Children & Youth
Children and youth of all ages experience God’s love and learn to follow Jesus in all sorts of ways.
FMC seeks to cultivate a place where God’s love is felt and known through the love we extend to each other, and where the stories and practices of Jesus can seep into our hearts, minds, and bodies.
Worship, education, service, and fellowship opportunities that instill a sense of belonging (“You are loved!”) and grow our fascination with God’s creation (“Whoa!”) are at the core of how we approach Christian formation, especially for the young ones in our midst.
A Child’s Worship Privileges
- To be in the midst of the congregation, not on the sidelines
- To wander and squirm as needed
- To give answers during children’s time without being laughed at
- To be called by name by each adult
- To be a valued person in the congregation
- To be led to faith by the Christ-like love, care, and example of each adult
- To be an active participant in worship
First Mennonite Church is a community of and for all ages. For the youngest children, infants through preschool, nursery care is provided throughout worship and Sunday School. (Parents are asked to please attend to their children during the fellowship time.) The nursery is located in the church basement.
Children who are kindergarten age and older are encouraged to join in the worship service, which includes a children’s story time, when children are invited to gather at the front of the sanctuary. Most weeks, children in the nursery are also brought into the sanctuary for the children’s story.
The Sunday School hour includes classes for all ages, preschool and up, with nursery care provided for babies through age 3.
During some seasons, children gather at special times to learn choir numbers, rehearse for musicals, and play together.
Middle school (JYF = Junior Mennonite Youth Fellowship) and high school (MYF = Mennonite Youth Fellowship) groups meet weekly during the Sunday School hour and periodically outside Sunday morning for social time, service projects, and educational opportunities. Sunday School covers a range of topics, usually changing quarterly and tailored to the interests and needs of the group. Recent topics include Anabaptist History and Theology, The Gospel and Harry Potter, Love Is a Verb, The Lord’s Prayer, Old Testament Prophets and Social Justice, and Practicing Spiritual Disciplines.
Occasional classes — usually offered to the high schoolers — explore baptism as a way of responding to the call of Jesus on our lives (“Follow me”), and living out that call in the church with the help of God’s Spirit.
Both JYF and MYF participate in the annual weekend winter retreat at Menno Haven Camp.
MYF travels biennially (odd years) to the weeklong Mennonite Church USA national convention. In between convention years, they do a weeklong service project. Recent projects include work at a community center in Canton, Ohio, and helping a home-improvement crew in Harlan, Kentucky.
Many middle school youth choose to be paired with an adult in the congregation who serves as a mentor and spiritual friend.
Information for Parents & Caregivers
Nursery caregivers, Sunday school teachers, and youth sponsors are parents and other volunteers from within the congregation. First Mennonite Church is committed to providing a safe environment where all children can know and share God’s love. Anyone working with children and youth is screened and trained in accordance with FMC’s Safe Church Policy (PDF). Parents are welcome to visit or attend the nursery or Sunday school classes at any time.
FMC strives to be a place where the joys and challenges of life with children can be celebrated, honored, and held together in community.