Children visiting

Children are always welcome to visit Skylands!


We begin our services at 10:15 with everyone together in the sanctuary. Children remain with us through the children's story--less than a half hour altogether--after which they go downstairs with their teachers for religious education classes. Visiting children may go downstairs with the others or remain upstairs with their parent(s). If a child is interested in checking out the class but feels a bit shy or reluctant, a parent may accompany them downstairs to help them settle in.


Some of our services are intergenerational and designed to be of interest to all ages, and in this case children remain with their parents in the sanctuary for the entire morning.


More often, we will have a guest speaker or a guest minister or an adult-oriented discussion during the service. Although rarely inappropriate for children in their subject matter, they would generally not be of interest to children of middle school age and younger.


Crying babies? Don't worry. We're used to that. A little noise won't bother us. If you feel uncomfortable with the volume of your infant or toddler's musings, you may certainly walk out of the service and remain in the vestibule until relative quiet resumes.  Also, we usually have a nursery caregiver in place by 10:15, so very young children can be dropped off with her if that seems a better option for your family. Let the greeters know that you are interested in the nursery when you arrive, and they will connect you with someone who can lend a hand.


We encourage children to begin their moining in the sanctuary if at all possible. This portion of the service is the most kid-friendly, with music and candle-lighting and story-telling. Children are welcome to share a "Joy or Concern" if they wish to do so, along with the adults. Gathering together in community is one of the gifts a congregation offers, and most children find they can manage it with just a few weeks of practice.


We know that each child is unique, so if you have special concerns, please take a few minutes to speak with your child's teacher or our Religious Education Chair.


If you think that you and your family might return for a second visit to Skylands, we ask that you fill out a registration form which gives us important information about allergies, special needs, contact info and more. In some cases teachers may send a note to children during the week, and we wouldn't want to leave your child out. Filling out this form does not in any way commit you to anything! It just helps us to keep your child safe and included in class activities.