The Community Church of Chapel Hill is a covenantal community. That is to say, we are a democratically governed institution which is committed to following a covenant or set of promises which ensure right relations between people. Our covenant is based on Unitarian Universalist principles and values. We expect parents and children who participate in the congregation to follow the covenant and affirm the church's mission.
Read the Church Covenant here.
Inspired by the wisdom of diverse religious traditions and our own history of ethical engagement, we strive to nurture spiritual growth, support and care for each other, and effect change through our love for the world.
1. Parental Supervision:
- Not a Drop-Off Program for Age 0-8th Grade: We expect that parents will attend church on Sunday mornings when their children are participating in the Children and Youth Ministry Program unless they are helping in the Children and Youth Ministry Program. We expect that there will be an adult on the church campus who is responsible for the child in case of emergency. This is not a drop-off program where adults may drop a child off and then leave the church campus. On the rare occasion when the parent leaves the campus, it is important that the parent inform the Director of Lifespan Religious Education or the Religious Education Assistant and provide an emergency contact.
- Exceptions to Parent Supervision Expectation: Children who regularly attend with their grandparents may attend without parents. Children who are visiting as guests may attend provided that there is an adult who takes responsibility for the child or youth and signs them in and out of the program. Children may come with another family as long as a responsible adult is on campus.
- Middle School Youth: 6th-8th graders may attend Sunday afternoon Middle School Youth Group (4:30-6:00pm) without parents present on campus. The youth who attend are expected to participate in the program.
- High School Youth: 9th-12th graders may attend church and youth group without parents present on campus. However youth are expected to either be in church or participating as staff or volunteers in the Children and Youth Ministry Program on Sunday mornings. High School Youth may not "hang out" unsupervised during church services.
- Supervision During Non-Program Time: Parents or guardians are responsible for the safety and supervision of their children during non-program times including during coffee hour and before service. The Children and Youth Ministry Program is open 15 minutes before the Sunday Service begins. Parents or guardians sign children in and out of the program.
- Pick Up: Parents are expected to pick children up promptly after the church service before going to coffee hour.
- Age 0-8th Grade: At the beginning of the year the children, youth and the leaders of the Children and Youth Ministry Program create a behavioral covenant that emphasizes safety, kindness and respect for all people and for the facilities. The covenant is posted and leaders remind children and youth about the covenant when the covenant is broken. If children are not willing to follow the covenant in a reasonable and timely fashion, we simply take the child or youth to join the parents in the service. It is important that safety, kindness and respect are observed and if they are not, it is not appropriate for a child or youth to participate in the program further that day. There are not penalties or punishments in the program. The only consequence for behavior that falls outside the covenant is that the child is returned to the parent's supervision. If a child or youth has a difficult day in some way that is noticeable but does not break the covenant, we share that information with the parent.
- 6th-12th Grade: For youth (6th-12th grade), weapons, smoking, use of drugs and alcohol, and sexual behavior are not permitted at youth events. If youth violate this part of the behavioral covenant the consequence is that they will not be able to attend subsequent youth events for some time after, depending on the severity of the violation. This is a very rare occurrence because it is widely understood among parents and youth that we do not tolerate these activities at church-sponsored youth events. For youth events, youth are expected to come on-time and leave on-time unless the youth has parental permission to leave early. Youth are not to ride in cars driven by other youth without specific parental permission.
3. Being On Time:
We expect parents to bring children and youth to Children and Youth Ministry Programs on time as much as possible. We understand that sometimes lateness in unavoidable but arriving late is disruptive to the program and often makes a difficult transition for the late child or youth.
We expect and welcome feedback about the Children and Youth Ministry Program. Parent concerns, questions and suggestions are always welcome. The only way the program improves is with healthy constructive feedback. We have a variety of ways for you to provide feedback.
- Contact Staff in person, by phone, or by email.
- Contact members of the Children and Youth Ministry Teams in person, by phone, or by email.
- Participate in the regular event and program surveys.
5. Supporting the Church
We expect parents whose children are regular participants in the Children's and Youth Ministry Program to support the church by making an annual financial pledge and to contribute their time and talent to the church.
For more information contact:
Marion Hirsch, Director of Religious Education
hirsch.communitychurch @ gmail.com