Education
Programs

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to help children, youth, and adults to develop a relationship with God through the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

Sunday Morning Nursery Care
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

From birth through 3 years of age, year round.  A paid care provider is responsible and manages the Nursery.  The Nursery is a safe environment with lots of love and toys.  The facility has an adjoining bathroom and a pager system for parents.


Sunday Morning Church School
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

All children attend the Sunday church service at the beginning, and after the Children's Sermon they are dismissed to their classrooms.  Classes are offered to students who are 4 years of age to students who are in the 12th grade, from September (after Labor Day) through May.  During June, July, and August, First Parish offers A One Room Church School.  There are 8 separate classrooms with their own sink, intercom, and phone. A niche with a cross and bible are also in every room, and that niche echoes the same curved wood design as in the sanctuary.   To register your child for Church School, please click the "Church School" registration button in the center of this page. To sign up for teaching use the "Volunteer to Teach" button in the center of this page.


Choirs
For those students who are musically inclined, they can supplement their christian studies in the Children's Choir or Junior Choir.


Bible Sunday
All 3rd graders receive a Bible on "Bible Sunday" which is held in October.  Bibles are presented during the 10;00 AM Worship Service and all are invited to a Bible Breakfast that same morning.

 


Confirmation
Confirmation classes meet September through June, including a retreat.  Each confirmand is teamed up with a mentor of the same gender.

 


Adult Offerings
Classes are frequently offered through study groups to enrich faith and spirituality.  These adult study opportunities include but are not limited to Adult Bible Study, Soup & Study, Luminaries, and Membership Inquiry.  For the musically inclined there is the adult Church Choir, and this includes vocals and instrumentals.

 

With Deep Blue, children will make Bible stories, Bible people, and Bible passages a part of their lives. They will also come to know the Bible as THEIR book and find ways to let the Bible speak to them today!

Deep Blue incorporates Bible stories, science activities, arts and crafts, animated video storytelling, and active games into a lived-faith experience that will help children discover what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ today!

The Deep Blue kids—Asia, Edgar, and Kat—will lead the children through the Bible using animated videos that tell the story. The student resources - the Bible Story, the Kids Activity, and the Deep Blue Kids Bible - are colorful and engaging, encouraging the children to 

“dive deeper” into the Bible and explore their faith in fun and age-appropriate ways.


Volunteer to teach during
a fall, winter, or spring quarter 
for 2016 - 2017!

Lessons for DEEP BLUE are easy for leaders
to teach and easy for children to understand.


Our SPRING QUARTER Sunday School teachers are 
listed below
 and we appreciatie their service very much.  Thank you!


Pre-K, K, Grade 1:  Adria G. and Linda S-L.
Grades 2, 3 & 4       Heather N. and Nancy M.
Grades 5, 6 & 7:      David J. and Jen P.
Grades 8 - 12:         Karen  B., Jen E. and Brain D.

We are thankful that FPC's nursery is supervised by Lisa E. and a volunteer.  We value their offering by nurturing our most youngest church members. 


We're ready to make 
contact with you!

Please contact the Director of Christian Education 
for Children and Youth, Kris Galasyn, at 207-283-3771 Ext. 24,
or at kris@firstparishsaco.org.

CHRISTIAN EDUCATION TEAM: 
Karen B., Chairperson,
Lisa E., Jen E., Mary C., Nadine R.,
Mary S., Linda S-L., and Eric S.

CLICK FOR PDF of the FPC CHRISTIAN EDUCATION BROCHURE
 


 


Experiential
Education
Programs


First Parish Youth Fellowship

Various activities occur throughout the year for both Jr. High (Grades 6, 7 and 8) and Sr. High (Grades 9 through 12) Youth.  Examples of the events include: Souper Bowl of Caring, College Care Packages and Mother's Day Breakfast & Blanket Sunday.


Vacation Bible School 2016 



 


See you in 2017 for...

CLICK HERE TO GO TO REFISTRATION


Christmas Pageant

Our Church School shares the Christmas story with the Congregation during the 10:00 AM Worship Service on the third Sunday in Advent.  We have a catered dinner and pageant rehearsal the Friday evening before.


Pilgrim Lodge

A United Church of Christ summer camp located on beautiful Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, Maine.  Pilgrim Lodge has programs for children, youth, adults and families.  The Church provides financial assistance through a campership program.  Campership applications are available online and are posted in April of each year.  For more information about the camp, visit www.pilgrimlodge.org.
 

     


National Youth Event

Over 2500 other UCC youth and chaperones spens time enjoying days of wonderful worship and workshops, yummy food, outstanding fellowship, lots of walking, magical music and superb speakers.  National Youth Event (NYE) happens every four years.  We are already looking forward to 2020!

Click LINK to view our video.

 




Safe Christian Education Policies

First Parish Congregational Church, UCC, Saco (a.k.a. FPC)

· Fire & Emergency Safety Evacuation Plan: The "Fire & Emergency Safety Evacuation Plan" is a documented procedure and is posted in each church space.  Our Facilities Team plans a yearly fire drill for the whole church. When we change church school teachers during the year, we hold a practice drill so everyone who teaches knows the evacuation procedure.

· Two Adults to Every Classroom and Nursery: For any church–sponsored program, event, program or ministry involving children or youth, FPC will have two adults at all times, and the two adults are not to be related.  This policy provides important protection to the church's workers and volunteers as well as children and youth.

· Permanent Nursery Caregiver/Coordinator:  The church has a paid permanent nursery care provider and coordinator.  As part of our nursery there is an easy to use pager system available and all parents are asked to take one when dropping off a child.

· Policy for Food and for Peanut and Tree Nut Free in the Lower Level of FPC:   We ask parents not to leave any food with their child.  Cheerios are provided if a snack is needed.  Baby bottles/sippy cups are only allowed for the children being dropped off at the nursery.  For the safety and good heath of all who gather at First Parish, the Christian Education Team has a policy to prohibit "Peanut/Tree Nuts" on the Lower Level of the building.  See section below for details.

· Classrooms Doors: Windows in and adjacent to all classroom doors remove the opportunity for secrecy and isolation. Half doors (Nursery and PreK/Kindergarten classrooms) offer protection against children wandering outside the classroom and allow for full viewing.

· No Workers Under the Age of Eighteen in the Classrooms or Nursery: No workers or teachers in the classrooms and nursery can be under eighteen years of age, however, junior and senior high aged youth may assist. This policy is necessary to reduce the risk of injuries to children and youth. Allowing junior and senior high aged volunteers in the church nursery is a very common practice among churches, but only adults (18+ years of age) supervise children.  Children and youth under the age of eighteen have not developed the maturity and necessary judgment needed to supervise children or youth at FPC.

· Background Checks on All Adults that Work with Youth/Children:  Aong with the policy of two adults in every classroom and nursery the Christian Education Team uses background checks for all church school teachers, nursery participants, youth/children fellowship leaders, confirmation mentors, vacation Bible school teachers and youth/children's music directors.  Funds for background checks is a line item within the Christian education Team's budget.

· Youth/Adult Covenants for Programs, Trips and Overnights:  Every program, trip and overnight that occurs inside and outside of FPC's walls comes with a covenant signed by youth and by the adult chaperones.  Sometimes parents/guardians have to sign, also. These covenants are provided by the national United Church of Christ.  Download the UCC Youth Covenant.

· Parental/Guardian Written Permission for All Programs, Trips and Overnights:  Parental/guardian consent is a MUST for all programs, trips and overnights that take place offsite or onsite, including any FP Youth Fellowship or Confirmation Classes.  At FPC the policy is "no signed permission form, you don't participate nor travel, period".  For a copy of the parent/guardian permission form contact FPC's Christian Education Director.

· Volunteer Driver List:  The FPC policy is that we don't accept driving without a license, therefore, all people who drive youth to FPC programs, trips or overnights (parents, youth leaders, ministers, directors, mentors) have to sign a form stating that they are legally licensed and insured to drive within the continental United States.  Youth do not drive other youth when participating in any church program, trip or overnight, and that is part of the driver policy.

· Registration Forms on all Children and Youth with a Parent's/Guardian's Written Permission to Video or Photograph, (for use in church brochures or website): Every year new registration forms are filled out on each child and youth under the age of 18. These forms also request a parental/guardian signature to give us permission to video or photograph each child/youth, for church brochure, sharing pictures within the church building or website use. We do not match names with pictures.

 

FIRST PARISH FIRE & EMERGENCY
SAFETY EVACUATION PLAN

FPC has set forth the following Fire & Emergency Safety Evacuation Plan to ensure the safety of all people using our facility. The plan is to be followed by all staff, Church School teachers, teams, groups, other ministry members, visitors and long and short-term building renters, including child-care programs, social organizations, non-profit organizations, public organizations, and organizations.

First Parish Congregational Church, UCC, Saco will periodically conduct fire drills coordinated with the Saco Fire Department. The Saco Fire Department has reviewed and endorsed this Fire & Emergency Safety Evacuation Plan.

If you are in the building and the automatic fire alarm sounds, you must prepare to evacuate the building immediately:

· Assist those less ambulatory than yourself;

· Call 9-1-1 and give as much detail as you can;

· Evacuate the building by your safest exit route;

· Go directly to the designated emergency gathering spot which is the parking lot behind the church and funeral home;

· Church School teachers will remain with their classes and are to bring the attendance sheet and the grade level sign (labeled Pre-K/K - 7th grades) with them; 

· Do not re-enter the building until the Fire Dept. gives an "All Clear".

In the event you come upon fire or smoke in the building and the fire alarm has not yet activated, go to the

nearest Pull-Station to activate the fire alarm:

· Pull-Stations are located near every exit door;

· Assist others while evacuating the building by your safest route;

· Go directly to the designated emergency gathering spot which is the parking lot behind the church and funeral home;

· Do not re-enter the building until the Fire Dept. gives the "All-Clear".

 

FOOD & PEANUT/TREE NUTS FREE
POLICIES FOR FPC's LOWER LEVEL

PEANUT/TREE NUTS

For the safety and good heath of all who gather at First Parish, the Christian Education Team has a policy to prohibit "Peanut/Tree Nut" on the Lower Level of the building.

Severe food allergies, especially peanut and tree nuts, (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.) are exceptionally dangerous, often life threatening for many individuals.

First Parish Christian Education Team is especially concerned for infants and young children, who are not able to advocate for themselves.

Therefore, we are committed to maintaining a "Peanut/Tree Nuts Free" environment for the Lower Level of FPC.

Food Allergy Basics

Below are some food allergy basics:

· Food allergy is a growing safety concern in the US.

· Eight foods account for 90% of all the reactions in the US.

· Approximately 11 million Americans suffer from food allergies: 3 million allergic to peanut and tree nuts.

· One in every 20 children under the age of 3 has food allergies.

· Food allergies are most prevalent in younger children.

· Trace amounts of food allergen can cause a reaction. People need to be on guard for hidden ingredients (such as peanut and tree nuts) in unsuspected places such as candy, baked goods, trail mixes, sauces, desserts and gravy.

· There is NO cure for a food allergy. Strict avoidance is the ONLY way to prevent a reaction.

· See www.foodallergy.org for more information.

Complete information regarding this Food Policy must be circulated to the church and outside community. The Christian Education Team advocates the following regarding this Policy:

· Post signs

· Include regular announcements in the Weekly Bulletin, Messenger and Website

· Include this information in the new Member packets and have it available in the Atrium

· Include this information to anyone using and renting the Lower Level spaces of the building

· Request the Facilities Team to include this policy in all Building Rental Agreements.

FOOD

In the Nursery, the following is required:

· Baby bottles/sippy cups (milk and/or juices), will be the only liquid/food that may be brought into the nursery.

· Cheerios will be purchased by the Christian Education Team and will be the only snack food allowed.

In the remainder of Lower Level of Building the following is required:

· Food will be allowed, but only items that are "Peanut/Tree Nuts Free."
· Since trace amounts of food allergens can cause a reaction, people need to be on guard for hidden ingredients, in unsuspected places such as candy, baked goods, trail mixes, sauces, desserts and gravy.
· Please read all labels of any food items each time you bring them into the lower level.
· Remember, just because a product was safe the last time you bought it, does not mean the ingredients have stayed the same.
· Please, ALWAYS CHECK FOOD INGREDIENT LABELS EACH TIME YOU BRING FOOD!

 

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