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CHILDREN

Welcome to Children’s Ministry at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church!

The Children’s Ministry committee coordinates Christian education and faith formation for birth through 5th grade. This includes Sunday school, Children’s Church during the worship hour, Lenten and Wednesday night programs, Vacation Bible School, Route 45, a youth group for 4th and 5th graders, and Parents’ Night Out.   Our goal is to provide a broad range of activities and classes for children and their families that will allow them to experience God’s love and grace, grow as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and identify their gifts for serving God through the Church and the community of faith.  
 
With God’s help, we work to:
  • Create a welcoming environment where children feel safe, comfortable, and loved.
  • Open the pages of scripture with the children so they can meet God there, learn who they are as children of God and disciples of Jesus Christ, and find their place in God’s ongoing story of grace. 
  • Engage children in a variety of ways, mindful of different learning styles and behavioral challenges.
  • Teach children that laughter and joy are part of the Christian faith by ensuring that classes and activities, Bible studies and service projects are also opportunities for fellowship and fun.  
  • Teach children the importance of being part of a faith community as they mature in their understanding of their relationship with God and find new ways to express what they believe and why.

 

Children's Choir

Michael and Kimberly Pietranczyk direct the Choristers Children’s choir.   Refer to OPPC Music Ministries for more details.

Route 45

This fellowship group for fourth and fifth graders meets once a month, usually on Sunday afternoon. A variety of activities are enjoyed throughout the year: age-appropriate mission experiences, bowling, game day, corn maze/hayrides, scavenger hunt, pottery painting, picnicking, hiking, etc. Children are encouraged to bring friends to Route 45 events. The Route 45 experience helps girls and boys recognize the importance of team building and fellowship with peers. When they reach the busy teen years, transition to Youth Ministries events is seamless.

The Treehouse

At 10:10 a.m. during the education hour, children in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade climb on up to The Treehouse where the stories of scripture are experienced through various creative workshops.  Sometimes the kids participate in a drum circle (to learn the Magnificat), make a cookie recipe (to learn about Abigail), cut and sand wood (to learn about Joseph, the father of Jesus), create an art project (to learn the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000), observe a science experiment (to understand the Parable of the Prodigal Son), and more!  Recently renovated in 2014, the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall rooms in the Treehouse are places where children can grow in their faith and knowledge of God’s Word through hands-on lessons and creative presentations of the biblical stories.

Childcare in the Birdhouse

Children ages birth to Pre-K are welcome to come to The Birdhouse where our staff will care for them while you attend service and Sunday School. The preschool children have their own Sunday School class during the education hour (10:10) in Room 131 (right next to their childcare room).

Time: 8:45 AM through the close of the 11:10
 
Infants (newborns through early-walkers) Room 126
Toddlers (early-walkers through 2 year olds) Room 127
Preschoolers (3 year olds through pre-kindergarten 5 year olds) Room 130 (with Sunday School in Room 131 from 10:10 to 11:00 am)
 
Three permanent, paid attendants staff the three childcare rooms each Sunday morning. It is a comfort for both children and parents to be welcomed by the same person each week. During each worship service, the attendants are assisted by volunteers from the OPPC family.

A pager system is in place for Rooms 126 and 127 (infant and toddler rooms). As parents sign their children in, they are assigned a vibrating pager. Should the need arise, they can be paged wherever they are in the church.

Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance to us. Nationwide background checks are conducted on each of our Children’s Ministry staff, both paid and volunteers. In addition, personal references are checked before childcare attendants are scheduled.
 
Refer to the Orchard Park Learning Center portion of this website for information about weekday preschool and childcare opportunities at OPPC.

Sunday Mornings at Orchard Park

Children’s Message
A brief Children’s Message is shared during both worship services. Children are invited to the front of the Sanctuary for this message designed just for them. Following the Children’s Message, preschool children are welcomed to Rooms 127 and 130 for childcare (escorted by their parents). Kindergarten, first and second graders are encouraged to participate in Children’s Church (escorted by leaders). Third graders and older are invited to stay and share the worship service with their parents in the Sanctuary or Pavilion.

Children’s Church
Children’s Church is available for children in kindergarten, first and second grades during both worship services except on Communion Sundays.  On those Sundays, children are encouraged to remain in the Sanctuary to share the sacrament with their families (a class on the Sacraments is offered for children and their parents once a year).  Kindergartners who are not ready to remain in the Sanctuary for Communion can be taken to Room 130.  During Children’s Church, parent volunteers lead the children in creative prayers, reading Bible stories, and activities that encourage the children to work together as a team. Some weeks children will enjoy a Veggie Tales video or a music video that leads them in motions to a praise song. 

Children’s Church during the 9:00 AM Traditional Worship Service
Children first will attend the 9:00 AM worship service with their families. This is an opportunity for children to experience a portion of worship with their family in the Sanctuary. Following the Children’s Message, kindergarten through second graders who wish to attend Children's Church are escorted by leaders to Room 206 (upstairs in the Treehouse).  At 10:10 the K through 2nd graders who are in Children’s Church will be led by teachers to their Sunday School workshops for that day.  If your child is not staying for Sunday School, please come upstairs to room 206 to pick him or her up.

Children’s Church during the 11:10 AM Contemporary Worship Service
Children first will attend the 11:10 AM worship service with their families. This is an opportunity for children to experience a portion of contemporary worship with their families. Following the Children’s Message, kindergarten through second graders are invited to attend Children’s Church in the Parlor in Gathering Area just outside the Sanctuary.  Parents pick up their children from the Parlor following the service.

Camp Friendly

Camp Friendly, OPPC’s summer camp, is held one week during the summer at Camp Pyoca in Brownstown, Ind.
Two individual programs, known together as “Camp Friendly,” are held concurrently: the original Camp Friendly, for third through fifth graders; and Junior High Leadership Camp for sixth through eighth graders. For additional information about Camp Friendly, click on the following link: Camp Friendly.
Camp Friendly Principles
  • Our camps are about friends: making new friends, rejoining old friends, and learning how to play, work, and live together as friends in Christ.
  • Camp Friendly is open to all, not just members of OPPC.
  • We encourage campers (especially younger children or first-time campers) to “buddy-up” and recruit a friend to come along for the fun!
Camp Friendly Goals
  • Promote spiritual growth
  • Foster relationships with and through Christ
  • Develop self-confidence and leadership

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