CHILDREN & YOUTH MINISTRIES
Sunday School – 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Worship Service – 10:30 AM
A Message to Parents
Here at First Pres., children are an integral part of our church family. We know that children wiggle, so please relax! We welcome children to be a part of our worship services and pray that they will grow to be fully participating members of Christ’s church in both the worship services and in church life. Children learn by watching what we do. They will learn to worship in part by watching you sing, pray, listen, and read along. During the service quietly explain the different parts and encourage them to join in. Teaching children to worship and know God and to develop a saving relationship with him is the goal more than just training them to sit still and be quiet. If you need to leave the service with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back. We want to support and encourage you as you parent your child.
- Children’s Bible Activity Kits are located at the Welcome Center. Each kit includes easy to read Bible coloring pages and crayons. You are welcome to borrow a kit for your child age 6 and under.
- Nursery: Our nursery is staffed by caring volunteers who have been screened according to our church Child Protection Policy and is located on the 1st floor of our children’s building, Turnbull House. You will be greeted by a Children’s Ministry host who will help you register your child, locate the nursery and get you settled in. Pagers are given to parents so that we can quickly and easily make contact in case of any concerns. Parents are given a pager so we can quickly and easily make contact if there are any concerns. The church service is streamed into the nursery and our volunteers will encourage your child to participate in worship by singing with simple musical instruments, and modeling prayer, as age appropriate.
- Mother’s Room: We have a private quiet space for mothers and their babies across from the infant nursery in our children’s and youth building, Turnbull House. The Children’s Ministry host would be glad to assist you. There is a changing table available in the nursery as well as in the church building bathrooms.
Ministries & More
Kids’ Quest is a PCA catechism club for nursery through fifth grade. Following the curriculum provides a fun and educational approach to age appropriate learning of the Westminster Catechism. Kids’ Quest will meet on select Wednesday evenings following an all-church family dinner.
Our youth group is for teens in grades 6 through 12. In addition to special activities, Youth Group will meet on select Wednesday evenings following an all-church family dinner.
Please contact the Church Office for our current schedules.
Special Events & Programs
There are a variety of special events throughout the year for children and youth. Some examples are: annual church picnic, church decorating for Christmas, Christmas pageant, Christmas caroling, outings to a zoo or park, singing at a nursing home, church dinners, prayer meeting, annual missions conference,
Vacation Bible School and more.
Can you explain the layout of the main church campus?
First Presbyterian Church has three well maintained, beautiful, historical buildings, located on the main campus. Our worship service takes place in the traditional church building, which sits at the back of the parking lot and is easily identified by the steeple. Mekeel Hall, is on the left as you enter the parking lot and is used for Sunday evening services, fellowship and adult Sunday School. Turnbull House is the name for our children’s and youth building. It is the brick building on the right as you enter the parking lot. Our nurseries and children’s and youth Sunday School classes are located in this building as well as most children’s and youth programs and events. The entrance is at the rear of the building just off of the parking lot. The entrance is clearly marked with our Children’s and Youth Ministries logo and banner. On Sunday mornings, a Children’s Ministry host greets all students and will help any visitors to get checked in and and find their classroom.
How are age groups divided?
Our Children’s Ministries department is for children from birth through 5th grade. Our Youth Ministries Department is for students from 6th through 12th grade with Middle School for 6th-8th grade and Senior High for 9th – 12th grade.
What if my child has allergies or special needs?
At First Pres. we welcome the opportunity to work with parents with children who have special needs. We desire to assist parents in meeting their child’s spiritual, physical and emotional needs to ensure a positive experience while here. Our nursery is peanut and nut free and we can accommodate food allergies for older children as needed. When you register your child, simply alert the staff to any special needs or accommodations for your child.
We know that some children have a difficult time in a church setting. The high ceilings, loud music, and crowds can upset some children. First Presbyterian provides a Sensory Room for children with autism spectrum disorder. This softly lit room has trained volunteers and plenty of carefully chosen toys. This is a “no-demands” area where children with ASD can just relax while their parent(s) attend worship service.
Parents may bring their child to the Sensory Room in Turnbull House before or in the middle of the service. Pagers are given to parents so that we can quickly and easily make contact in case of any concerns.
If you are interested in having your child join us in the Sensory Room, please call or text Kathleen Mancuso at 518.339.7437.
Where are the nurseries located?
Nursery and sensory child care are located in Turnbull House.
Can you tell me more about your nurseries?
We provide a nursery for children ages birth to 4 years old. Our nursery is very well organized, which allows us to provide clean, safe, secure and nurturing care. It is staffed by caring adult volunteers who have been screened and trained in order to serve. The room is large and delightful, with plenty of natural light. It includes carefully selected books, toys and toddler sized furniture along with childcare necessities such as diapers in assorted sizes, wipes and single use changing table covers.
The safety of the children entrusted to our care in the nursery is a priority! We have an organized check-in and pick-up policy. The nursery is always staffed by two unrelated adult caregivers. You will be greeted in the Turnbull House by a Children’s Ministry host who will help you register your child, locate the nursery and get you settled in. Staff wear a distinctive teal vest embroidered with the First Pres logo so you can easily identify who is working that day. Children are only released to the person who checked them in unless other specific written instructions have been provided to us by the adult upon check-in. Pagers are given to parents so that we can quickly and easily make contact in case of any concerns. Nursery staff can readily communicate with the Children’s Ministry host and other church staff at any time through the walkie-talkie system we have in place.
Every effort is made to prevent the spread of germs, including a toddler sized sink for frequent hand washing, individual cubbies for each child’s belonging, hand sanitizer and ample non-toxic cleaning supplies. The crib sheets and teal vests are laundered after every use and the toys and furniture are cleaned regularly. We do not keep any stuffed animal or other toys that cannot be easily cleaned in the nursery. We have health guidelines and ask everyone, including children, to stay home if experiencing any symptoms such as runny nose or coughing(except in the case of allergies,) have had a fever in the previous 48 hours, or if they know that they have been exposed to Covid within the past week.
The worship service is live streamed onto a large screen in the nursery which allows the caregivers and children to listen to and view the service. Our volunteers will encourage your child to participate in worship by singing with simple musical instruments and modeling prayer as age appropriate. Parents are welcome to stay in the nursery with their child especially, if the child is reluctant to be separated from you.
We consider nursery as ministry and a service to the Lord! We understand completely that parents are discerning about who they allow to care for their child and are hopeful that you will find the First Pres. nursery to be a safe and nurturing place. Please contact the church office if you would like to tour the nursery or with any questions or concerns.
Is your worship service child friendly?
Absolutely! Children are an integral part of our church family and we welcome them to be a part of our worship service. We know that God made children to wiggle and to be noisy at times, and we welcome their presence in the sanctuary.
A thoughtful and prayerfully prepared children’s message is given by the Assistant Pastor two or three times a month. The message is typically based on one of the scripture readings of the day and reflects our belief that teaching Biblical truths begins in infancy. The message is a engaging and relevant to children, while also being true to the Reformed faith.
Even the layout of the sanctuary is child friendly! Families with young children often like to sit in one of the side transept areas, near the front of the church. The children have a good view, more room to wiggle, and are not as readily seen by the congregation. There are convenient exit doors in the transepts so parents can easily step outside with their child as needed. Often parents choose to keep their young children in the worship for the initial songs and prayers and then take them to the nursery mid-way through the service.
Children’s Bible Activity Kits are located at the Welcome Center. Each kit includes easy to read Bible coloring pages and crayons. You are welcome to borrow a kit for your child age 6 and under.