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

Feasting on the  Word

Feasting on the Word  is the curriculum our Sunday School classes use to  explore scripture while asking these questions: 

  • What is important to know? Basic information about the backgrounds and meanings of Scripture is essential to understanding. This stream asks, “What?” What are the important things to know about the contexts, language, and settings of the biblical passage? 
  • Where is God in these words? To understand the meanings of passage, we also need to ask, “Where?” Where is God in this passage? Where are God’s will and activities being expressed? Theological questions about where God’s word comes to us in the passage are significant. 
  • So what does this mean for our lives?  The implications of the passage for our Christian lives make the biblical passage come alive. We ask, “So what?” What does this passage mean to me? What does it mean for my relationship with God and other people? 
  • Now what is God’s word calling us to do? Biblical passages shape our understandings and lives in the church. They connect us with needs in God’s world. So we ask, “Now what?” This promps us to reflect on how our life and the church’s life can live out what the passage is saying

 

Art, science, food, story, and song are all learning tools used to encounter God’s word through “Feasting on the Word”.   

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 our Director of Christian Education, Tracey Harris for an enrollment packet or more information.

Nursery

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

The Youth Sunday School Class will has a new curriculum called “Caffeine.” This exciting new youth curriculum is an energizing youth resource that’s inspiring and fun! “Caffeine” engages youth with imaginative retelling of Bible stories they can relate to. Utilizing this exciting new curriculum, we will address the topics of Cash, Christ and Confusion by uncovering deeper meanings in some Bible stories that will help our youth with making decisions.

Erick Falconer,
Assistant Director of Music for Children & Coordinator of Youth Ministries

Confirmation

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 the fall of 2020.

For more information 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, Practicing Our Faith, Person-To-Person: Transformative Talk, Lenten Study Series, special holiday and benevolence events, and more, fall under the rubric of the Christian Education Ministry.

 

Worship Reflection

Many Sunday mornings at 11:20 am, Pastor Dave Denoon hosts a discussion with church members and other worshipers about the sermon and the worship service itself.

 

FAITH: Continuing the Search

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.

Practicing Our Faith

Practicing Our Faith is a monthly gathering of women seeking to walk more closely with God by studying and discussing faith practices, such as Sabbath observance, stewardship, meditation, and prayer. They usually meet on the second Tuesdays.

Adult Education Opportunities

 The Christian Education Ministry offers regular Adult Ed opportunities on Sundays after worship. The topics include: Environmental issues, talks from Alzheimer experts, Native Gardening, Charitable Giving, and Organ Donation and Transgender issues.

 

FAITH: Continuing the Search

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.

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.

Lenten Series

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).