First Congregational Church of Westfield offers a vibrant Church School program that encourages children to learn and grow in their faith. A committed and hardworking team of professionals and volunteers provide a popular and ever growing and evolving church school experience to our youth.
Infants through 2 year olds
Our "Crib Room" is staffed every Sunday of the year by our dedicated paid professional care-givers. Parents of crib room aged children are also asked to assist on a rotating basis. Throughout the school year, a Senior High School Student is also assigned to assist in the Crib Room. There are always at least two adults present during worship. The Crib Room provides parents of young children peace of mind and the ability to enjoy the worship service knowing their child is receiving excellent care.
3-Year Olds through Middle High School
Children attend worship with their parents and are dismissed for Church School after the children's moment, "The Word with Children." Our volunteer staff of Church School teachers uses the Shine, Living in God's Light curriculum. It is a story based curriculum which covers much of the Bible in a 3 year outline. The curriculum nurtures faith by engaging the imagination through the Bible, tradition, science, technology and the arts. On a weekly basis, children are treated to an enjoyable and meaningful experience in their church school classes. A variety of additional programs are planned throughout the year to keep the children involved and interested. Some of these programs include:
- Music classes - children learn songs and hymns related to the curriculum. Under the direction of Assistant Music Director Joe Regan, the children also perform a special musical presentation during a worship service in the spring and at the Advent Festival in December.
- Christmas Eve pageant - children take part in a Christmas themed play during our 5pm service on Christmas Eve.
- Lenten Mission Project - children raise money through a "Fill the Ark" program and a very successful Cake Auction for the benefit of Heifer International.
- Bibles - Third grade students receive Bibles during a special service in the fall of each year.
- Confirmation - Ninth grade students attend Confirmation classes with the Ministers throughout the year for the purpose of exploring their faith at a deeper level than ever before. Confirmation Sunday is held in June.
During June, July and August, Summer Sunday Stories, a one-room schoolhouse styled program is offered to school aged children, 3 years old - grade 5.
Senior High School
Our senior high school students, when they are not volunteering in our Church School classrooms, remain in church so that they can experience worship. It is by worshipping together that we teach our youth the value of it.
Church School Superintendent
Alida Woods joined the First Congregational Church with her family in November 1986. In February 1992, Alida was hired as the Church School Superintendent. She is responsible for all of the administrative tasks that are necessary for running the Church School. Alida is also responsible for identifying, recruiting, supervising and supporting our volunteer Church School teachers and assistants, as well as the Crib Room child care professionals.
Alida received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the George Washington University in 1981.
Alida and her husband, Bill Woods, reside in Scotch Plains. They have two daughters. Sara and her husband, Ryan Mikulsky, reside in Gainesville, VA, and Christina resides in Scotch Plains.
If you have any questions about our programs, please call Alida Woods, Church School Superintendent 908-322-5030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org