First Church is a place where children can discover God’s presence in their lives at home, at church and in the world. The church also offers support to parents who are looking for help in raising faith-filled, compassionate children. The Church School offers an inclusive, inspiring and experiential church school program. Our goal is to provide each child with a solid faith foundation through engagement with Bible stories and themes in a loving, safe and nurturing environment.
The Faith Five
The Reverend Rich Melheim has developed a simple five step process to strengthen your family’s faith and connection to God. See Faith Inkubators website for more about the origins, philosophy and potential impact of the Faith Five.
Excepted from the Inkubators website:
Care to have some fun and keep your family talking to each other every night? Here’s a simple five step process you can use once a day to help you and your family members grow in faith and connection with God. Gather everyone together at a meal time or bedtime. Turn off the TV, cell phones (and other mobile devices with screens).
- Share highs and lows of the day.
- Read and highlight a Bible verse.
- Talk about how the verse relates to your highs and lows.
- Pray for your highs and lows, for your family and for the world.
- Bless one another.
Try it once a day for a week or try it once a week for a month. You will be surprised to discover what you will learn about yourself, your children, and your understanding of God.
You want a great relationship with your kids? You want openness, honesty, caring and sharing in your family? You want to raise a child to be a strong thoughtful, empathetic, positive, healthy adult out in the world some day? You can’t buy that. You have to invest in it. And that takes the most expensive and precious currency you own—your time. No one else can do it but you!
Christian Formation ~ Groups, Classes, Workshops
Classes and workshops are offered for children beginning in preschool through 8th grade at the 10:15 service. Children in the 2’s & 3’s classes and PreK/K class go directly to their classrooms between 10 and 10:15 am. Children grades 1-5 attend worship with their families and will go with their teachers to their classrooms following the Children’s Message.
Confirmation is for children in Grade 6. These young people will be invited to Confirm their Baptism. When we confirm our faith, we affirm the promises made by our parents at infant Baptism. We are taking responsibility to live in faith and to have a trusting relationship with God. Contact Reverend David Spollett or Reverend Jennifer Campbell to learn more. And scroll down the page to find the schedule of meeting times and places.
Care for Infants & Toddlers
Child care is available every Sunday during our 10:15 service. Newborns, toddlers are cared for by a professional caregiver and volunteers in our nursery. There are pagers available for parents of children in childcare. This silent paging system offers parents peace of mind, knowing they can be reached in worship if their child needs them.
Church School for Ages 2 through 8th Grade
Classes are offered for ages 2 & 3 and PreK/Kindergarten using the Spark House Activate Faith curriculum. The children will get to know each other as they gather together to respond to the Bible stories through art, movement, drama and music under the care of parent teachers, assisted by high school students.
Grades 1-5 will follow the “Disciple Road.” Disciple Road is a workshop rotation model Sunday School. A session lasts for four or five weeks during which each grade, led by an adult “shepherd,” goes to a different, engaging, creative Biblical based workshop every Sunday.
One week your child may be at Storytelling. The next week he or she may be creating in the Art workshop, singing and dancing in the Music Workshop or playing games that reinforce the story or theme. Each workshop leader adapts the activities for the age of the children coming that week.
The weekly schedule for Disciple Road is printed in the worship bulletin and posted around the building so parents know where their children are that day. Come walk the road with us!
Grades 6-8 will join “The Middle Road” is an extension of the Disciple Road elementary program. The Middle Road will meet at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings.
Each Sunday will have a different focus, to enable your child to grow in their personal faith life as well as to each other, the congregation at large, and the world beyond the First Church doors.
Young people will be Confirmed in 8th Grade. 6th Graders who have finished Disciple Road will have the opportunity to explore their faith in a new way. They will be learning alongside the rising 7th and 8th Graders who have already been confirmed, deepening their connection with each other and the church.
One Sunday each month we will have a community service project such as cooking meals for Operation Hope and baking pies for the UCC Thanksgiving feast in Bridgeport. We are always open to any suggestions for organizations the kids may want to support.
One Sunday each month your child will become better acquainted with members of our own congregation through the Joining the Generations Project. Our youth will hear the life stories of faith from some of our adult members and have the opportunity to get to know an adult partner for an even deeper experience.
Another 1-2 Sundays we will focus on faith formation, using a curriculum geared towards this age group to continue exploring what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the preteen/teenage years.
Every 4 – 6 weeks we will also be explore and learn about other faiths, including visits to different houses of worship in the nearby area. A wonderful opportunity to broaden our understanding of other religions and the ways we are all connected.
(Grades 7-12) will gather on Sundays in Rhodes Hall from 6:00-7:30 pm. Contact the Reverend Vern Swett with questions.
For more information about the Children and Youth programs, contact Minister of Faith Formation, Vern Swett or call him at 203 259-8396 x 103.