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Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
– Matthew 19:14

Growing in Faith

Helping children and youth grow in their faith has been an important part of our church throughout our history. We invite you to learn more about our programs through the descriptions listed below or by contacting the church office at 217-367-8357.

Infants & Younger Toddlers

Infants and young toddlers are lovingly cared for in our church nursery on the lower level during worship. Our paid staff member provides a consistent caregiver to help children adjust more easily to being away from parents.

The room is filled with toys and books to engage them, as well as soft spaces and a crib for those who need to rest. Parents are given a pager so that staff can easily contact them, if needed.

Older Toddlers & Preschoolers

The toddler/preschool room on the lower level is filled with active learning opportunities to engage the whole child physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. Child care is available during worship for toddlers & preschoolers who are not quite ready to stay for the whole service.

Education for preschool children is offered from 10:45 – 11:30 a.m. on Sundays during the academic year. The curriculum consists of a Bible story and age appropriate activity followed by free time to explore the play centers in the room supervised by loving and caring staff.

Although older children have more experience being away from parents, pagers are always available to parents of this age group as well.

Elementary Years

Covenant Kids, a rotation workshop for elementary-age children, meets after worship from 10:45 – 11:30 am each Sunday during the academic year in the upper-level classrooms near Fellowship Hall.

Each year one spiritual concept, such as “forgiveness” or “faith” is the focus. The concept is reinforced through both Old and New Testament stories, with a focus on one story every three weeks.

Each story is presented with a new activity each week to tap into the multiple learning styles and interests of the children. For example, after a time of singing songs and hearing or reading the story we will have an art activity, an interactive computer lesson, a science experiment, or a cooking project to help extend the children’s learning.

Special educational opportunities are offered during the summer. Creating a video to illustrate a bible story is a favorite activity of our elementary-age youth.

Middle School

Our sixth grade through eighth grade class meets in a lower-level classroom from 10:45 – 11:30 on Sunday’s during the academic year. Middle school youth explore the Bible and big faith questions using the re:form Ancestors curriculum. Middle School youth uncover the similarities we share with the unpolished and unexpected faith ancestors from the Old and New Testaments.We are all less than perfect, but God still loves us and can give us purpose.

Confirmation Class

The Confirmation experience at First Presbyterian is a year-long curriculum for Middle School students that meets during our Sunday morning education hour. Special retreats also are included.

The emphasis is on forming a community where teachers and students together explore the tenets of our faith. We study how to use the Bible to help us understand the history of God’s interactions with us as well as how the scriptures and Bible stories direct us in making daily life decisions.

We seek to understand the social responsibility of being a Christian actively living out our faith. We also spend time learning about the Presbyterian church. The year culminates with the formation of a statement of faith and the decision on entering into full church membership in May.

High School

Our high school class is a supportive, fun, and highly interactive group. The class meets in a lower level classroom from 10:45-11:30 on Sunday’s during the academic year.

We follow a four-year rotating curricula to cover a broad range of biblical, social, and personal issues from a spiritual perspective. We also include opportunities for joint-education with adults and children. We have time to get up to date on what’s going on in each of our lives, and there’s always a good snack!