First Congregational Church welcomes and supports families of all kinds, and offers some of what we all want for our children.
- A diverse intergenerational community that surrounds them with care and appreciates them for who they are.
- Opportunities to explore the stories and inhabit the wisdom of an ancient and living faith connecting them to God.
- Occasions to learn about the needs of the wider world, to grow in compassion, and to offer their service.
- Best of all, a chance for your kids be loved by other human beings the way God loves them: completely and unconditionally.
For ages birth to 3 years.
Our Toddler Room is a lovely space designed with our youngest children especially in mind. It’s filled with developmentally appropriate toys and furniture and is supervised, for more than 20 years, by Ginger Johnson, M.Ed., who provides a safe and loving environment for all our little ones. She’s a pro at helping with separation anxiety for children who are not used to being away from their parents. In fact, many of our parents say that for their toddlers, coming to church is “going to see Ms. Ginger.”
Preschool is for ages 3 & 4. Kindergarten Sunday School starts when children begin kindergarten in the wider world. Children come to class prior to the start of the 10:30 a.m. Worship Service. The focus of our Pre/K classes is both seasonal and thematic. [here, match formatting of this list to the one in the first section, at top of page: either use bullets for all, or no bullets for all]
- We start September “Making Friends” and learning that “God is our Friend.”
- Giving Thanks is our theme in November.
- We celebrate Christmas during December.
- In January, following the birth of Jesus, we explore what Jesus’ life might have been like as a child. We also learn about Jesus as a teacher through acting out the parables.
- We teach the Easter story gently with sensitivity to developmental appropriateness.
- We spend the remainder of the Spring exploring God’s wonderful Creation!
Our Elementary grades are divided into Lower (grades 1-3) and Upper (grades 4-5). We explore one overarching theme throughout the year and through Scripture delve into how our faith informs our response to what is happening in our world. In 2019-2020, we looked at the Climate Crisis beginning with Creation, both biblical and scientific, and how our Christian faith calls us to respond to what is happening to our planet and all living things. We concluded the school year exploring the power that children and youth have to respond to the issues that face their future.
Most Sundays our Elementary Sunday School children begin with their parents in the 10:30 Worship Service. Part way through the service, they leave to engage in their program, a different thing each Sunday of the month. [again, match formatting of all lists in this section: either use bullets for all, or no bullets for all]
- The 1st Sunday is music with our Director of Children’s Music, Julia Wirth. Elementary children return to worship in time to receive Communion with their families.
- On the 2nd and 3rd Sundays, elementary children and their teachers go to Church School to explore our annual theme.
- The 4th Sunday of the month is SERVE Sunday. Our elementary children and youth choose among four or five Service Projects.
- The rare 5th Sunday offers time for more music with Julia Wirth in the Choir Room.
First Congregational Church is committed to creating and maintaining a safe space for kids. To that end, all volunteers who work with our children and youth commit to our Children & Youth Protection Policy and undergo a background check.
ARTS Camp is a week-long residential camp for children and youth in grades 2-8 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. A highlight of the church year, ARTS Camp is held annually on the first week of June. During their week together, children and youth produce a musical based on a story from Scripture. They sing together, build sets, play instruments, and have great camp experiences! Activities include hiking, rock climbing, archery, zipline, mini-golf, and gathering around an evening campfire for camp songs and Vespers.
Kids enjoy a faith-filled, less “church-y” experience outdoors in nature, without electronics, as they are surrounded by encouraging, loving adults who believe in them. ARTS Camp is under the direction of Deborah Voss, our Director of Christian Education, Kajsa Teitelbaum, our Director of Music, Julia Wirth, our Director of Children’s Music, and Er-Hsuan Li, our Children’s choir accompanist. The faith-based play produced at ARTS Camp is presented to the congregation in worship on the Sunday the campers return home.
“ARTS Camp is way more than just another camp. The lessons learned about God and friendships last a lifetime. There is a sense of community among the kids that attend that will last them the rest of their lives.” Tara Cone, parent
Special Services and Programs
Middle School Youth narrate and Elementary School Children act out the roles of Shepherds, Angels, Magi, and Camels. The family with the youngest newborn plays Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.
On the first Saturday in December, Boulder hosts a holiday parade down Broadway. Our kids and parents gather before the parade for a potluck and then, dressed in Christmas Pageant costumes, join the parade with the First Congregational float. Afterwards, we open Plymouth Hall to the whole community and invite everyone in to drink hot chocolate and cider, decorate cookies, make crafts, listen to Congregational Bells, and to sing carols with the UFOs (Ukulele Foothills Orchestra). Santa Claus shows up for a visit and stays all evening.
With Rocky Mountain National Park so nearby we’re glad to take the opportunity to reserve a couple of group sites in late August. Folks of all ages meet for a weekend of recreation and community building, hiking, and campfires at the Glacier Basin Campground.
This is an opportunity for families with young children through elementary school age to socialize in fellowship (older siblings are welcome). On one weekend night a month, we gather for an early evening potluck dinner at the home of one of the group members. Contact Jeanne Quinn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Children in Grades 1-5 meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel with Julia, our Director of Children’s Music, to learn age-appropriate anthems and to prepare to sing three or four times a year in Worship.
Monthly Saturdays at 5:00 p.m.
An intergenerational worship service: Great food, prayer, song, with a reflection on Scripture and Holy Communion in Plymouth Hall. Children are free to roam and visit and special activities are planned especially for them. The service is usually followed by well-supervised children’s activities so that parents can extend their evening out.