Children and Youth
Youth and Family Programs
First Congregational Church values kids of all ages and welcomes families of all constellations to the full life of this progressive Christian congregation in the heart of Amherst. First Church is committed to providing worship, classes, and activities designed to help kids and their caregivers grow spiritually. Our Safe Church Policy ensures that two trained and CORI-checked staff, teachers, or child care providers are always present at all First Church children’s programs. Please come see what we have to offer you and your kids.
SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMS
Sunday School (September – June)
Kids in K-6th grade attend the first part of the worship service and may then go to Sunday School with their teachers for a time of reading, questioning, and discussing Bible stories, and other activities.
Sermon Take-Away (year-round)
Kids in 7-12th grade remain in the worship service through the sermon, and then may go to with their adult facilitator to discuss it with their peers.
Nursery and Preschool (September-June)
Care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is provided in a playroom adjoining the Sunday School room. Or, families are welcome to keep young children with them in worship, and can find books, toys, and crayons in the back of the sanctuary.
Sunday Funday (July and August)
After attending the first part of worship service with their parents/guardians, kids in pre-K through 6th grade may go outside to the playground for a time of supervised play, games, crafts, and other activities.
Throughout the year, children and adults have fun together at special events, such as a Family Camp-Out, an Advent Decorating Party, an Easter Egg Hunt, and a Cape Cod Family Retreat.
More information about intergenerational events is made available through newsletter and e-mail notices in the weeks and months prior to them. Please inquire about getting on the church mailing list.
The First Church Youth Group is open to 7-12th grade kids and focuses on three kinds of activities: spiritual growth, service and fun! There are generally two youth group events each month.
Discussion Meetings: One Sunday evening each month, kids gather to focus on a specific theme, as well as share food and play games. A rotating cycle of themes includes Hot Topics, Biblical Exploration, World Religions, Mission Trip, and Credo Project.
Service Projects: Occasionally, kids work as a group serving others and learning about the needs of their community. Service projects include involvement with Not Bread Alone Soup Kitchen, Amherst Survival Center, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Habitat for Humanity, and, in some years, fundraising and a week-long service trip during the summer.
Special Events: Once a month or so, kids gather just for fun. Activities include pool parties, hikes, ski trips, skating and sledding parties, game nights, bowling, movies, concerts, retreats, camp-outs, and much more!
All youth group events are announced via e-mail and/or texts to kids and their parents/guardians. Please inquire about getting on the youth group list!
YOUTH EXPLORING SPIRITUALITY
YES offers high school and college students a chance to gain understanding of the church as an institution and insight into living a spiritual life in a way that is right for each individual. Classes are led by the Pastor and the Director of Youth and Family Ministry, and allow interested young people to explore what it would mean to become a church member.