Children and Youth at First Presbyterian are cherished and nurtured by the whole congregation. The vows to guide and nurture by word and deed that are said at each baptism are taken seriously and celebrated with joy. If you have questions about any of these ministries, please contact the Director for Children and Youth or the pastors.
Sunday School is offered for all ages at 9:15 a.m from age 2 through senior high school each Sunday during the program year (Sunday after Labor Day through the Sunday before Father’s Day). There is nursery care for those younger than 2. Classes use a Bible-based curriculum and are grouped according to age so that children and youth can build friendships as well as deepen their understanding of their faith.
Children aged 3 through first grade have an opportunity to sing with “Mrs. B” each Sunday during the last 15 minutes of Sunday School. These children are invited to sing in worship as part of the Cherub Choir which generally sings the anthem during worship on the 2nd Sunday of each month.
Music and Recreation- Celtic Choir
Music & Rec is for children in grades 2-5 and meets every Wednesday during the program year from 4:30-5:45 pm. The program starts with about 30 minutes of games, followed by sharing Joys and Concerns, a snack, then Celtic Choir rehearsal until 5:45. The Celtic Choir (2nd-5th grade) generally sings the anthem in worship on the 3rd Sunday of each month but this is sometimes adjusted for holidays.
Childcare and Youth Children and Worship
Nursery care is available for infants during the Sunday School hour and during worship. Childcare is provided for 2 & 3 year olds in Room 114 during worship. At the parent’s discretion, children may be dropped off in this room before worship starts or may join their parents in the sanctuary until the Time For Children when the ushers will escort the children to the appropriate rooms.
Children age 4 through 2nd grade are invited to join their parents for the beginning of worship in the sanctuary. Following the Time For Children, the ushers will escort these children downstairs to Young Children & Worship in Room 15.
Young Children & Worship is a unique worship opportunity for youth ages 4 through 2nd grade. Following the Time for Children in the sanctuary the children are invited to participate in worship in a specially prepared space under the leadership of trained volunteer storytellers. The intention is to assist the youth in developing positive worship habits as they gather, sing praise, listen to Bible stories, reflect and respond during a “work time”. As they wonder about and talk with God our hope is that they will, indeed, grow deeper in faith and be enabled to reach farther in love.
Junior Seekers is our Junior High fellowship group. They generally meet twice each month, usually on Sundays. At these events you can find the seekers playing games, collecting food for Operation Backpack, volunteering, heading to “Destination Unknowns,” painting our hands on the Jr. Seeker walls, praying, worshiping, and discussing our faith and every day issues.
Senior Seekers is a high school fellowship and service group. They gather on Sunday mornings during the Sunday School hour for “Seekers Sunday Morning,” and then generally meet at least twice a month at other times, usually on Sunday evenings, although the group also enjoys lock-ins and retreats. Our time together includes meals, worship and prayer, service, and hanging out, with a few indoor or outdoor adventures thrown in.
Summers for Children and Youth
Each summer offers something for our children and youth.
Vacation Bible School is a week-long opportunity for Bible stories, games, crafts, and building fellowship for rising kindergarten students through rising fifth graders. We always have a bevy of volunteers, including some of our older youth, to lead the fun and learning.
Mission Mornings is a week-long summer service project for youth entering 6th-8th grades. We spend each morning of the week visiting, learning about, and serving an organization that is working to better our community, and then end the week with pizza and a pool party. This event usually takes place in August.
Work Camp is our annual high school summer mission trip. This week-long trip in July is full of service, study, games, friendship building, and tons of fun as we travel to various places on the East Coast. Youth entering 8th grade through graduated 12th graders are invited. Work in the past has consisted of building new railings for porches, ripping down staircases, scraping paint, and digging holes with jack hammers. After work and showers, there is plenty of time for games and hanging out, and there is always worship and small group discussions in the evening. Each year, we offer lunch and an amazing video to those who have invested in our trip to share what we did and learn.
Seekers Hangouts are informal gatherings of junior and senior high Seekers one day in the week throughout much of the summer. There is no agenda – just a chance to play and hangout together and keep in touch.
When children are baptized, parents make professions of faith on their behalf. There comes a time when those children are old enough to make their own decisions to confirm those promises and profess their faith. Confirmation classes are offered every other year at First Presbyterian, ordinarily for seventh and eighth graders. The confirmation program is led by the pastors, lasts from September to May (meeting usually twice a month), and includes retreats, one-hour classes on Sunday afternoon, time with an adult “shepherd” or mentor, a mission trip to see the church at work in the community, and opportunities for questions and reflections, leading up to the confirmands professing their faith in worship in May or June.