The philosophy at First Church is to nurture young people’s natural curiosity and creativity as they learn how to lead spiritual lives. We introduce Bible stories and principles in new and creative ways, challenge children and youth to explore their understanding of God, and help them develop as thinking, curious, people of faith. We provide opportunities to grow in their self understanding as Christians, and prepare children and youth for the worship of God and the service of humankind.
First Church has multi-generational worship, which means that your wiggly children are celebrated and loved. You won’t get any funny looks for your kid being a kid! If you need a break, or if your little one needs time apart from “big church” for any reason, childcare is available during church at no charge. Oh, and before we forget, at First Church kids get their own bulletin with coloring, activities, and challenges! Just grab the kids’ bulletin on your way in!
Childcare: Babies and Toddlers from 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Professional childcare is always available for babies and toddlers in our Kinderwatch room during worship and for after church activities.
Way Cool Sunday School: Grades 2 – 6 from 10:15 am to 11:15 am
Sunday school teachers will lead a discussion and an art and/or drama project based on the scripture during our Sunday worship from the curriculum “Feasting on the Word.” Children will begin with their parents in the sanctuary, and children who choose to attend will leave after the children’s message.
Spirit Play: Preschool – Grade 1 from 10:15 am – 11:15 am
Spirit play is a Montessori based religious education curriculum that incorporates play to engage young children in stories of faith. It is based on story, ritual, play, and creativity. Spirit play gives children the tools to make meaning of their lives in a supportive, fun, and creative environment. The stories are presented using an active storytelling method, followed by “wondering questions,” which allow children to respond in his or her own way to the story. After the story, children are invited to “work.” Each child is free to work directly with various art materials that will be available in the classroom. Once work time is complete children and teachers will participate in “the feast,” which will be a small snack, drink, and conversation.
Building Bridges: Grades 5 – 6 (times to be determined)
Building Bridges is a world religions program to deepen youth’s understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search. Building Bridges requires several field trips to visit several area houses of worship, including a mosque, Buddhist Temple, synagogue, and more!
First Church in Sterling provides a safe place to explore their faith and identity, where teenagers can be loved and supported exactly for who they are now. We provide youth opportunities to participate in and lead worship, and participate in meaningful service in the community and globally through our La Romana mission.
Donut Church: Sundays 11:15 am to 12:00 pm
Immediately following worship, teenagers join in discussion about the thematic content in worship, bond, and eat a lot of donuts. Grades 7-12.
Pizza Church: Thursdays 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
This isn’t your gramma’s youth group. On Thursday nights youth ages 7-12th grade are invited to Pizza Church, a youth group built around art, deep conversation, expression, and way too much pizza. We start at 6 with food and an open mic, where youth can perform a song, recite an original poem, tell a funny story, or display an unusual talent. Afterward we have deep conversation around topics that matter. Grades 7-12.
Confirmation: Sundays 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Confirm not Conform is a confirmation program led weekly by the pastors and adult sponsors. It helps young people grow in their understanding of their faith, and helps them to grow into individual thinkers that can place their faith in historical context while looking optimistically toward the future. What do I believe? How do I become a faithful person in the world? How can my personal faith make the world a better place? The confirmation curriculum will help our young people answer these questions and more. Confirmation ends in a service of commitment in which the youth read their statements of faith to the congregation. Offered biannually for youth in grades 8-10.
Our Whole Lives (O.W.L): Sundays 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Our Whole Lives (or OWL) is a comprehensive, nonjudgmental, and deeply informative sex education program that helps kids learn about sexuality, gender identity and more in a supportive positive environment. Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. We are proud to offer OWL at our church, and many adults tell us that they wish they had had a similar program when they were young. Offered biannually for youth in grades 7 – 12.