Families With Children
Families of all sizes, shapes, abilities and hues are welcome at First Church Natick.
Childcare is available during our morning service. A paid caregiver and parent volunteers are ready to receive infants and toddlers in the child care room on Level 2 before worship begins at 10:30 AM, or 9:30 AM during the summer. A live video feed from the sanctuary is available if you feel more comfortable staying with your child, but still want to be a part of the service.
Our worship service often includes a time for children. From September through May, children leave worship for Community Time followed by their graded "Godly Play", "Side-by-Side" and "Connect" groups. In June and July, preschoolers through rising sixth graders join in a special Summer Godly Play program. Children also participate in the Blessing of the Backpacks on Rally Day in the fall, our annual Christmas Pageant in December, special Advent and Lenten Giving Projects, "Souper Bowl" Sunday, our Holy Week experience that includes Easter Egg dying for our partner street ministry - Worcester Fellowship, Earth Day Sunday, Celebration Sunday and Family Promise Host Weeks. For details on Christian formation offerings for children, visit our children's programming page.
Children’s Music Program
Each week children join together to learn new songs during their community time. Sometimes the children will share these songs as part of our morning worship.
Youth in Grades 7 to 10 gather twice a month on Sunday evenings to share what's going on in their lives, grow in their faith, worship together...and have fun. In addition, confirmation and Our Whole Lives sexuality programs are offered in alternate years. Youth regularly participate in worship serving as part of the worship team or reading Scripture. They also host a monthly coffee hour following worship! For more information about Christian formation offerings for youth, visit our Youth Programming Page
Our church has a safe church policy and regularly submits CORI checks on staff and youth volunteers. Volunteers in the children's programs are also screened. They must participate in our congregation for at least 6 months if they are members and one year if they are friends (non-members). They also must be at least five years older than the oldest child participating in the group. Our church has a two-adult, open door policy. Rooms are visible either through a window or an open door. Copies of our safe church policy are available from the church office or at this link .
Your Child's Baptism
At First Church we celebrate the sacrament of baptism for all ages and stages. Baptisms take place during our Sunday morning worship because baptism is a welcome to the church community, and a recognition that the one baptized has become part of the the body of Christ. Baptism is also a celebration of the gift of life and the gift of family. It is a moment when we name and bless what each person offers to the world. Baptism is a commitment to follow Jesus and to strive to become a person for others.
Often when a child is presented for baptism, parents will choose godparents to be companions for their child on the journey of faith. Sometimes the child wears a special christening gown to receive the sacrament. Both godparents and gowns are optional.
We believe that baptism happens only once and that it does not matter in which Christian church you were baptized. You do not need to be rebaptized if you join our congregation from a church in another Christian tradition.
It is our custom to celebrate the sacrament of baptism with one individual or family at a time. If you are interested in scheduling a baptism, please contact the church office to set up an appointment with a pastor and if possible, specify the dates that you are considering so that we might reserve the Sunday that is best for you and your family.
To learn more about baptism at First Church follow this link.
Communion and Children
Ours is an open table. Everyone regardless of age or stage or background or tradition is always welcome to take communion. From the time that children are in our preschool Godly Play classes, they are introduced to the significance of this sacrament. Often they notice dimensions of the sacrament that we do not, because they are willing to wonder about what they do not understand.
We schedule opportunities from time to time for the children to remain in worship with their families on Communion Sundays so that they can become familiar with what we do. We believe that children grow in their understanding of the sacrament by experiencing it. We trust that parents are in the best position to determine if it is appropriate for their child to participate in communion.
To learn more about communion at First Church follow this link