While our current Children's Ministry is small, our expression of God's love for our children and our desire to help them grow in their faith is anything but small. We are a congregation committed to not only growing our Children's Ministry but also nurturing the children and families who actively attend First Presbyterian. We are eager for children to learn that the church is a special place for them, where they belong, are loved, have friends, and find important service to do.
We provide a traditional Sunday morning class for our youngest members, using curriculum-based learning activities, focused on God’s compassion in the Bible. During worship, our youngest children have several options. They may remain in the sanctuary or go to the nursery for the same curriculum offered during the Sunday school hour.
If they remain in the sanctuary, children are welcome to use the newly created Pray-ground, a space defined by a rug and soft toys in the front of the sanctuary, where they, under parental supervision, can play quietly during worship service. The goal is to introduce children, at an early age, to the sights and sounds of worship and to make them feel welcome among the congregation. Children regularly participate in worship by bringing the communion elements to the communion table and by participating in baptisms and other parts of the service.
Throughout the Year
Throughout the year, we have activities designed specifically with children and their families in mind. Some of these include:
Fall Kick-off Worship and Picnic (September 10, 2017)
With the end of the summer and the start of a new school year, annually we hold a church picnic for our entire church family. Good food, music, fellowship, and games are all a part of this wonderful time together. From the popular bounce house with the children (and some adults) to games of shuffleboard with the adults, there is fun for all ages. This is always a wonderful way to reunite as a church family and kick-off the new school year!
Halloween on the Hill (October 28, 2017)
Since 2014, we have partnered with our neighbors at Emmanuel Episcopal to hold a Halloween carnival for young children and their families, not only from our congregations but from throughout the Cumberland area. Held on the afternoon of "Trick or Treating" in downtown Cumberland, this event provides a variety of acitvities for children from inflatable bounce houses, to face painting, games, costume contests, and food. In 2017 we are partnering with Hope Against Heroin and Prescribe Change to raise awareness of and provide resources to address the opioid crisis in our community.
Advent Event/Hanging of the Greens (December 10, 2017)
Typically held on the first Sunday of Advent, we gather as a church family for lunch and a time designed to prepare us for the birth of Christ, including a brief refresher on Advent, a blessing of the Christmon Tree, decorating throughout the sanctuary and education building and baking cookies to take to our in-home members.
This year, the youth sorted and bagged our contributions of gently used toys and books to deliver them to the Western Maryland Medical Center, where families will come and choose toys and books for their children at Christmastime.
Vacation Bible School (June)
Annually, we hold Vacation Bible School (VBS) as a joint effort between St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Souls Won, Metropolitan AME, and First Presbyterian. VBS includes dinner, lessons, games, crafts, music and lots of fun for all the children involved.
VBS will take place the week of June 19-23, 2017 beginning with supper at 5:30PM, followed by the program from 6:00-8:00PM. The theme is Rome: Paul and the Underground Church. For more information and to register (children 4 years and up), contact the church office. If you can serve as a volunteer for the week, please contact Debbie Streicher @firstname.lastname@example.org.