to be cheerful, unselfish, and cooperative in your home, your school, and your playground, so that every day you can put into practice some of the lessons Christ taught?