Religious development and spiritual growth are important, no matter your age. Classes are offered for children, youth, and adults. Our subject matter is biblically based and provides students with a powerful sense of God’s faithfulness, grace, and love as they arise for us in daily life.
Biblically based, yes, but that does not at all mean we will deny the perspectives of science or social justice. For a century and a half, First Church has been a major voice locally for a progressive understanding of the Word of God, the Bible, as an instrument for faith-building composed by human beings but reflecting the Holy Spirit. Expect a fresh reading and socially responsible consideration of the Word of God when you study with us!
Sunday School, Adult Education, Worship Reflection, FAITH: Continuing the Search, Person-To-Person: Transformative Talk, Lenten Study Series, Confirmation, special holiday and benevolence events, and more, fall under the rubric of the Christian Education Ministry.
Read more our educational opportunities below.
Programming and Education at First Congregation Church
A Christ-Centered, Peace-Oriented Curriculum
Our Sunday School curriculum is Shine: Living in God’s Light – a dynamic Sunday school curriculum that engages Christian communities and families in their life together by calling children to experience the transforming power of God’s love.
- nurturing trust in God and invite children to follow Jesus
- encouraging imaginative, interactive biblical storytelling
- exploring the meaning of the Bible within the gathered community
- cultivating the inner life of the Spirit through spiritual practices
- expressing faith through lives of compassionate peacemaking and service
On Sunday mornings, young people in Preschool through Senior High begin at worship, sharing in prayer and song with their families and enjoying a time “Not for Children Only,” before proceeding to Sunday School.
Our curriculum, Shine: Living God’s Light. Sunday School programming is led by Director of Christian Education Tracey Harris and the Christian Education Ministry.
Most Sunday mornings, young people in Preschool through Senior High begin at worship with their families. They are released to concurrent classes after a time “Not for Children Only.”
Sunday School is voluntary. If a child prefers to remain with parents, or the parents prefer to have the child remain with them, that is acceptable.
When there is a fifth Sunday in a month, and during some holidays, students who otherwise would be going to Sunday School remain in worship with their families.
Enrollment and participation in Sunday School are at no charge, although registration is required. Please contact Director of Christian Education Tracey Harris for an enrollment packet or more information.
Alternatively during worship, children up to Preschool age may want to be in our Toddler Room – the first Dutch door in the north-south hallway – where a practiced, paid attendant is present, and plenty of activities are provided. Toddler Care is available from 9:00 until 11:15 am, each Sunday.
Similarly throughout the morning, a Nursery is available for parents and infants, immediately outside the Narthex (front hallway).
Both the Toddler Room and Nursery are equipped with speakers transmitting the morning worship service.
Youth programming at First Congregational Church is designed with faith, friendship and fun in mind.
Middle and High School
Middle and High School students meet together with their adult sponsors and teachers during the Sunday School period. These Sunday morning gatherings involve lively discussion and reflection about living as Christians in a sometimes challenging world.
Activities include occasional field trips and mission efforts, World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine, and some gatherings that are just for fun.
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For more information, please contact Director of Christian Education Tracey Harris.
Confirmation classes meet three times per month, September through June, every other program year, to discuss in depth what it means to be Christian and to help young people form their decision about joining the Church. Field trips to local houses of worship of other faith traditions and weekend retreats deepen and enrich this time of spiritual journey and reflection.
Most of our Confirmation students are in 7th and 8th Grade, but classes are open to students through 12th Grade. Our next Confirmation class will be forming in September 2017.
For more information regarding Faith Formation at First Church, please call 314-962-0475 and ask to speak to Tracey (ext. 12).
Vacation Bible School is our annual summer offering for young people, which meets during a week in mid- to late-June, on Sunday through Thursday evenings, beginning with supper together at 6:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Classes begin at 6:30 in Memorial Hall and last until 8 p.m.
For more information regarding our Christian Education Ministry, please call 314-962-0475 and ask to speak to Tracey (ext. 12).
Worship Reflection, FAITH: Continuing the Search, Person-To-Person: Transformative Talk, Lenten Study Series, special holiday and benevolence events, and more, fall under the rubric of the Christian Education Ministry.
Our morning series, FAITH: Continuing the Search, is designed for people who may not be comfortable with the label “Christian” for themselves or else who may not consider themselves to be “traditional” Christians. FAITH: Continuing the Search leaders seek to create a comfortable and safe environment where discussion is encouraged, minds are broadened, and hearts are warmed. Participants watch a video featuring one of several individuals popularly associated with progressive Christian thought and then discuss their thoughts and feelings about the speakers’ messages.
Each session begins promptly at 10:00 am at a members home.
Person-To-Person: Transformative Talk
Over the past couple of decades, it has been a disappointment to us that social discourse has often become polarized. As a congregation made up of people who represent a healthy variety of perspectives and cultural backgrounds, First Church endeavors to assure that all opinions are honored and persons respected. On first Mondays each month throughout the year (except September, when it’s on the first Tuesday), Person-To-Person: Transformative Talk puts that intention into action, as we invite speakers who are informed about the issues or other matters they represent, and then encourage discussion about their topic. The purpose of Person-To-Person is not to change the mind of someone who differs from you, or even to dare someone else to change your mind, but to come to a greater understanding of other human beings and, if you’re willing, to find yourself transformed and broadened in perspective and attitude. Person-To-Person is a forum for people, teenage through adult. Child care is provided, if requested in advance.
On Wednesdays leading up to Easter, we gather for soup and bread suppers (6:00 pm) followed by lecture/discussion about Christian faith and practice or portions of the Bible. Enrichment experiences are provided for adults and children both, ending by 8:00 pm. Watch our calendar in the late winter or early springtime for announcements of subject matter and dates.
For more information regarding Christian Education, please call 314-962-0475 and ask to speak to Tracey (ext. 12).
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