Families of all origins, hues, structures and social locations are welcome and cherished at the First Congregational Church. We believe that children should look forward to church—not dread it!—and to that end we offer a safe, nurturing, thought-provoking environment in which children learn and engage with the stories of our faith.
We offer childcare every Sunday generally from 15 minutes before worship to 15 minutes past the end of our final event of the day. In addition, we try to offer childcare for major church functions and events on other days. Loving care is provided by our nursery director, Gina Cardillo, who is assisted by volunteers from the church. With many years of experience under her belt, Gina is passionate about caring for little ones, and always has plenty of age-appropriate stories, games and crafts for all children. She provides a stable, warm and welcoming presence in the nursery.
Sunday Church School
During the school year, school-aged children begin each Sunday in worship with their parents. After the children’s message they go to Sunday School where the Godly Play curriculum is taught. Godly Play is based upon the premise that children have an innate sense of the presence of God—all they lack is the appropriate language to help them identify and express it so it can be explored and strengthened. Godly Play is an experiential curriculum that teaches classical Christian language in a way that enhances a child’s authentic experience of God, contributing to the creative life of the child and the world.
In Sunday school, students participate in special offerings and mission projects, and occasionally all classes meet together to study special themes, such as Advent, Lent and other subjects involved with worship and Christian life. On Christian Education Sunday, students lead the congregation in worship.
Through the sacrament of Christian baptism, our young ones are affirmed as children of God and welcomed into the circle of Christ’s church. When an infant is baptized, promises are shared between the one being baptized (or their parents, in the case of a child) and the congregation, to support and walk with them on their faith journey. Infant dedication is also available for families who prefer this blessing for their babies. Baptism is offered throughout the year. To discuss baptism with the pastor, please call the church at (413) 298-3137.
Confirmation is available for youth (generally 12-14) to explore their faith and consider joining the congregation. At the conclusion of confirmation, youth have the opportunity to join the church by affirming the baptismal vows either that were made for them as an infant or that they made as a child. To learn more about confirmation, please contact the pastor at (413) 298-3137.