The First Congregational Church in Thetford
lovingly welcomes children of all ages into our church home.
Children begin services with the congregation in the Sanctuary.
After Children’s Time and the choir anthem, young children (ages 2 to 5) may go to the Nursery; elementary age children (Grades K-6) may go to Children’s Worship.
At the back of the Sanctuary, we provide a quiet play area – with couches, books and puzzles for wiggly toddlers – and a rocking chair for mothers and babies.
Child Care: Our Nursery downstairs is staffed by a babysitter and an adult volunteer. In the Nursery and the Newcomb Room, there are other children’s books and space for mothers who choose to be with their babies.
Children’s Worship (“Sunday School”)
FCCT Sunday School Curriculum
Our new multi-age curriculum, “Shine: Living in God’s Light,” was chosen after considerable research and parent input, as we explored creative ways to teach to a wide range of ages, and to represent a diverse but shared vision for the spiritual education of our children and youth.
The “Shine” curriculum puts its emphasis on nurturing faith formation by:
• respecting children as partners in ministry;
• sharing Bible stories with them, in creative and interactive ways, to help them discover how people through the ages have striven to know and follow God;
• giving them time to listen, to speak, to question, and to wonder about these stories and how they might relate to their own lives and personal beliefs;
• using music, art, drama, and movement to allow them to express their own thoughts and feelings;
• introducing them to how God’s light shines in our lives through rituals and actions of silence and prayer ~ praise and thanksgiving ~ kindness and caring ~ forgiveness, and compassion;
• engaging them in discussions about how, following the teachings of Jesus, they can each shine their own light to bring healing, hope, and peace to our world.[In addition to this curriculum, we often include discussion about other religious traditions, and encourage interest in finding common universal themes in all faiths.]
Programs for Older Youth:*
Our program for Middle and High School youth is developing. We meet at least once a month, sometimes during church and sometimes on a Friday or Saturday evening for pizza and discussion. This year we took a trip to the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College to see “Witness,” an exhibit of artwork created during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and ’70s. We then met with the Hanover Friends Meeting Youth and, over pizza, developed a plan for hosting a Hunger Banquet fundraiser for Oxfam America. After several planning meetings, the Banquet was held in April at our church. We raised over $900 that will help hungry people around the world! We hope to continue projects like this in the future, and would like to continue our collaboration with the Hanover Friends Youth and with youth from other churches in the area.
Our teens are encouraged to help with the following activities:
- nursery care
- assistant teaching in Children’s Worship
- singing in the choir
- reading of scripture
- performing instrumental music in the service.
- We offer a Confirmation Class for 7th-9th graders every other year.