A space in the back corner of the Sanctuary has been designed with little ones in mind. It is an area for wiggles and coloring, reading books, and relaxing. Families and their small children are welcome in all areas of the Sanctuary during worship, but some may find their children more comfortable where they can move about.
A nursery is provided downstairs for children ages infant through kindergarten. Care is provided by childcare workers over the age of 18 and have all received background checks. Age-appropriate toys and activities are provided. Please alert childcare workers to any food or other allergies that could cause issues while in the church’s care. The nursery is available on Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. until the conclusion of worship.
Families are strongly encouraged to include their children in worship. A children’s moment is part of the worship service. The children are invited to the front of the sanctuary at the designated time in the service. Following the children’s moment, infants and toddlers are invited to the nursery. Preschool through grade six are invited to attend Children’s Church.
FPC believes that children should be present and participate in the worship service to give them a strong foundation in worship traditions. However, Children’s Church does take the place of the sermon during the service. Children are encouraged to attend the beginning of the worship service with their families until the Children’s Moment. Following the Children’s Moment, children ages preschool through sixth grades are invited downstairs to the classrooms for Children’s Church. Bible stories, activities, and crafts take place for approximately twenty minutes, at which time preschool and kindergartners may go to the nursery to play and elementary-age children return to their families in the Sanctuary for the remainder of the worship service.
Parents Night Out takes place two or three times a year on a Friday or Saturday evening. During these events, children are invited to the church for food, age-appropriate play and activities, and sometimes a movie. Their parents may have a night out knowing that their children are well cared for and having a great time! Childcare is provided by church members and childcare employees.
FPC offers summertime Children’s Retreats which are day-long events that focus on Biblical education and hands-on local mission activities. These retreats usually take place on two Saturdays during the summer and are open to the greater community. Oftentimes the mission activities take place outside the church and involve activities such as weeding at the Athens Community Gardens, yardwork at the homes of elderly church members, helping at the food pantry, etc.
Chime Choir rehearses on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. in Room 2 in the church building. All children ages eight through youth are invited to participate. The ensemble plays several times throughout the school year during the worship service.
Children in grades third and higher are invited to serve as acolytes for the worship services. This involves lighting the candles on the chancel table before the service begins and extinguishing them at the end of the service.
Every time a month has five Sundays, the last Sunday is designated a “Youth Liturgist Sunday.” On these days, the children and youth of the church are invited to participate in the worship service as liturgists. The litanies, prayers, and readings are divided among the participating children. These Sundays provide an opportunity for direct involvement in the worship by the young people. It gives them understanding of the parts and order of the service. It also gives the children a guided leadership role that involves the entire church. It is always an exciting and rewarding experience!
Youth Group is all about finding fun and enriching ways of learning about God, growing in faith, and spending time together as a young group of believers. There are a variety of activities offered throughout the academic year for youth in Middle and High School. Outdoor activities such as bonfires and canoeing, indoor events such as movie nights and service projects, and Presbytery-wide youth retreats are all part of the Youth Group experience. Join us and bring your friends!
FPC offers confirmation as a one-year class for Middle Schoolers. Most youth are confirmed at the end of their eighth-grade year. Confirmation Class prepares youth to join FPC as members with knowledge of not only our church, but also the PC(USA) structure and doctrine. The curriculum and activities are designed to help youth deepen their understanding of and relationship with Christ.