mission is to help children, youth, and adults to develop a
relationship with God through the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
Vacation Bible School
At Hero Hotline VBS, your children will enjoy an interactive, energizing, Bible-based good time as they are called together to serve God. They will become Heroes and discover that answering God’s call together means striving for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up!
After a high-energy Opening Assembly time, the Heroes make their way to the Bible Story Station. Interactive Bible lessons reveal Hotline Tips to equip your Heroes for an active life with God. Your Heroes will also discover our Hotline Verse (Bible memory verse), which will remain with them in their faith long after VBS.
The students will expand on what they’ve discovered by making their own art projects at the Craft Station, singing new songs at the Music Station, exploring the wonders of God’s creation at the Science Station, playing games at the Recreation Station, and enjoying tasty treats at the Snack Station. Along the way, the Heroes will hear about our mission project and as they respond to a call for action!
Join us as we answer God’s call together, to serve, bring peace, and build each other up!
Date: June 26-30
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Age Group: Children 4 years old through 5th grade
Location: First Parish Congregational Church, UCC, Saco.
FPC Vacation Bible School Registration
Vacation Bible School Session Overview
On Sunday Mornings
Nursery Care | 9:50 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The Nursery provides care for children birth through 3 years of age, year round. A paid care provider is responsible and manages the Nursery. Helping her, every Sunday, is an adult volunteer. The Nursery is a safe environment with lots of love and toys. The facility has a pager system for parents and an adjoining child size bathroom.
All children are invited to attend the worship service at the beginning, and after the Children’s Message they are dismissed to their age level classrooms. We use Celebrate Wonder, (Cokesbury) for our elementary age curriculum.
Christian Education Registration
Celebrate Wonder honors the spiritual life of children.
This curriculum seeks to deepen children’s faith formation and to create a safe space for children to ask big questions and claim their spiritual identity as children of God. Classes are offered to children 4 years of age through 12th grade, from September, (after Labor Day), through May. Visitors are always welcome. There are 8 separate classrooms with their own sink and intercom. A niche with a Cross and Bible are also in every room. That niche echoes the same curved wood design as in the sanctuary.
To register your child for Church School, please access the Christian Education Registration online form. To sign up for teaching please Contact Us. Teaching Church School is the best kind of adult Bible study.
Experiential Education Programs
acolyte lights and extinguishes the altar candles. The word acolyte
is taken from an ancient Greek word that meant companion, attendant
or helper. An acolyte helps prepare the congregation for worship and
after takes the light of Christ out into the world. All children and
youth, third grade and older are invited to become acolytes. An
acolyte training is provided several times per year.
Adult education classes are frequently offered through study groups to
enrich faith and spirituality. These adult study opportunities
include but are not limited to Adult Bible Study, Soup and Study,
Luminaries, Membership Inquiry, Prayer groups, Book club, Speaker
series and Teaching Church school.
All third graders receive a Bible on “Bible Sunday” which is held in October. Bibles are presented during the 10:00 am Worship service and all recipients and their family members are invited to a Bible Breakfast on that morning.
Our Church school shares the Christmas story with the congregation during the 10.00 am Worship service on the third Sunday of Advent. There is a free catered supper and pageant rehearsal on the Friday evening before. All children are invited to participate.
Confirmation classes meet September through May. All ninth through twelfth graders are invited to participate. Each confirm and is teamed up with a mentor, usually of the same gender.
Pilgrim Lodge, or PL is our UCC summer church camp located on beautiful Lake Cobbosseecontee in West Gardiner, Maine. PL has programs for children, youth, and adults of all ages and family camping too. First Parish provides financial assistance through a campership program. Campership applications are available online and are posted in April of each year. For more information about the camp, visit: www.pilgrimlodge.org.
First Parish Youth Fellowship, (FPYF) has various activities occur throughout the year. All youth, sixth grade through twelfth are invited to participate. Friends are welcome. Some of our activities/events include: Thanksgiving Baskets, Worship leaders for the 5 pm Family Christmas Eve Service, Souper Bowl of Caring offering and Sub Sandwich sale, College Care Packages, Mother’s Day Breakfast /Blanket Sunday offering. We have 3 overnights per program year and other fun activities. Every four years is the National Youth Event, (NYE). The next event will be in 2024. Over 2500 UCC youth and chaperones spend time enjoying days of wonderful worship and workshops, fabulous fellowship, marvelous music and spectacular speakers. Financial aid is available for this event.
- Two Adults to Every Classroom and Nursery: For any church–sponsored program, event, program or ministry involving
children or youth, FPC will have two adults at all times, and the two
adults are not to be related. This policy provides important protection
to the church's workers and volunteers as well as children and youth.
- Permanent Nursery Caregiver/Coordinator:
The church has a paid permanent nursery care provider and coordinator.
As part of our nursery there is an easy to use pager system available
and all parents are asked to take one when dropping off a child.
- Policy for Food and for Peanut and Tree Nut Free in the Lower Level of FPC: We
ask parents not to leave any food with their child. Cheerios are
provided if a snack is needed. Baby bottles/sippy cups are only allowed
for the children being dropped off at the nursery. For the safety and
good heath of all who gather at First Parish, the Christian Education
Team has a policy to prohibit "Peanut/Tree Nuts" on the Lower Level of
the building. See section below for details.
- Classrooms Doors: Windows in and adjacent to all classroom doors remove the opportunity
for secrecy and isolation. Half doors (Nursery and PreK/Kindergarten
classrooms) offer protection against children wandering outside the
classroom and allow for full viewing.
- No Workers Under the Age of Eighteen in the Classrooms or Nursery: No workers or teachers in the classrooms and nursery can be under
eighteen years of age, however, junior and senior high aged youth may
assist. This policy is necessary to reduce the risk of injuries to
children and youth. Allowing junior and senior high aged volunteers in
the church nursery is a very common practice among churches, but only
adults (18+ years of age) supervise children. Children and youth under
the age of eighteen have not developed the maturity and necessary
judgment needed to supervise children or youth at FPC.
- Background Checks on All Adults that Work with Youth/Children:
Aong with the policy of two adults in every classroom and nursery
the Christian Education Team uses background checks for all church
school teachers, nursery participants, youth/children fellowship
leaders, confirmation mentors, vacation Bible school teachers and
youth/children's music directors. Funds for background checks is a line
item within the Christian education Team's budget.
- Youth/Adult Covenants for Programs, Trips and Overnights: Every program, trip and overnight that occurs inside and outside of
FPC's walls comes with a covenant signed by youth and by the adult
chaperones. Sometimes parents/guardians have to sign, also. These
covenants are provided by the national United Church of Christ.
Download the UCC Youth Covenant.
- Parental/Guardian Written Permission for All Programs, Trips and Overnights:
Parental/guardian consent is a MUST for all programs, trips and
overnights that take place offsite or onsite, including any FP Youth
Fellowship or Confirmation Classes. At FPC the policy is "no signed
permission form, you don't participate nor travel, period". For a copy
of the parent/guardian permission form contact FPC's Christian Education
- Volunteer Driver List: The
FPC policy is that we don't accept driving without a license,
therefore, all people who drive youth to FPC programs, trips or
overnights (parents, youth leaders, ministers, directors, mentors) have
to sign a form stating that they are legally licensed and insured to
drive within the continental United States. Youth do not drive other
youth when participating in any church program, trip or overnight, and
that is part of the driver policy.
- Registration Forms: All Children and Youth must be registered in advance by a Parent's/Guardian. Every year new registration
forms are filled out on each child and youth under the age of 18. These
forms also request a parental/guardian signature to give us permission
to video or photograph each child/youth, for church brochure, sharing
pictures within the church building or website use. We do not match
names with pictures.
Fire & Emergency Safety Evacuation Plan
has set forth the following Fire & Emergency Safety Evacuation Plan
to ensure the safety of all people using our facility. The plan is to
be followed by all staff, Church School teachers, teams, groups,
other ministry members, visitors and long and short-term building
renters, including child-care programs, social organizations, non-profit
organizations, public organizations, and organizations.
Parish Congregational Church, UCC, Saco will periodically conduct fire
drills coordinated with the Saco Fire Department. The Saco Fire
Department has reviewed and endorsed this Fire & Emergency Safety
If you are in the building and the automatic fire alarm sounds, you must prepare to evacuate the building immediately:
- Assist those less ambulatory than yourself;
- Call 9-1-1 and give as much detail as you can;
- Evacuate the building by your safest exit route
- Go directly to the designated emergency gathering spot which is the parking lot behind the church and funeral home;
- Church School teachers will remain with their classes and are to bring
the attendance sheet and the grade level sign (labeled Pre-K/K - 7th
grades) with them;
- Do not re-enter the building until the Fire Dept. gives an "All Clear".
In the event you come upon fire or smoke in the building and the fire alarm has not yet activated, go to the nearest Pull-Station to activate the fire alarm:
- Pull-Stations are located near every exit door;
- Assist others while evacuating the building by your safest route;
- Go directly to the designated emergency gathering spot which is the parking lot behind the church and funeral home;
- Do not re-enter the building until the Fire Dept. gives the "All-Clear".
FOOD & PEANUT/TREE NUTS FREE POLICIES FOR FPC's LOWER LEVEL
the safety and good heath of all who gather at First Parish, the
Christian Education Team has a policy to prohibit "Peanut/Tree Nut" on
the Lower Level of the building.
food allergies, especially peanut and tree nuts, (walnuts, almonds,
cashews, pistachios, pecans, etc.) are exceptionally dangerous, often
life threatening for many individuals.
Parish Christian Education Team is especially concerned for infants and
young children, who are not able to advocate for themselves.
Therefore, we are committed to maintaining a "Peanut/Tree Nuts Free" environment for the Lower Level of FPC.
Food Allergy Basics, Below are some food allergy basics:
- Food allergy is a growing safety concern in the US.
- Eight foods account for 90% of all the reactions in the US.
- Approximately 11 million Americans suffer from food allergies: 3 million allergic to peanut and tree nuts.
- One in every 20 children under the age of 3 has food allergies.
- Food allergies are most prevalent in younger children.
amounts of food allergen can cause a reaction. People need to be on
guard for hidden ingredients (such as peanut and tree nuts) in
unsuspected places such as candy, baked goods, trail mixes, sauces,
desserts and gravy.
- There is NO cure for a food allergy. Strict avoidance is the ONLY way to prevent a reaction.
- See www.foodallergy.org for more information.
information regarding this Food Policy must be circulated to the church
and outside community. The Christian Education Team advocates the
following regarding this Policy:
- Post signs
- Include regular announcements in the Weekly Bulletin, Messenger and Website
- Include this information in the new Member packets and have it available in the Atrium
- Include this information to anyone using and renting the Lower Level spaces of the building
- Request the Facilities Team to include this policy in all Building Rental Agreements.
FOOD, In the Nursery, the following is required:
- Baby bottles/sippy cups (milk and/or juices), will be the only liquid/food that may be brought into the nursery.
- Cheerios will be purchased by the Christian Education Team and will be the only snack food allowed.
In the remainder of Lower Level of Building the following is required:
- Food will be allowed, but only items that are "Peanut/Tree Nuts Free."
trace amounts of food allergens can cause a reaction, people need to be
on guard for hidden ingredients, in unsuspected places such as candy,
baked goods, trail mixes, sauces, desserts and gravy.
- Please read all labels of any food items each time you bring them into the lower level.
- Remember, just because a product was safe the last time you bought it, does not mean the ingredients have stayed the same.
- Please, ALWAYS CHECK FOOD INGREDIENT LABELS EACH TIME YOU BRING FOOD!