At First Church Somerville, we don’t just believe our kids are the future—we know they are the NOW.
We endeavor to serve them as a vital and integral part of our community and as gifted and growing spirits. Our Sunday School teaches our kids the values of our life together. They live important Bible stories, explore rituals that comfort them and offer them structure and meaning, get a feel for the rhythms of worship, sing, and learn what it means to be a part of the Beloved Community.
Our kids LOVE Sunday school and church so much they ask their parents to come back again and again, and often have to be coaxed to leave hours after worship has ended, before their last game of tag in the sanctuary is over! After worship some Sundays, we have children’s choir or Big Meeting Brunch, and kids have age-appropriate activities designed for them to participate in while their parents meet in fellowship.
We invite families to bring their children to worship. Early in the service we will send them off to their Sunday School classrooms with a communal blessing. One Sunday a month, instead of going to Sunday School, the kids come to worship with their families for All Ages Worship. The nursery remains open to kids 3 or under.
Our nursery and classrooms are run by dedicated, paid teachers and staffed with additional First Church volunteers. All staff and volunteers have been CORIed and trained in our Safe Church policies. For any questions about our Sunday school offerings, please email our Director of Family Ministry.
Parents with infants are most welcome in worship on Sunday. As they get older and as you get more comfortable, you can leave your little ones in the Nursery (to the left of our Kitchen, near one of our restrooms). We’re here to help you with separation anxiety, so don’t be afraid to ask. Kids usually transition from the nursery to the Godly Play I classroom at age 3.
Many parents choose to keep their children with them in worship until they get mobile and more vocal, around 9 months-1 year. If you are concerned that your child is disrupting other people's experience of worship, you may bring them downstairs to the fellowship hall, where we have a live stream of the service, so that you may attend to their needs while not missing worship.
We currently run five classrooms for Beloved Kids.
Godly Play I is for kids ages 3-4. Josh runs this classroom using the Godly Play Montessori-based curriculum with Bible stories told beautifully, time for a communion "Feast," and creative free time.
Godly Play II is for older Pre-K-Kindergarten ages. Haley teaches a parallel curriculum with the other two Godly Play classes with a Bible story, "work" time, and a "feast."
Godly Play III contains kids in grades 1-2. Colleen leads this classroom with the Godly Play curriculum that the children are familiar with, digging deeper into these stories and including enrichment units.. Deeper engagement with with our scripture stories and community life is encouraged in this class.
The Flying Tuxedo Cats (a name picked by our kids!) is for kids in grades 3-4. Julianna runs this classroom using the Shine Curriculum, which is designed for deepening our kids' engagement in scripture stories and our community life.
The Squeaking Rhinos (a name picked by our kids!) is for kids in grades 5-6. Allyssa runs this classroom using Sparkhouse's re:Form Curriculum, which is designed for too-cool tweens with big questions and quirky senses of humor.
We also have an acolyte program where children (ages six and up) may sign up to help assemble bulletins for the Sunday service or light the Christ candle during our worship service.
The First Church youth group for grades 7 and up meets about once a month for fun, service projects and conversation about things that really matter. For more information email Allison.
Using the Confirm, Not Conform curriculum, the confirmation class allows our young teens to deepen down into scripture, social justice, and the teachings of Jesus. We meet together about twice per month during the school year, and the class runs over two years. During this two-year journey, the confirmands discover, define, and claim their own faith and beliefs. We occasionally collaborate with groups from other local UCC churches, as well as participating in a few field trips and community service opportunities.