Children's Education/Faith Formation

First Presbyterian is committed to providing a strong church school program in which children can learn the fundamentals of Reformed faith and begin a lifelong spiritual journey based on biblical literacy.

Looking for info for 6th - 12th graders? Visit our Youth: Middle School and High School page for more information on opportunities for Youth.

Children Ministries BrochureChildren's Faith Formation 2021 - 2022

Sunday Funday! Joy and Laughter fill Monteith Hall and the first floor children’s wing!

 The first half of the school year has brought laughter, joy and connection to the First Pres Sunday morning routine. Our wonderful, dedicated teachers have been guiding our children in fun, unique ways this year: writing on stone tablets, sculpting their story, even creating a cloud of witnesses. We’re grateful to our amazing teaching teams who rotate through the Sundays and bring a creative energy to the Bible stories. Please join me in a heartfelt thank you to our amazing teaching teams: Dan Musser & Marlee Brown, Brian Meade, Kevin Pipe, Lisa Arnsdorf, Elisabeth VanVliet, Cassee Stem, Daniel Torres-Davenport, Sarah Glinka Endicott, and substitutes Rebecca Gaffney and Brian Schneidewind. We are blessed to have these amazing volunteers to spend time with our children. 

In addition to Faith Formation class at 11am, our children have had great experiences in Worship and Worship LAB. This fall they have created and offered a Call to Worship and practiced call and response liturgy, baked Communion bread for the entire congregation, enthusiastically participated in a baptism answering questions in service and using “Celebration Sticks”, learning to pray together, and talked about the role of music in worship, and what our different attitudes are during worship.

First Sundays: All church community building events

Each month, the Faith Formation team partners with different groups in the church to provide an Social Hour event that fosters relationships within our congregation and with the local community. In the new year, we have many more exciting events for all people of the church to join together in celebrations and in various ways to lift up our local community. Here’s a couple of events to look forward to; be sure to mark your calendar to join us!

So far this year's past events have included:

  • September: Labor Day “Ice Cream Social”
  • October: World Communion Sunday “Bread for All” - tasting delicious bread from local ethnic bakeries
  • November: All Saints Day “Remembering the Saints” - honoring our loved ones with a candle and name on the Wall of Saints
  • December: Caring for those in need- handmade cards with drawings and messages of welcome to our January Rotating Shelter, AND 10,000+ meals packed with “Rise Against Hunger” 
  • March, 2022: Lunch packing with Local Missions
  • April:  Stations of the Cross Activities
  • May:  We hosted a service opportunity for everyone to help make no-sew blankets in the social hall that will go to palliative care patients at the UM Cardiovascular Center.

Click Here to see the fun we had at this year's Advent Happening!

Children & Family Ministry Home Gatherings!
Many families have expressed a desire for a way to connect with other families- getting to know other parents and children. Whether you’re new to the church (joining during the pandemic), staying home to minimize exposure to Covid, or have been attending throughout, the Children & Family Ministry feels that desire, too!

This summer, 3 different families will host gatherings at their homes where children can play freely with each other and parents can relax and enjoy conversation. Here is the postcard that is being mailed to all of our families:

Worshiping Together Milestone:  First Graders in Worship

Sunday September 12 we welcomed our first graders & second graders into worship!  Each year, our first graders are given a Milestone to mark this new part of their Christian faith journey, a red tote bag with a personal notebook to bring to church each week, and a "church passport" with eight different activities to do during the year as they explore "Worshiping Together." This year is special, as we welcome both our First Graders this year and last year.  Welcome First and Second Graders!  We are so glad you are a part of our church family!  

Click here to find out more about the Milestone Ministries here at First Pres!  

 

Note: All children are always welcome whether an information form is filled out ahead of time or not.

Sunday Schedule

9:30 a.m. Worship in the Sanctuary 

  • Worship LAB for Children in Monteith Hall beginning after the Conversation with Young Disiciples.

Worship LAB: A Hands-On Experience for our Youngest Disciples
Specially created for our congregation, this hands-on experience is a place where children can ask questions and dig deeper into the various parts of Presbyterian Worship.  Each child will learn what they have to offer to worship as they discover and understand their place in the Body of Christ on Sunday mornings.    "It's like someone hits the pause button on worship so they can ask all the questions and touch all the things, then press play again!"  "This LAB is Living And Breathing!"  
Participants leave for worship lab following the young disciples conversation, when they would have normally left for Sunday school classes. They will return after the sermon, during the hymn or during the doxology (this will vary each week based on activity, but the goal is during the 2nd hymn, or directly following the sermon).

10:45 a.m. Children's Choir Rehearses (on break for the summer)

11:00 a.m. Faith Formation Hour

  • Infant - Pre-K meets in the Nursery (103), and rooms 101 and 104
  • K - 5th Grade meets in Monteith Hall and room 102
  • 6th Grade through 12th Grade meets in the Youth Room and Lower Level Classrooms

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.    -Hebrews 1:1-2a

Welcoming Children in Worship

"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." - Mark 9:37

Because Jesus welcomed children and encouraged us to welcome them in his name, we take seriously our baptismal promise to nurture all children committed to our care. We believe that the body of Christ in worship is incomplete without them. Their presence is essential for both the full congregation and for the children themselves, because worship is one of the basic ways in which people of any age learn what it means to be Christian. There are many ways in which children grow in Christ through worship:

  • They learn that they belong to Christ and are welcome in his church, where we are all children of God.
  • They become familiar with the Lord's Prayer and other spoken and sung responses.
  • They build a store of the accumulated shared experiences of Christian community from which they may draw when they are older.
  • They are enriched by the beauty of music and art as expressions of praise and as human responses to God.
  • They hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted, and begin to see Christian worship as one place where God may speak to them.
  • They discover that they are valued as persons by God and by the people of God. 

Family Celebrations

We also offer families regular opportunities to celebrate children and strengthen ties within our faith community. Many of these occasions are annual traditions, such as:

  • All-church picnic and family potlucks
  • Craft-making festivals during the Advent and Lenten seasons
  • Family fun activities
  • A Christmas pageant
  • Vacation Bible School

Looking for info for 6th - 12th graders? Visit our Youth: Middle School and High School page for more information on opportunities for Youth.

Contact

For more information on our Children's Education program, contact Rebeca Torres-Davenport at btorres-davenport@firstpresbyterian.org.