Church School (Sunday School)
All guests and visitors with children are welcome any time! All parents should fill out a ‘Child Information’ form before leaving their child with us. The Child Information form for children in the Nursery through 3 years old, and for those PK through 12th grade can be found in these links. Once the form has been completed, please hand it in to Becky Stambaugh, or your child’s teacher upon arrival. If you have registered in the past, there is no need to re-register. Please contact Becky with any changing contact or child information at the beginning of each school year.
CHURCH SCHOOL (Sunday School) PHILOSOPHY
The purpose of our program is to teach children about our faith, while providing an accepting and nurturing atmosphere to help them develop a deeper connection with God and others as they learn about God’s love. The stories of our faith are taught in dynamic ways addressing the different emotional, physical, and spiritual stages in their lives. We strive to be a place of affirmation for all forms of family, recognizing that it is God who calls a family together, and we welcome and affirm children of all abilities, working to find ways so all children can thrive. From PK to 8th grade, our children follow the same stories and themes throughout the year, creating a consistent and comprehensive curriculum.
It is our hope that the children who call First Church their home will grow in faith, wonder, and trust in the God who loves them, as they learn stories and practices of the Christian faith. Ultimately, we hope they understand that this place is where they are beloved members of this faith community!
GENERAL CHURCH SCHOOL (Sunday School) INFORMATION
Each week, our children begin in the Sanctuary, and after dismissing from there, PK/K children go to their classroom, while our 1st-8th graders worship with their peers for a short while in our ‘Chapel Time’. There they have a time of offering, and learn a new bible story every four to five weeks utilizing PowerPoint images and maps. Once they break out into their age appropriate classrooms, our children have a time of prayer and discussion, then participate in their rotation for that Sunday.
We offer Sunday School using the Rotational Model of teaching, where our children experience the same bible story over 4 weeks, each week taught through various disciplines, such as art, cooking, games, and science, with new disciplines of service and spiritual practices being added this year. This is offered to children ages 4 through the 8th grade. All of our classes are taught by an outstanding volunteer team made up of teens, parents, and other adult members, all Safe Conduct trained for the classroom.
SPECIFIC AGE GROUPS
CHILDCARE THROUGH AGE 3:
We offer childcare for infants through 3 years of age each Sunday in our Nursery room. This childcare is available all year long in our Nursery (located on the bottom floor of the Education building) from 9:30 a.m. until the end of worship at 11 a.m. These children are overseen by our three hired childcare workers (Heather Robinson, Tara Marchese, and Danielle Pagano), who provide guided play time, snacks, and a short bible story time. These children can be picked up from this location after worship.
PK/K begin in worship with their families, and dismiss from the Sanctuary to their classroom, located across from the Nursery on the bottom floor of the Education building. This class is taught by our Safe Conduct trained volunteer teachers, Diane and Bill Weidmann, who take the children through a structure time of singing, storytelling, snacks and crafts, following the rotation story for the month. The PK/K children can be picked up from this location after worship.
After dismissing from the Sanctuary, then ‘Chapel Time’, our first through eighth graders head off to their age specific classrooms where they are taught by Safe Conduct trained volunteers. We’re so thankful for all of these teachers who are made up of teens to grandparents! Children through the 6th grade should be picked up from these locations by their parents after worship in the Education Building.
Our 7th-8th graders follow the bible theme from the monthly unit all children are following, however these youth do not follow the rotations. After ‘Chapel Time’, they are taught by Kate Ott, Ellen Edens, and Carl Adam, who lead our youth in a discussion oriented setting, experiencing connection to God and each other through art, service, and spiritual practices.
Our youth is very active on Sunday mornings, serving in various capacities throughout morning worship time. In addition to Sunday mornings, Judi Wallace (our Pilgrim Fellowship Director) offers a time for teens to delve into discussing their spiritual journey with our Faith Seekers group, which meets 8-9pm every third Tuesday of the month in Room 6 of the Education Building. Please see our Pilgrim Fellowship page for information on activities for our 9th-12th graders on Sunday evenings and throughout the school year. Please see our Confirmation page for information about our two year Confirmation Program for 9th and 10th graders.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
COMMUNION FOR CHILDREN:
On the 1st Sunday of each month, our children will receive communion in ‘Chapel Time’, served to them by a deacon and confirmation student. Occasionally, children will come back into the service to partake with the larger church family.
SUMMER MINISTRY FOR CHILDREN:
In addition to our regular program from September through June, we offer summer Church School this summer from June 25th to September 3rd for children through the fourth grade (Children 5th grade and older are welcome to assist with Sunday School). **See above for more details. Vacation Bible School is also offered June 26th-29th. Please see our Family Events page for specifics.
Throughout the year, we enjoy times of family fun, celebrating the seasons of our church with planned events. Each of these will be advertised in advance, and event dates can be found in multiple locations: our website, The Landmark, the We Are First Church booklet, our church bulletin, and our weekly Children, Teen, and Family E-Newsletter. Please see our Family Events page for information about all events that are family friendly.
You are encouraged to subscribe to our Children, Teen, and Family E-Newsletter, which is sent each Thursday. Here, you will find weekly information regarding Sundays, as well as upcoming events. To subscribe, please click on the subscription link.
Please see our Cherub and Junior Choir page for information about our kids’ choirs.
The children’s programs are overseen by our Director of Children and Family Ministries, Becky Stambaugh, who has been serving at First Church since January 2015. Becky comes to us after serving over six years as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Hollywood United Methodist Church in Hollywood, CA. Both she and her husband (also in the ministry) were raised in New Jersey where they met doing church work together. In addition to serving the children in Hollywood, Becky’s ministry experience also includes time as a high school youth group leader at her home church in NJ, as well as being a summer teen camp counselor at Camp Berea in New Hampshire. Before working in the ministry, she taught middle and high school English and Drama for 9 years in the NJ public school system, where she also produced and directed high school and community theatre for over 15 years. Becky holds a Bachelors degree in English Education, and a Masters Degree in Christian Counseling.
Please contact Becky with any questions about our programs: firstname.lastname@example.org. Christian Education Phone: 203-453-3324.