Every Sunday

Our teaching ministry includes a "Children's Time" during the worship service as well as engaging, age-appropriate Sunday School classes each week.  Following "Children's Time", trained volunteer teachers lead classes for three age groups-Toddlers, Primary, and Middlers- using the SHINE curriculum.  This justice and peace program uses stories from the SHINE ON Children's Bible along with music, art, games, and movement to engage and educate children about many aspects of our faith tradition.

Grades 6-12

Every Sunday before Worship (9:30)

We are blessed with an energetic and caring group of young people and adult volunteers. as well as committed adult facilitators from diverse backgrounds who meet every Sunday in the Youth Room .  Each week, we use the UCC's Caffeine curriculum to lead the group in discussions, Bible study, and activities. Besides our weekly meetings, the youth group participates in semi-monthly "field trips" to places that provide deeper insight into important topics like service, advocacy and social justice, and interfaith understanding as well as fun and bonding time for the group


June 18 - 21, 2018

During summer break from school, we host a week-long Kids Camp full of learning and fun activities.  The themes emerge from our shared values as a progressive Christian congregation; the curriculum, while Biblically based, goes beyond traditional Vacation Bible School programs to encourage exploration of other faith traditions and cultures, care for our environment, and an inclusive and welcoming understanding of Christian scriptures.   This year, our theme will be "Our Beautiful Little Blue Planet", focusing on our environment and creation care


Every year in January

Youth groups from our region of the UCC convene at the Blowing Rock, NC Convention Center each year on Martin Luther King Jr weekend for 3 days of worship, learning, conversation, service, and fun in the snow!   With engaging speakers, important topics, and lively worship services, this annual gathering of UCC youth groups and their leaders is a high point for many of our young people here at COS. 


Every year in September

To start off our Fall Sunday School season each year, we gather for a cookout and party.  Parents, children, and teachers along with our pastor and minister for youth and children meet at one of our Knox County parks to play at the splash pad and playground. Then, we grill hamburgers and/or hotdogs and share a picnic together.  The children get to play and interact with each other; parents and teachers get time for a leisurely visit.


Every year in August

After a busy summer break, we like to gather our youth group, their parents, and facilitators so that we can re-connect and begin the fall season together.  Outdoor activities and games, lots of good food, and the mingling of "old" youth group members, newbies, and parents make this a fun and interesting annual event!


Every year in October

On the last weekend in October, our youth group cooks up a yummy intergenerational good time!  They arrive very early to flip pancakes, make toppings, and fry sausage and bacon.  The whole congregation is invited-from toddlers to seniors-to share breakfast and conversation before the worship service.  Besides cooking, they also take orders and serve food and drinks right to the table.  Donations are welcome and used to help get the group to Winter Youth Retreat in Blowing Rock, NC.  Besides the breakfast, there's a chance to win baked goods or a lovely potted plant with a raffle ticket. 


Every Other Year during Summer

A big part of our life together as a church revolves around learning to serve as Jesus taught us to serve. This extends to our teaching ministries as well, with lessons around service for children and youth.  We involve the youth group in local service and mission opportunities, such as the FISH Emergency Food Pantry and Volunteer Ministries, throughout the year. Every other summer, we plan a mission trip to another city or rural area to address needs like homelessness and hunger.  The group raises money for travel, meals, housing, and for supporting their service efforts in places like Atlanta GA, Washington DC, and Philadelphia PA.  Where will our next mission trip take us?  


Every year in December

Santa's Workshop is a time for children to make gifts for their families while giving parents some much-needed free time during the busy holiday season.  Our COS Youth Group, along with some helpful adult "elves", host this event on a December Saturday morning each year.  Parents drop their children off at 9:00 am for a light breakfast.  Then, each youth leads a small group of children through several craft areas where they create gifts from recycled materials.  Along the way, they have their pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus too!  By the time their families return a couple of hours later, each child will have wrapped gifts to take home and surprise mom, dad, grandparents, or teachers.  


Every year in February

Providing a bright spot in the long winter days as well as an opportunity to support our youth, the annual Valentines Dinner is an evening of good food, fine wine, and impeccable service.  We transform the sanctuary into a fine dining experience with candlelight, hearts galore, and romantic musical performances as well as a roving photographer to capture the guests in their finery.  


Every year in January

We love to support our families at COS!  One of the ways we do this is to provide a pizza dinner and a fun movie one Friday evening in January.  The youth group, minister for youth and children, and other adults provide the meal, movie, and childcare while parents take a couple of hours to share a meal and conversation.  In 2017, we had 23 children at our movie night!


Every year in December

Our children bring even more joy to the Christmas season every year with a pageant celebrating the birth of Jesus.   Each year, the flavor and focus of the pageant is a little different from the year before, ranging from a simple manger scene re-enactment set to music... to a readers' theatre that involves the congregation... to a full-blown musical production with original scripts and music. No matter the style, some things remain constant from year to year: the joy shining from the children's faces as they sing and the sacredness of the stories that the children weave before our eyes.