Children

Growing God's Disciples

Church School Classes

Sunday Morning | 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Children in the three-year-old (Preschool III) class through the 4th grade use the Faithweaver curriculum. This series is a bible-based, integrated program (which means that each grade level focuses on the same general theme).

"Hands on" activities are the primary approach to learning. Old Testament concepts are studied in the Summer and Fall; New Testament concepts are studied in the Winter and Spring. The curriculum follows a three-eyar rotation, giving each child a complete overview of the bible at the preschool level and again at the elementary level. Fifth grade curriculum is based on the Keyword Learning System. This program, which is similar to the Bethel Bible Study for adults uses keywords and pictures to help the child remember both the name and main theme of each book of the bible.

Each child in the Preschool III class receives a GOD'S STORY bible. This bible, which was written by Karyn Henley, author of the original BEGINNER'S BIBLE, offers the bible as one chronological story. It is our hope that parents will enjoy this book with their child as a favorite "bedtime reader"; and that the children will also enjoy reading it as they get older. As they enter First Grade, each child is given THE NEW ADVENTURE BIBLE - NIV STUDY BIBLE FOR KIDS, which is the reference bible used in our church school classes. All children receive the Children's Building t-shirt, with our official logo on the front.

Children in the 1st-5th grades also receive their own church notebook. This notebook contains sections for church school lessons, the children's directory, bible study aids and the ever-popular BIBLE TRADING CARDS. Children earn cards by attendance at Sunday School, bringing a friend, learning a bible verse and other similar activities.

Infants & Toddlers

Sunday Morning | 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

infants & toddlers playing

Nursery care for infants and toddlers is available, not only on Sunday Mornings, but also for Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings and other church activity, when requested. A separate nursery booklet, listing all of the guidelines for nursery care, may be picked up on the Resource Table in the main hallway of The Children's Building.

Extended Session

Sunday Morning | 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. and 11:16 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Following the church school hour, preschool children, birth through Kindergarten, are invited to remain in their classrooms for Extended Session. Rather than attending the church service, preschoolers share in snacks, games and other activities more suitable to their age and developmental levels.

Children's Church

Sunday Morning | 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Following the celebration of communion each Sunday, children in grades 1-3 leave the sanctuary and gather in the Children's Library for a special "sermon", designed to make the worship experience more meaningful to them. the Children's Church themes follow the same schedule as the church school curriculum, providing yet another opportunity for reinforcing concepts.

Vocal and Instrumental Choirs

Angel Choir | Sunday | 10:15 a.m.
The Angel Choir is composed of all children, ages three years through kindergarten. They meet with the Minister of Music, Gala Strunk, each Sunday morning from 10:15 until 10:30 (at the end of the church school hour) in the sanctuary. The Angel Choir offers special music during the Thaksgiving, Advent and Lenten seasons, on Mother's Day and at other special times throughout the year.

Genesis Singers & Ringers | Wednesday | 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Genesis Singers is designed for children in 1st-5th grades. Church vans are available to pick up children at the various elementary campuses, if needed. Through singing and playing instruments, children not only learn important music concepts; but also learn to appreciate music as a form of worship. This talented group not only sings during the worship service throughout the year, but also presents a "musical extravaganza" each Spring.

Guitar Class | Monday | 5:00 p.m.
Guitar classes are offered for anyone interested in learning to play. Ages 9-99 are invited to join, with members ranging from beginners to advanced players.

GGD Afterschool Bible Study Club

Wednesday | 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Children in grades 1-5 learn more about the bible while enjoying snacks, music, games, arts & crafts, fellowship and lots of fun. A typical lesson on Stewardship, for example, included racing to find different bible verses about giving to God "first" and baking (and eating!) a "firstfruits" cake. Their study of Noah included measuring out the exact dimensions of the ark, as given in Genesis, on the front lawn! Van/parent carpool pick up for this program is available at most area schools.

Junior Youth Fellowship

Sundays - T.B.A

All 3rd through 5th graders are invited to be a part of the JYF youth group. JYF follows a scriptural theme each year, studying the Bible as they play and pray together. Plans include games, field trips such as volunteering to sack food at the Food Box or visiting Sci-Port and other activities designed for fun and fellowship. A Snack Supper is provided from 5:30-6:00.

Coloring Book

  • Epic Events Book
  • Jesus' Ministry Book
  • Old Testament Characters Book

Second Saturday Parent's Night Out

Saturday | 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

On the Second Saturday of each month, parents a treated to a night out, with babysitting provided here at the church. There is no charge; but reservations must be made by the preceeding Thursday at noon. This program is limited to members and regular visitors of FCC.

Candelighters

Each Sunday, the 9:00 as well as the 11:16 worship service begins with the "bringing of the light". Two candlelighters drawn from the second through fifth grades, process down the center aisle to light the candles in the chancel. Schedules are rotated throughout the year so that each child may have a chance to participate. Siblings are scheduled to light together, whenever possible.

Camp Programs

Mini Camp and Day Camp | June
Summer kicks off each June with the "world-renowned" Mini and Day Camp program. Each year, the week-long camp focuses on a different biblical theme, using the wonder of God's creation as a backdrop. Day Camp, which meets from 8:45-2:45 daily (with an overnight campout on Thursday night) includes fishing, canoeing, archery, arts & crafts, swimming and more ~ all for grades 1-5. The preschool Mini Camp, held from 8:45-11:45, features nature study, music and arts & crafts. The week culminates on Day Camp Sunday, when the entire worship service is led by the campers and counselors. Registration for Day Camp begins in March for church members; April for non-members. Space for non-members is limited, with preference given to those who have attended camp in previous years and those who are PREP students.

Junior Camp | July
Fourth and Fifth Graders also participate in the yearly Junior Camp program, held for one week in July at the Christian Youth Foundation Camp in Athens, Texas. One of the benefits of Junior Camp is the opportunity that it provides to meet juniors from other churches, as the camp draws Disciples children from all of the Northeast Area, which includes Tyler, Texarkana, Lufkin and Nacogdoches.

New Beginnings Camp | Summer
This 2 1/2 day event is designed to familiarize First, Second and Third Grade children with the camp facilities in Athens. At least one parent must attend.

Other Seasonal Programs

Co-Ed Church League Basketball | January - March
First Christian sponsors several co-ed teams for children and youth, including and 8 and under team, 10 and under, 12 and under and so on. Signup is in Nov/Dec of each year. The season typically begins the first weekend in January (after New Year's Day) and includes one weekly practice and one Saturday game. Although we have had several championship teams, our primary emphasis is on participation, fellowship and fun!

The Pastor's Class & Elder Mentorship | Lent
Fifth graders are invited to meet with the Senior Minister each year during the season of Lent for a series of classes leading up to the child's confession of faith (on Palm Sunday) baptism and first communion (on Easter Sunday). The Pastor's Class is designed to help prepare children for this very important step in their journey of faith. Each child is also paired with a church Elder, who provides special support and encouragement during this time.

First Grade Inclusion Classes | August
Designed to welcome First Graders as participants in the worship service, First Grade Inclusion Classes are held on the 2-3 Sundays prior to Promotion Sunday, usually beginning in early August. Children meet with the Children's Minister and parents with the Senior Minister to discuss ways of making the worship service more meaningful to the young people involved.

The PREP School

Weekday Preschool Program | Monday - Friday | 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
The PREP School enters the new millennium with its silver anniversary, celebrating 25 years of Providing Readiness and Enrichment Preparation.

Classes are offered for children ages 6 months through kindergarten.

The twenty-two staff members of PREP plan activities that not only promote learning in academic fields such as reading, writing and mathematics, but also growth in the areas of emotional, social, physical and spiritual development. Two teachers are provided in every classroom; and children also receive instruction from separate resource teachers in the areas of art, music, nature, motor skills, computer and storytelling. Special school resources include the Children's Library, the Discovery Room nature museum and two separate playgrounds. Registration for PREP takes place in February,
with additional sign-up available throughout the year as space is available.

To receive an information packet about the PREP program, please call the school office at 758-0320.

Our Mission Statement

As members of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, the teachers and other volunteers within The Children's Building strive to create an environment which nurtures the growth of discipleship in our children through the areas of...

Christian Fellowship
From his or her entrance into the nursery, both members and programs emphasize to each child the love, security, support, friendship and fun that is provided to them as valuable members of the church family.
"And He took the children in His arms, put His hands and them and blessed them."
Mark 10:16

Christian Education
Church School classes, bible study groups and other opportunities are offered to provide children a foundation of basic bible knowledge and its application to their daily lives.
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word...I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
Psalm 119:9,11

Christian Service & Stewardship
Programs within the Children's Building reflect our belief that even young children, through participation in programs such as Angel Choir, "Yardsticks for the Yard" or "Fill the Ark", are able to share their gifts of time, talent and treasure in worship of God and in service to others.
"Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Matthew 29:37-39