The Children's Ministry is focused on children from birth through grade five. We provide an environment for children and families where Christ can be experienced as a living presence in their lives and the children know they are loved. We seek to help the children build relationships with all members of the congregation through worship, service and community life.
Step by Step Kids
Children's Ministry at Anderson First United Methodist
The First United Methodist Church in Anderson is committed to serving children in the congregation and in the neighborhood by:
- Providing a safe community of belonging
- Nurturing and guiding their Christian spiritual formation
- Encouraging their wonder and value for all God’s creation, especially other human beings, and
- Helping families to do the same.
We affirm that:
- Children are spiritual beings who experience God as God’s Spirit initiates communication and enters into relationship with them in uniquely meaningful ways.
- Children are a gift of God to the community of God’s people. As such they both receive from and contribute to the community. In community children matter and in community they can find a place of belonging.
- The community of God’s people is commanded to affirm the child’s spiritual nature, to help interpret and give words to the child’s spiritual experience, to direct the child’s rightful listening, to teach and guide them in the way of scripture and the traditions of the church and to live out a life of faith in God through Jesus Christ before them.
- Children learn, problem solve and experience life in multiple ways. As such, ministry with children must provide multiple ways of experiencing content to be learned. The content that children need to learn is not simply cognitive, but affective and behavioral as well.
- Positive and affirming relationship is the milieu in which children can best grow spiritually in the things of God.
- The child’s family of origin is the primary locus for the spiritual development of children. The community of God’s people is to join together with and support the family in its efforts.
- Children’s ministry -- as all ministries -- is to be done in the name of Jesus and under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is to be done only in God’s way and only for God’s glory.
Step By Step Kids on Sunday Mornings
Childcare for 0-2 years is provided by trained staff during Sunday services in a safe, fun, and educational setting while parents attend worship and/or Sunday school classes.
Children begin their Sunday morning worship experience at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary with their families. Following the opening of the service, all children age 3 years through 5th grade are invited to gather at “the banner” before processing out of the sanctuary with adult leaders and going to the Godly Play room. Godly Play is a unique worship experience for children that helps them learn the language of our faith. It also provides opportunity and practice listening for God and responding individually to God through the creative arts. Use the following link to get more information about Godly Play.
On the first Sunday of each month the children remain in the sanctuary with their families for worship and the Lord’s Supper.
Preschool Sunday School
During the summer months, Memorial Day through Labor Day, when the congregation worships at Davis Park, a Preschool Sunday School is available for all children who are walking but have not been to kindergarten yet. This takes place in the Coyner Lodge from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. while worship is taking place outside. Should weather bring worship indoors, there will be no Preschool Sunday School that day.
Step by Step Kids on Wednesday
During the fall, winter and spring months, there is children’s programming from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. p.m. on Wednesday evenings. This experience uses UMC Deep Blue curriculum as a foundation for the program, incorporating art, physical activity, music and service projects. And, there is always a snack.
Once each month at varying times, families with children come together for two hours beginning with a meal. The meal is followed by a lesson and activity for children while parents enjoy a guided conversation. The topics can change month by month. At the conclusion, families get together once more for games.
Summer programming varies year by year. It may be an extended week of Family Fusion, Art and Music Camp, a week-long service project, or some combination of all of these. Providing a lived-out experience of learning goals is key, especially in summer programming.
A highlight of the summer is camp for K-2nd graders and 3rd – 5th graders. Younger children spend 2 days and nights and the older children spend 3 days and nights at Camp Lakewood, a United Methodist Camp in northern Indiana.