In his many letters to the early church, St. Paul outlined the idea of Christian communities that would constantly be growing in faith and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. At First Congregational Church, we strive to place spiritual formation for all ages at the very center of our life together.
We recognize that all believers are called to a lifelong journey of faith, and that the spiritual development of all of our members is vital to the vibrancy of our ministry to the world. We, therefore, offer programs ranging from nursery care to Sunday School for children, as well as ongoing programs for youth and adults.
Many of our faith development programs are run by our Board of Deacons, whose primary charge it is to support the spiritual life of our congregation. Some offerings are led by our Pastor, Bonnie, while still others, such as our small groups ministry, were born from the talents and interest of a few congregants. We embrace the challenge of continued growth for all of our members and welcome your ideas and participation.
The Sunday School at First Congregational Church shares the wonderful message of God’s love and provides our children with a spiritual foundation upon which to build and explore their faith. The Sunday School welcomes children from infancy through sixth grade. Children begin worship with their families and the entire congregation in the sanctuary before being dismissed to Sunday school on our church’s lower level. Our school year runs from early September to early June. On the first Sunday of the month, we celebrate Communion together and have “intergenerational worship.” This is a time for us to reinforce the “Open Table” concept where ALL are invited to receive Communion – regardless of your age or affiliation with the church. Monthly, children attend Children’s Chapel where they worship as a group and work together on a project. Our Sunday School classes are taught by dedicated volunteers, with training and support from Cynthia Listewnik, MSW – Director of Children’s Ministry.
The Sunday School sponsors a number of community events every year including:
- Communion Education – October
- Advent Celebration & Potluck Brunch – November
- Christmas Pageant – December
- Mardi Gras Celebration – February
- Easter Egg Hunt – April
- Youth Takeover Worship Service – June
Registration Now Open
If you would like to register your child for Sunday School please click here – enrollment is ongoing. Parents with children participating in the Sunday School program are expected to volunteer to help teach. As a community of faith, we are all called to give of our time, treasure and talent in order to support the success of our growing community of faith and the programs we offer. We appreciate the dedication of all of our volunteers.
Sunday School Curricula
FCC uses curricula from a company called Sparkhouse Media. All of their curricula are bible-based and follow a format that includes lessons from both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. They collaborate with many different christian denominations to ensure that their programs are theologically sound.
This year we are following a new curriculum for grades 1 through 6 called Whirl. This program teaches kids about the important themes and parables of the Bible by focusing on relatable situations. During Sunday School classes children engage in activities to explore the lesson, watch short video presentations that relate the text to life experiences, and use the learner leaflets to extend the learning from church to home for further discussion. The format is easy to follow for volunteer teachers with minimal preparation time required.
In addition, we started a new curriculum for our youngest learners called Frolic – Preschool. The lessons are play-based and specifically designed for this age group (3-5 year olds) using large posters to tell short stories. To enhance learning objectives, there are a variety of “Center Activities” from which teachers can choose each week. Of course, there is still plenty of time for free play and snack time. To learn more about Frolic – Preschool please click here.
From age six weeks to three years, we offer a caring and nurturing environment for your child to play while you attend worship. Feel free to drop off your child in the Nursery Room on the lower level of the church when you arrive. As an added safety precaution, we do not change diapers. Parents/guardians will be contacted via text if their child requires a diaper change.
If you’d rather bring your baby or toddler to worship, that’s fine, too. We welcome all children; cries, giggles and all!
Formal classroom education begins at age three with our preschoolers and runs through sixth grade. Classrooms are arranged in grade groups: preschoolers and kindergarteners learn together as do grades 1 through 3 and 4 through 6.
Classes are led by the Director of Children’s Ministry and dedicated parent volunteers. Bible stories and themes are taught in an engaging and fun atmosphere by bringing faith to life. Students learn via storytelling, dramatic reenactments, science experiments, arts and crafts, cooking/baking, games and more! The classes are designed to scaffold the lessons from one year to the next.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our Director of Children’s Ministry, Cynthia Listewnik. We hope you’ll join us!
Worship Activity Bags
A couple of years ago, we introduced personalized Worship Activity Bags (Busy Bags) for ALL members of the Sunday School. These are located in the vestibule on coat racks as you enter the front of the church. These bags include drawing supplies, fidget toys, lacing cards, reading materials, children’s bulletins, etc. Research shows that keeping little hands busy helps them to concentrate and participate in the worship service. Visitors are welcome to take advantage of the RED GUEST activity bags located in the back of the sanctuary. Please feel free to ask an usher for assistance.
Each year, Kindergarteners who attend Sunday School regularly are presented with an early reader Bible during a worship service at the end of the program year in June.
In addition, children in the sixth grade “graduate” from formal classes and are presented with UCC Bibles, to acknowledge their consistent participation in Sunday School and their growing familiarity with Bible stories, lessons, and themes.
The Youth Group at FCC is open to all youth in grades six through twelve. We meet twice a month to do service projects, as well as non-service events. The lock-in is the most looked forward to event each year! Past events have included:
- Ice cream socials
- Blanket-making for Project Linus
- Altitude (trampoline park)
- College care package assembly
- Thanksgiving basket assembly day with the Holliston Newcomer’s Club
- Christmas Party/Yankee Swap
- New Year’s Eve pancake breakfast
- The Lock In
- Snow Tubing
- Mini Golf
- Walk Through Holy Week
- Pizza and Movie Night
- End of the Year Picnic
- Random Acts of Kindness
In order to comply with our Safe Church policy, parents volunteer to be the second (or third) adult at all meetings. Please contact Shel Frolich-Tscherne, our Youth Group Director, with any questions or suggestions for future events.
Confirmation Retreat, January 2020
Confirmation is designed for 9th and 10th graders but is open to all who are in high school. The program will look at our Christian faith, our denomination, as well as explore how we integrate our faith into everyday living. This program is led by Rev. Bonnie, and Kristen and Bud Dodge.
Beginning in January, we will meet about every other Sunday following church. In addition, we will do a service project in the spring as well as run the sunrise service on Easter morning. The retreat in January is on Cape Cod. If your child is interested, please let Paula know. If you have any questions please reach out to one of our leaders. Bud Dodge, Kristen Dodge or Rev. Bonnie. We look forward to another exciting and fun confirmation year!
Confirmation is run every other year.
Adult Classes, Programs & Activities
Tuesday Morning Group
Tuesdays 10am – 12pm
September through June
Meets in the Ladies Parlor weekly
Fellowship and knitting or other handcrafts. Brown bag lunch to follow. Open to all women of the church. Paula Colburn is the contact.
Monday Night Volleyball
September through June
Meets in Jordan Hall
If you are interested in a good workout and meeting new friends, Monday Night Volleyball is for YOU. This long standing tradition in the church used to be known as “Men’s Volleyball,” but we are open to all teens and adults – no experience necessary. We meet in Jordan Hall at 7 PM for friendly matches. Each player is asked for a $1 voluntary donation to offset “wear and tear” costs. If you have any questions or if you’d like to be added to our “friendly reminder” email list, Carl Tracey is the one to reach out to. Give it a try – you won’t regret it.
Men's Bible Study
Racism: A Dialog
Join us for an honest and open discussion of racism in our country, our community, our lives. This group is for those who seek to make a difference.
We meet after Sunday morning worship, from 11:15 – 12:30, exploring the topic via TED talks, short articles, and lots of conversation.