First Congregational Church
 Gardner, MA 

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Children & Youth Ministry

Christian Education Director: Sue Rader
The educational needs of this community are ever changing and the following is a list to help inform you of some of the educational opportunities the First Congregational Church has to offer. If you have any further questions, please call the Church and leave a message for Sue Rader.

We welcome families of all sizes, shapes and hues. We provide a safe and nurturing environment for our children and youth as they learn more about God and our world. We provide a Sunday School program for grades K-8. We use a rotation program part of  the Cornerstone Curriculum, in the classroom. Family Events are planned throughout the year - i.e. Fall Family Fun, Advent Workshop, Shrove Tuesday  (Pancake Supper), Ice Skating (Monday of February vacation), Easter Egg Hunt, etc.

Visiting our Church for the first time? Please inform a Greeter or Usher that you are new and would like to be introduced to our Christian Ed. director, Sue Rader.

Sunday School
During 10:00 worship, children meet upstairs for classes and a range of age-appropriate crafts, games, music, and other enrichment activities, allowing parents to partake of Sunday morning worship. Sunday School rotation is four weeks, with the fifth Sunday dedicated to Family Worship. Each year our Sunday School themes are chosen and lessons are taught with a workshop rotation model. This is a multi-sensory approach. There are Old Testament, New Testament, Sacrament, missions and church history teachings.

More Information on Sunday School:
Welcome to Sunday School Booklet (pdf)

Communion Class
A communion class is offered to the third grade and up. It is an 8 week program in the Spring, with classes at 9:30 on Sundays. First Communion is the first Sunday of May. For more information, contact the church office.


Through the sacrament of Christian baptism, our young ones are affirmed as children of God and welcomed into the circle of Christís church.  Baptism is offered throughout the year.  To discuss baptism with our minister, please call the church at (978) 632-2142.

We use the Affirming Faith/mentoring program and it is offered to grades 8th and up. This program guides young people in exploring their faith and prepares them to consider affirming their faith through the rite of confirmation.  There is also a retreat as part of the program. For more information, contact the church office.

Vacation Bible School (VBS)
This  year's (2016) Vacation Bible School is Crocodile Dock! At VBS, kids discover that by trusting God, everything is possible. The theme verse is:Where Fearless Kids Shine God's Light!


Christian Education Committee

Purpose: The Christian Education Committee seeks to provide adults and children with educational programs and resources to enable them to experience a personal and covenantal relationship with God, through our Savior Jesus Christ, and shall be responsible for the hiring and direction of a Christian Education Director.
Membership: The Committee shall consist of six people, two to be elected annually for a term of three years.
The Christian Education Committee meets at 7:00 PM every 1st Tuesday of the month. Meetings are usually held in the Church Parlor unless moved to a memberís home.