Agape Summer Program Provided Youth with Mindfulness Tools

Agape Summer Program Provided Youth with Mindfulness Tools

Agape Spiritual Community in Waltham was founded as a community of “contemplatives in action.”  Agape was one of the sponsoring churches of the “Becoming a Church of Contemplatives in Action” Resolution that passed overwhelmingly at the United Church of Christ (UCC) 2021 General Synod.   

Mindfulness is a popular term nowadays.  Among its many benefits, children, youth, and adults learn to be present in the moment, how to pay attention, and how to manage emotions.  Yet mindfulness is not a quick, simple fix.  Being mindful takes practice and patience.  Numerous studies have documented the positive fruits of mindfulness for all ages.

Since its founding in 2014, Agape has prioritized the contemplative dimension of faith through mindfulness and meditation. Agape has sought to be of service in Waltham and beyond through offering mindfulness and meditation workshops and trainings in a variety of settings.

With the support of a Faith in our Future grant from the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ, Agape launched its first week-long mindful summer program in July 2022 for children.  The intention of this program was to provide much needed mindfulness education to children and youth in need of tools to ground them in the beauty of the present moment amidst the chaos of daily stressors resulting from the pandemic, daily racism, and economic challenges in the Waltham area.

This first Mindful Summer Program for kids was held the week of July 11th, 2022, at the Intercultural Center at Brandeis University Monday to Friday from 9am to 2pm. This summer program was open to children ages 6-11 of all or no spiritual/religious backgrounds. Children brought their own lunch, and were provided a healthy snack. Full and partial scholarships for families with financial need were available thanks to the Faith in our Future grant.  

A sample day for children included an opportunity to engage age-appropriately in varied forms of mindfulness, including discovering nature, making music, art, crafting, theater, and creative forms of mindfulness.  Staff and guest presenters shared mindful practices such as movement yoga, mindful walking, mindfulness of feelings and emotions, and storytelling.  Snacks and lunch each day included an opportunity to eat mindfully.  Children were taught mindfulness tools for how to hold peace in challenging or frightening situations.  And of course, there were ample opportunities throughout the day for mindful games, fun, and play!

Reach out to Rachel ( or Tara ( with any questions or if you are interested in applying for summer 2023!  Thanks to additional support from the Faith in our Future grant, Agape will continue to run this mindful program for the next two summers to interested children and families!


Matt Carriker

Rev. Matt Carriker is the Pastor at Agape Spiritual Community. As an ordained Christian minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), Matt is also an author, spiritual coach, and retreat leader.  Matt is passionate about altering Christianity today ...

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