Yet, O Lord, you are our God; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. –Isaiah 64:8
Faith formation is at the heart of what the Christian life is all about. In many ways, we engage in the practices of our daily lives and the rituals of our faith communities—through worship, mission, working for justice and peace, evangelism, and education—so that our faith may be nurtured, enlivened, sustained, and formed. In this regard, the imagery offered by the prophet Isaiah of Potter God forming humanity, God’s created own, is an appropriate vision for how we might view the ministry of faith formation.
In the United Church of Christ, we can understand faith formation to be “an engaged process of learning and practice integrated throughout all aspects of congregational and daily life.” This definition highlights the initiative and action we must take in our own faith formation. We become clay so that we are formed and transformed by the Holy and by one another. But throughout all of our doing and being, we are reminded that God’s “hands” are continually present in our efforts to gain both “head” knowledge found in education and learning and “heart” wisdom discovered through prayer, ritual, and practice.
So, it is indeed most fitting to say that faith formation is at the heart of what our living and being is all about; but without the hands that guide what we are continually becoming, the process is incomplete. May this webpage offer some helpful tools from which you and others can “become clay” and be reminded of God’s formational presence along life’s journey.
Sunday School for Children and Youth
Please send a message to the FCC office here to volunteer to serve as a teacher or assistant teacher for one or more Sundays
The Christian Education Department at FCC Bristol is dedicated to leading our students to a relationship with God and service to others based on biblical and spiritual foundations. The First Congregational Church Sunday School program offers something for newborns through High School graduation.
CE is composed of people who are interested in the spiritual growth of our youth and want to show their support by volunteering their time and talents to reach this goal. Our teachers and aides are background-checked and trained to use the lectionary-based curriculum Seasons of the Spirit, which is endorsed by the United Church of Christ.
All children must be registered for Sunday School each year to help ensure safety and accurate records. Registration forms are available on Rally Day, which is held on the Sunday following Labor Day. Forms will be available during our all-church picnic and in each classroom for new registrants following Rally Day. Children should be registered for the same Sunday School grade as their academic school. All teaching staff undergo a thorough background check.
Nursery care is provided. Our Tiny Tots care is for newborns to two-year-olds and creates a warm, loving, spiritual and safe setting from the very beginning. For students aged 3-5, we have Pre-K & K classes.
Our Sunday School classes for first through eighth graders provide a strong foundation for the future with a mixture of love, knowledge and hands on opportunity, to help not only their church, but also those less fortunate. Our leaders, teachers and aides give the students the tools they need for their faith formation.
We have a Junior Youth Group for students 3rd grade to 8th grade which meets monthly for a faith based activity or outing.
We also offer a unique Confirmation Program which combines lay leadership as well as Pastoral classes with requirements including overnight retreats and service to our community.
Our Senior Youth Group is for High School students who have graduated from our Confirmation Program. They meet with a leader to discuss current events and how their faith fits into their high school experiences. They can help mentor the confirmation class as well.
What to Expect at Sunday School
All students are welcome to worship with their family and friends each Sunday. After the message with the children during the worship service, our students are dismissed to the Sunday School wing. On Communion Sundays they will be dismissed after Communion is served. Once students leave the worship service, those up to eighth grade will gather together in the Dimon Room located at the end of the Sunday School wing. Confirmation Class and the Senior Youth Group report with their leaders to their class.
The Sunday School Leader of the Month will share the theme of the day, announce upcoming events, celebrate birthdays, sing, pray and collect our Children’s Offering. All funds collected go to our sponsored children through the United Church of Christ Child Sponsorship Program: Tenzin from Tibet, Jenifer from India and Sarah from East Jerusalem.
Attendance is taken each week and recorded. Students who have 7 or fewer absences during the year will be awarded an attendance bar pin on Children’s Day. More information is available in the Christian Education Booklet.
When finished, the students are dismissed to their individual classrooms along with their teachers. All classes end at 11:15am. An adult must collect students up to 5th grade.
The Christian Education Committee is committed to providing quality education, programs and activities. They are always looking for ways to strengthen and continue the growth of their program. They appreciate any comments, concerns or help that you can give.