First UMC provides every child the opportunity to experience, to learn, and to live God’s word in their own lives. We love our children here at First Church. God has entrusted us with their nurturing and care while they are inside our buildings. We want to protect them as well and we do this with volunteers who have been screened through background checks and child abuse clearances; and who are trained in the Safe Sanctuary Policy of First Church. Each volunteer has signed a Covenant of Participation which states they understand and will abide by the Safe Sanctuary guidelines set forth by First Church. It is the aim of First Church to provide a safe environment in which your child can learn and Grow in Faith as part of God’s Family.
- Children Under 18 months: Children under 18 months are invited to receive quality care in the Nursery which is equipped with all necessary gear. Your child will begin to hear simple God truths, such as God Loves You, through age appropriate games, music, and play. A check-in system and qualified Nursery volunteers ensure your child is well cared for so you may participate in adult classes and worship knowing your child is safe, comfortable, and happy. Care is provided at our Frederick Street Campus during the 9:15 Sunday Ministry hour and the 10:30 worship hour. Care is provided at our Middle Street Campus during the 9:45 Sunday Ministry hour and the 10:45 worship hour.
- 18 months & Twos Class: Interactive curriculum helps to teach your child about the love of Jesus through Bible-story telling, hands-on activities, and music. Your child will begin to recognize the Bible as a special book and will become familiar with simple Bible stories. Easy simple prayers are also an important part of their learning.
- Threes and Fours: Lessons continue to build upon the basic stories through hands-on curriculum and activities as your child learns to care and love others. Your child will learn the Bible is a special book and will begin to learn how to use it. Prayer is also an important part of their day. Your child will learn how to pray, why to pray, and when to pray.
- Kindergarten and 1st Grade: Learning for this age group includes teaching each child to pray their own personal prayers and encouraging them to include prayer in their daily lives. In addition, digging into the Bible, learning stories, Bible verses, mission projects, and ways to praise and worship God are core parts of the lessons. Bible lessons are reinforced with handouts, crafts, and visual aids. The goal is for students to obtain basic knowledge of the Bible and its message of love for all people.
- 2nd and 3rd Grade: 2nd and 3rd graders are invited to explore the Bible and relate it to their daily lives. Students receive their very own Bible. Bible lessons are enhanced with handouts, crafts, music, and visual aids. Students will learn how to apply the Ten Commandments to their own lives and grow in understanding God’s grace through His instructions for living. Goals include encouraging each child to include prayer in their daily lives, applying Bible verses to their life, learning to listen for God’s answer to prayer, and learning how to help and encourage others through our words, actions, and deeds.
- 4th and 5th Grade: Students share in reading the lesson and the Bible, and they participate in discussion about the topic for the day. Teachers encourage the students to talk about things in their daily lives and how it relates to their relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer time provides each student an opportunity to spend quiet and alone time with God, speaking to God, and hearing His response. Goals for the class include communicating what it means to be a Christian, deeper knowledge of the Bible, and exploring the role of the Spirit of Christ in a person’s life.
- Playtime with God: During worship, children ages 2 through 4 are invited to play together. Centered play provides your child with opportunities to learn Bible stories and how to share and care for others.
- Children’s Church: Children ages 5 through 2nd grade are invited to begin their worship time with their parents. At some point during worship the children are dismissed to continue their worship experience In Children’s Church. Your child will be led in song, dance, a story, playtime, and perhaps even a craft. A parent must come for their child after the worship service.
- Kids 4 Christ Youth Groups meet the first and third Sunday of each month September through May. Groups are open to ages K – 5th grades.
- First Sunday begins at 5:00 PM with a Family Pot-Luck dinner. After dinner the kids move to age appropriate groups where they participate in Bible study, missions, and fun! The evening ends at 7:00 PM.
- Third Sunday begins at 6:00 PM. Kids participate in age appropriate relationship building games and other activities. The evening ends at 7:00 PM.