I John says, “See what love God has given us, that we should be called children of God.” At First Central, we recognize that children of God come in all ages, and all have a part to play in church work and worship. Children are vital to First Central, and we believe church should be a place where children experience God’s love, joy, and community. We seek to involve children in worship and provide the best opportunities for their spiritual formation—in knowledge and practice.
Childcare is provided for all worship services for infants and toddlers in the nursery and toddler room. Ask an usher and they will gladly escort you to Children’s Ministry wing. Be sure to sign-in your child.
We strongly encourage parents to fill out our children’s info form and photo/video release form so that we have accurate information about your child’s needs and contact information for parents and guardians. The linked forms are PDF files that you can complete with Fill and Sign. Please email completed forms to Carlo Sosa-Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pagers are also an effective tool our childcare providers use to notify you if your child needs you.
3&4 year olds “Grow in Grace and Gratitude” by singing, hearing Bible stories, making crafts, and serving one another. Children meet at 9:45 in the 3&4s classroom (second door on the left in the children’s wing) and end across the hall in the nursery.
Kinder-5th: Elementary school aged children are invited to explore their faith through stories, wonder, imagination and (of course) play. From 9:45 to 10:45 in the Godly Play classroom (third door on the left in the children’s wing).
Music and Movement
Kindergarten and 1st grade students are invited to participate in our children’s church program during the 11 AM worship service ONLY. After our Time for Young Disciples, they are invited to exit the sanctuary. An adult will be waiting to escort them to the children’s theater room for a time of games, music, and or crafts. Once the sermon is over in the sanctuary, children’s church participants will return to sit with their parents. If you think your K or 1st grader is ready to stay in the worship service for the sermon, we think that’s great, too! If you are worshipping in the 8 am service and you do not think your K-1st grade child is ready for the sermon, your child is invited to go to the nursery after the Time for Young Disciples.
Children in Worship
If you would like to keep your children in the worship service, you may! Here are some tips:
- Relax! God put the wiggle and squirms in children. Don’t feel you have to suppress them in God’s house.
- Use a gentle touch: an arm around the shoulder, your hand in his or hers to give reassurance and appropriate attention.
- Quietly explain the parts of the worship service.
- Help your child find the pages in the Hymnal. Do not be distressed if your child does not find the proper page.
- Sing the hymns, pray and voice the responses. Children learn good behavior in church by copying yours.
- Encourage them to come up for the Children’s Sermon and ask them to listen and participate in the message (pre-K through grade 5).
- Attention spans of the very young are very short! If you see that your child has clearly “had enough”, don’t hesitate to take him/her to the Children’s Wing for age appropriate care. We want your child to feel comfortable.
- Pick up one of our children’s worship bags located outside the sanctuary for a children’s worship bulletin and other quiet activities for your child.
Sunday Night Live LOGOS: LOGOS is for children between the ages of 5 and 5th grade. The program occurs during the fall and spring semesters on Sunday nights from 4:30 – 6:30 pm. Logos is a national Christian education program that allows for children and adults to work together in a true intergenerational ministry As a group, Logos participants play together, study together, eat together, and worship together.
Changemakers Lab 2023 VBS
Welcome to Changemakers Lab, a fun Vacation Bible School where children learn that everyone can make a difference in the world! Our Bible Stories will explore examples of people who brought about change in the world around them. These people asked tough questions, worked together to solve challenging problems, cared for all people, and imagined a new world. Through worship and drama, Bible study, STEAM activities (science, technology, engineering, art, math), and active games, children are invited to see and experience the transforming love of God.
Changemakers Lab is for children who just completed Pre-K (age 4) to 5th grade.
Registration is now open for children wanting to participate and for youth and adults wanting to volunteer. To register for Changemakers Lab please click here.
Childcare is provided each Sunday morning for both services and the Church School hour. The childcare staff is attentive and loving, making it a point to interact with the children, call them by name and share God’s love through play, stories, and special attention.
Sunday Morning Hours: 8:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Check-in for children (infants and toddlers) is in room 103.
Wednesday Nights: 5:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. available when Wednesday Night programming is offered.
Parents’ Night Out: Parents’ Night Out is a free childcare service offered to children from birth to fifth grade on the second and fourth Friday from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Dinner is provided for $3/child; otherwise, Parents’ Night Out is completely free of charge.
Additional Childcare: Additional childcare is available upon request for special services and occasions such as committee meetings, choir rehearsal, weddings, or funerals. Contact the church office for more information.
To inquire about childcare for times other than those listed above, contact Carlo Sosa-Ortiz (Director of Children’s Ministry) or Kori Barr (Christian Education Administrative Assistant) or call 325-677-3501.
Resources for Parents
FCPC is committed to the spiritual formation of your child through Sunday school, children’s sermons, LOGOS, and special activities throughout the year. However, there are lots of ways that you can be a spiritual leader for your child at home. Below are some resources to help you on the journey.
Empowering Courageous Kids: If your child misses a Godly Play story, they can always go back and watch it on our YouTube page. We also have lots of other interactive videos available.
Music & Movement: Kids can sing and dance along to the songs in this YouTube playlist.
The church library has lots of new children’s books and parenting books. Any church member can check out a book and request a new book to be added.
Good Places to Start
PC(USA) Store: This website offers children’s books, books on parenting, and children’s Bibles.
Stories of God at Home: If your child loves Godly Play, this website gives you all the resources you need to tell the stories at home.
Illustrated Ministry designs family devotionals, coloring pages, and parenting blogs.
Growing in God’s Love Story Bible: Ages 4-8. Available in our library and at pcusastore.com.
Children of God Storybook Bible by Desmond Tutu: Ages 4-8. Available on Amazon.
NIrV Adventure Bible for Early Readers: Ages 6-10. Available on Amazon and christianbook.com
Connect Bible: Ages 8-12. Available at augsburgfortress.org.
Family Devotionals-each are available online and in our church library.
All Together: The Family Devotional by Steve and Bekah Legg
The Family Bible Devotional by Sarah Wells: A family devo for every week of the year.
The Way to the Manger by Jeff and Abbey Land: A family advent devotional.
Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman: A guide to help children enter into worship. Available on Amazon and cokesbury.com.
Bless This Mess: A Modern Guide to Faith and Parenting in a Chaoitic World by Molly Baskette and Ellen O’Donnell: Available on Amazon.
Parenting with Words of Grace by William P. Smith: This book helps parents communicate to reflect the grace of God. Available on Amazon and cokesbury.com.
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles that Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp: A glimpse at the big-picture view of God’s plan for parents. Available on Amazon and cokesbury.com.
Talking to your Child about Grief/Loss
The Memory Box by Joanna Rowland: A story about a child who creates a box full of mementos and memories of a loved one. Includes a parent guide. Available on Amazon and Christianbook.com.
The Memory Book by Joanna Rowland: A grief journal where families can create a memory album of photos and keepsakes of the person they lost. Available on Amazon and Christianbook.com
A Little Blue Bottle by Jennifer Grant: Reminds children that God cares about them and has collected all their tears in his bottle (Psalm 56:8). Available on churchpublishing.org and Amazon.
Talking to your Child about Divorce
Children and Divorce: Helping When Life Interrupts by Amy Baker: This book applies the gospel of Jesus Christ in practical and kid-friendly ways to the struggle your family is going through. Available on Amazon and Christianbook.com.
Jesus Was With Me All Along: A Book about Divorce by Julie Mastel: This children’s book reminds children that Jesus brings comfort, even in difficult times. Available on Amazon and Christianbook.com.
Talking to Your Child About Sex and their Body
Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence by Kate Ott: Available from wjkbooks.com and Amazon.
These Are Our Bodies: Primary Parent Book by Jenny Beaumont and Abbi Long: Available from churchpublishing.org and Amazon.
From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children—from Infancy to Middle School by Debra Haffner: Available on Amazon.
The Parent Guide to Our Whole Lives: Grades K-1 and 4-6 by Pat Hoertdoerfer: Available on Amazon.
Have a great resource you’d like to share? Email Carlo at email@example.com.