CYF News

Easter is coming! Please help fill Easter eggs!

We will hide approximately 2,000 eggs for First Congregational’s massive egg hunt, which takes place between Easter Sunday services. Eggs should be filled with new, individually wrapped candy (Lifesavers, bubblegum, Starburst, Jolly Ranchers, etc.).

Plastic eggs are located in the Narthex and may be returned to the main office no later than Palm Sunday, April 9.

The church has mice! But they are cute and friendly!

The children of choir parents have been meeting during choir rehearsals since January and we are having a blast! This ministry was started to provide a safe space with some intentional fellowship for the children of  our choir members who were without childcare. We have enjoyed various craft projects, movies, and follow up Church School lessons. Our evening usually begins with 30 minutes of homework time and piano practicing followed by fun.

If the only thing preventing you from joining our amazing choir has been childcare, no more excuses. The Church Mice Youth group is open for students age 4 through grade 6. Students should bring homework or a quiet project for the first 30 minutes of our time together and  parents should be members of the choir to take advantage of this awesome opportunity.

Camp AweSum is not a “church camp” in the way that most people picture. It is a nonprofit group that organizes camping experiences for kids on the Autism Spectrum and their families, and it is held at one of our UCC camps, Moon Beach Camp in St. Germain, Wisconsin. At Camp AweSum, kids and teens develop new friendships through tried and true camping experiences like arts and crafts, nature walks, and music. 

The staff of Camp AweSum consists of autism specialists, other professionals, students in autism education, and volunteers who attend a two-hour training session in preparation for the experience. Our Director for Children’s Ministries, Kristin Underwood, has been involved with Camp AweSum for many years, taking groups of teen volunteers every summer. She is currently recruiting volunteers (eighth grade and older) for this excellent outreach opportunity. 

The youth volunteers often sum up their experience in three words: life-changing experience. 

Children bring special gifts to worship and grow in faith through their regular inclusion and participation in worship with the congregation.

To help our church live out this important mission, the Children’s Ministry Team launched an experiment in late May 2016 cleverly named PrayGround.

The PrayGround is intended for children ages 3–10; our nursery/toddler rooms are available for our youngest worshippers.

While the PrayGround is loosely supervised, parents are still expected to maintain the primary caretaker role (bathroom breaks, disciplining etc.)

PrayGround participants are expected to:
·      Use quiet voices at all times.
·      Enjoy the quiet activities provided.
·      Participate in the worship service when appropriate (Children’s message, Lord’s Prayer, unison readings).
·      Stop activity when praying.

Parents/guardians are expected to:
·      Enjoy the service from a spot where you can see your child/children or join them in the PrayGround.
·      Redirect, calm, or remove your child/children if they become disruptive to other children or to the service itself.
·      Pick up children at the close of the Benediction.

Rotation 2, Symbols of Christmas – Christ Revealed, has come to a successful close. The children spent five weeks learning about the hidden meaning behind the traditional hymn, Twelve Days of Christmas, as well as the legends of the candy cane and poinsettia. They watched a movie on Christ’s birth and participated in an experiment that made a light bulb light up when good choices were made.

Our workshops were led by a team of very amazing volunteer teachers. The children would like to thank Shari Mitchell, Jolene Scribner, Amy Bowman, Heather Gentile, Mary Ballerstein, Cheryl Nisler, Brett Underwood and the many middle school helpers for their dedication to Children’s Ministry.

Volunteers for Rotation 3, Character Counts – Joshua, are underway now. If you are interested in teaching January 8–February 5, please let Kristin know.

Help us create a volunteer pool! Our Children, Youth and Families ministry is working hard to compile a list of potential volunteers who may be interested in joining our thriving ministry to over 240 active children and youth!

To get onto this list, you will need to complete the application and training process. Please contact Kristin Underwood, Director for Children's Ministries for a volunteer application, which includes a background check authorization form. Help us to help you and the church grow in its intergenerational ministry by adding your name to this pool of volunteers!

Want to stay in the loop?

Sign up to receive notifications about Wednesday night small groups from Remind, a one-way texting service. The text reminders are meant for our high school youth, but parents are also encouraged to sign up.

In order to receive texts, send a text to phone number 81010 and write @fcucchs in the message. You can unsubscribe at any time. With Remind, the church does not have access to the subscriber list, and one-on-one communication is not possible.

First Congregational takes the cultivation of a loving and safe environment for all of its members very seriously. Our SafeConduct™ Policy protects the safety of everyone who participates in ministries for children, youth and vulnerable adults. The Code of Conduct section within this policy is required reading for anyone applying to volunteer in these ministries. You may view the policy at www.firstcongoappleton.org/read-it-here.

If you are interested in volunteering with children, youth or vulnerable adults, we invite you to apply in advance so that you have the flexibility to jump in whenever an opportunity comes your way. Please contact the church office to get the application process started.

This week, our Middle School group spent time reflecting on God’s unconditional love and how we can share that by being kind to others. We found that sometimes we just need some positivity during our day, maybe a little hope, or perhaps some understanding.

We made “Take What You Need” signs and have hung them around the church, for YOU to take what you need for the day or week. We hope that you can grab what you need and spread God’s unconditional love!

​Easter Sunday, April 16 • 9:45–10:30 AM
Upper level of the CYF Center

Easter is coming! Be sure you set aside time between services on April 16 to attend our massive Easter egg hunt! All First Congo children ages 2 through grade 6 are invited to join the hunt. We will hide approximately 2,000 eggs, which will be filled with new, individually wrapped candies.

Children should be sure to bring an Easter basket to carry their eggs.

Are you one of our wonderful helpers who volunteered to fill Easter eggs? Please remember to return filled eggs by Palm Sunday, April 9. Thank you!