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Without Taking it Literally
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Sunday Mornings

On this page:

 • Worship
 • Christian Education, Faith Formation
 • Adult Faith 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.

During the Summer, we worship at 9:15 AM, Memorial Day through Labor Day

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.

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 Faith Forum

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

Adult Ed.jpg

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, Winter/Spring 2018

January 7, 2018
Culture Shift: Men, Women and Sexual Misconduct
Victoria Wilgocki

January 14
Women Speak, Men Listen
Marilyn Benson

January 21
Men Speak, Women Listen
Ted Bowman

January 28
Our Shared Humanity: Bring an Object
Marilyn Benson & Ted Bowman

February 4
Meditation and Mindfulness: Centering Prayer
Adam Gordon

February 11
Meditation and Mindfulness: Visualizing our Peace
Frank Bennett Frank Bennett, Founder of the Living Well/ Dying Well Initiative, and senior teaching fellow, Earl E. Bakken Center For Spirituality & Healing, U of M School of Nursing

February 18
Taming American Tribalism: The Wilson Years and Today
Trygve Throntveit, Dean's Fellow for Civic Studies at the U of M College of Education and Human Development

February 25
Restorative Justice: What It Is and Why It Matters
Michele Braley, Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership

March 4
Restorative Justice: Applying It To Our Own Lives
Michele Braley, Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership

March 11
Humility: We Need Nature More Than Nature Needs Us
David Misemer

March 18
Troublesome Biblical Images & Texts: A Wrathful God, Destruction of Enemies and More – Part 1
Ken Gowdy

March 25
Troublesome Biblical Images & Texts: A Wrathful God, Destruction of Enemies and More – Part 2
Ken Gowdy

April 1
Easter Sunday – Forum does not meet

April 8
Socially Responsible Investing
Steve Magistad

April 15
Really Seeing: Visual Art & Iconography in Our Church Building
Heather Vietz & Peter Stucki

April 22
Public Health & Climate Change
Rachel Kerr

April 29
Self-Build Net-Zero: Two Minnesota Case Studies
Lucas Alm, licensed architect

May 6
What I Did and Learned On My Sabbatical
Victoria Wilgocki

May 13

May 20
Intergenerational Pentecost Party!
Kat Reynolds

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 for ages 3 through 8th grade and teachers
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 discover meaning in the stories through open-ended questions and then to respond to the stories through art, conversation and retelling the stories using the materials.

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 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.

Middle School, Grades 6-8
As our young people’s independence begins to grow, so do their wonderings and insecurities! At this age level we work to understand 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. We also gather outside of Sunday mornings for service projects, Conference Youth Events, and the ever-favorite lock-ins.

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 their faith.

We celebrate rites of passage, such as driver’s licenses, prom, recitals, theater productions, sporting events and ACT/SAT exams, and we wonder at the complexities of relationships during these years.

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

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.

Parents with an infant are also welcome to keep their infant with them throughout the entire worship service; or for parents who need to leave the service to calm or soothe an infant, they are welcome to go to the Parlor where the service is "piped in."

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

This page last modified on December 19, 2017
Unless otherwise noted, all contents of this page Copyright © 2018 St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ. All rights reserved. Used By Permission.
St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ • 2129 Commonwealth Avenue • St. Paul, MN 55108 • (651) 646-7173 • Rev. Victoria Wilgocki, Pastor