A child must know that he or she is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him or her.
— Pablo Casals, cellist and conductor
At First Parish, we celebrate the mysterious and powerful presence of God in our natural world and daily lives. We encourage our children to actively practice fellowship in a variety of local mission projects. We offer our children and youth a chance to take a central role in our services through Children’s Times, the Christmas Pageant, and Youth Sunday. First Parish Church is an open and affirming congregation– we believe that God is still speaking and we welcome everyone, no matter where they find themselves on their spiritual journey.
First Parish offers nursery care, preschool, and elementary school Faith Exploration programming during our worship service. Our yearly theme tracks with the academic year, so we begin in September with an Old Testament Study, embrace Advent, celebrate our Christmas Pageant, return to church in January with a New Testament Study, “give out” during our Lenten mission practice, welcome Easter, and learn about our denomination, the United Church of Christ (UCC) before our Youth Sunday celebration in mid-May. We also offer family-friendly services at the Treworgy Gardens over the summer and ‘Critter Camp’, a four-day nature-based program, in July.
Our dynamic fellowship for Older Youth (Middle and High School Students) occurs on Sunday afternoons and evenings and throughout the week. Students in the eighth grade have the option of participating in a Confirmation class, in which they will explore their ideas about God and the Christian faith, and compose a personal Statement of Faith. Both Middle and High School students participate in a variety of mission projects. Past missions have included helping build houses in rural Honduras and experiencing Heifer Farm’s Global Village in Rutland, MA.
In addition, all children within the UCC can participate in fun, creative summer programs at Pilgrim Lodge, our breathtakingly beautiful lakeside camp in West Gardiner, Maine. Youth are also invited to First Parish’s all-church retreat at Pilgrim Lodge in the fall. More information on Pilgrim Lodge programming can be found by clicking here. Scholarships are available to ensure that all youth who want to share in this wonderful experience may do so.
If you would like to hear more about any of our youth programs, please feel free to contact Kate Berry, Faith Exploration Coordinator .