At-Home Faith Formation Resources for Families:
During this time of staying at home and connecting as a church community virtually, FPC is providing weekly at-home Sunday School in addition to other faith formation resources to support families during this time. To access all of the resources, head over to the Faith Formation Resource Hub at this following link:
To quickly access the resources for at-home Sunday School click here.
To receive regular announcements relevant to families via email, sign-up for the FPC Children & Youth Ministry Newsletters by contacting Emily Stecher, Director of Christian Education.
For additional updates related to middle and high school Youth Ministry, follow the FPC Youth Ministry Instagram account.
Sunday Morning Opportunities:
All Ages are Welcome in Worship at 10:30 am
Children of all ages are always welcome in worship at 10:30 am in the First Presbyterian sanctuary.
About fifteen minutes into the worship service, the children are invited forward for a Children’s Moment. This celebrates their presence in worship and in our community, offering them an age-appropriate message for that Sunday’s liturgical season or Scripture lessons.
To view recent Children’s Moment messages, head over to the Worship Live Stream page.
On the first Sunday of each month when we celebrate Communion and on other special days, all children remain in the worship service. These are called “Family Sundays.”
On all other Sundays, children in Pre-K through 5th Grade are welcome to remain in the Sanctuary or go to Children’s Music and Children’s Sunday School after the Children’s Moment.
Childcare Available During Worship if Needed
First Presbyterian offers childcare for age 0 to 3 in the Nursery (Room 100) from 10:15 am until the worship service concludes around 11:30 am. While children of all ages are always welcome in worship, the Nursery is available as a resource for families if needed. There are always at least two volunteers staffing the Nursery during this time.
When dropping off children in the nursery, guardians will sign their children in on the sign-in sheet on the counter, leaving a cell phone number for the volunteers to text if the guardian is needed during the service.
The Nursery is located on the first floor, near the staff offices. To access the Nursery from the Sanctuary, exit the Sanctuary through the doors at the front of the Sanctuary to the right of the pulpit, go up the small flight of stairs and turn left (or take the elevator from the Chapel on the left to level 1). Then, you will see the Nursery on your right directly across from the restrooms.
The Nursery room also has a changing station and a private area with rocking chairs.
Children’s Music at 10:45 am
All children who would like will first go together for a time of children’s music with Daniel Nyounai-Herrera, FPCs Children’s Music Director, in Room 203 on the 2nd floor. Once music concludes around 11:00 am, the children will split into two children’s Sunday School classes.
Children’s Sunday School at 11:00 am
Godly Play (Pre-K– 2nd Grade)
Children in Pre-K through 2nd grade participate in a Sunday School class called Godly Play in Room 204 on the second floor. This time of faith formation for young children is modeled after the worship service and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.
Sitting in a circle, the children light a candle, move the felt liturgical calendar on the wall, pas the peace, sing a song, and hear a Bible story told with felt underlays and beautiful wooden figures. Then, using “I wonder” questions, the children are invited into open-ended wondering about the story they have just heard. Godly Play invites children into the stories and provides opportunity to connect the stories with their personal experiences. Children continue to respond to the story they have heard through creative crafts and activities or by working with the story themselves.
Fish Tank (3rd – 5th Grade)
Children in 3rd through 5th grade participate in a Sunday School class called Fish Tank in the Youth Room (Room 305) on the third floor.
Together, they explore biblical passages through the age-appropriate curriculum called Growing in Grace & Gratitude, produced by our denomination. The children are welcomed, pass the peace with one another, put together their worship center for the day with a candle, Bible, and liturgical color, hear the day’s story, reflect on God’s grace, and respond in gratitude through engaging crafts and activities. They conclude with a prayer practice together.
Children in third grade and older also have the opportunity to serve as acolytes, lighting the Christ Candle at the start of the worship service.
Youth Ministry on Sunday Mornings
Middle and High School youth in 6th through 12th grade regularly attend the worship service with the congregation. FPC believes that their regular participation in worship not only contributes to our church’s worship life together but also seeks to inform the youth through direct engagement in the practices of faith.
Once every month or two, the youth have a time of fellowship and conversation following the Children’s Moment. These gatherings are called the Youth Coffee Shop Chats, and the youth and leaders walk to a nearby coffee shop together.
Youth Group Gatherings & Retreats
Our youth group activities for middle and high school youth help youth build stronger relationships with one another and their adult leaders. These gatherings offer a space for youth to explore their faith more deeply through service projects and interactive discussions about how their faith and everyday lives intersect.
First Presbyterian is a part of the Downtown Youth Collective, partnering with two other downtown churches, First United Methodist Church and Intown Church, for youth ministry activities throughout the year, including an annual Winter Retreat.
Every other year, students who are 7th grade or older are invited to participate in Confirmation, which involves regular gatherings, mentors, and engaging activities. Through confirmation, youth learn more about Christian theology, history, and practices through discussion and direct engagement in preparation for joining the church as active members.
Summer Youth Service Trips
Every summer, our youth engage in special weeks of service-learning activities.
Middle School City Camp
Middle school students (6th-8th) have a tradition of spending a week engaging in service in the Portland area with other youth ministry groups in the region through “City Camp.”
They sleep at one of the local churches and go out to different non-profit organizations and ministries around the city during the day to serve. In the evenings, they take time for fun, fellowship, and discussion.
High School Mission Trip
Each summer, the high school youth (9th-12th) have the opportunity to grow in faith through a mission immersion experience in a different context.
Recent mission trips have included:
- serving the homeless and learning about justice concerns in San Francisco, CA
- supporting the continued rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA
- experience and engaging in rural poverty in Rathdrum, Idaho and Spokane, WA
- serving diverse populations and learning about the immigrant experience in Miami, FL
- engaging with urban needs and racial justice in Atlanta, GA