Children, Youth and Families

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs”

Matthew 19:14

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Children and Youth Ministry Program Staff and Volunteers strive to create a sacred space where our children can experience the power and love of God through service, community, creative expression and worship.

We Believe

We believe that children are magnificent creations of a wise, wonderful, and compassionate God -- a God who sparks curiosity, hope and dreams in each of our hearts!

We believe that there is something beautiful in knowing that we are all God’s own. We believe that God came to us in the form of Jesus so that we all might know God’s great love for the World. We believe that God in Jesus continues to inspire us through the encouragement of God’s Holy Spirit. Our faith formation programs are designed to encourage our children, youth and our families to embrace learning in ways that are creative, supportive and faithful!

We Want

We want our children and youth to grow in faith as they experience faith formative programs that foster curiosity, understanding and a desire to help others. It is our dream that they be bold enough and confident enough to seek answers to the questions about their faith as they explore, create, wonder about God, Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives.

It is our prayer that in these they will form their own unique relationships with God. A relationship that will serve them through all stages and seasons of life!

We Offer

Community. We offer a community for children and youth to come as they are and know that they are loved. During this time of Covid safety awareness, we have adjusted our worship and other activities to maintain the health and safety of our children and youth! We offer a variety of indoor, outdoor, and virtual faith-filled activities for all ages! In addition, we cherish the gift found in community gatherings and offer multiple family-friendly events throughout the program year.

The Hills Church adheres to a “Safe Church Policy.” Therefore, all staff who interact with children have completed background checks and are vaccinated.

Our classrooms are clean sanitized, and air filtration equipment is used in all. 

Through engaging formation programs our Clergy and Staff invite our children and youth to:
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Through hands on learning opportunities with science experiments and games, our children and youth are provided a playful and inquisitive space to explore their faith and consider how God is calling them to care for the world around them.

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We hope that our families with children and teens will join us as we explore, create, wonder and serve others and be embraced by a loving and supportive community!

Infants, Toddlers, and Pre-Schoolers

See our current Sunday worship practices for directions to the Nursery and Toddler / Pre-K classrooms for our youngest visitors on the Plan Your Visit page. Your children will remain safe and loved while you return to the Sanctuary for the worship service.

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Nursery

Like you, we believe your child is a special gift from God, and we are delighted when children join us in the Hills Church Nursery! The Nursery is our Sunday morning care for God’s littlest and part of our Children’s Ministry program.

Our Nursery provides a safe, loving, fun and comfortable Sunday morning church experience for both your child and you.

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Toddlers and Pre-K

Our curriculum incorporates Bible stories, activities, crafts, videos and games into a full faith experience for children. They will develop the skills to unlock the Bible message and grow their faith by leaps and bounds. Colorful, engaging, theologically sound materials invite children to explore the Bible in fun, age-appropriate ways, capturing their attention and ensuring that God’s message is taken to heart. Children will discover that their faith can grow right along with them!

K – 5 Church School

Most Sundays, children in grades K-5 participate in the beginning of the worship service with their families in the main Sanctuary and then are dismissed with their teachers to go to classes on the 3rd floor of the Parish House. We use a rotational model utilizing the Godly Play curriculum for this age group. Godly Play is rooted in story, wonder, liturgy, discovery and joy as children seek and find the mystery of God’s presence.

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Bible story lessons are presented in three-week units – with children rotating with their age group to a different workshop each Sunday.

Children might
  • Dress up and act out the story one week
  • Create a piece of art in another week and
  • Watch a movie, play games, perform in a puppet theater, or do a science experiment, (just to name a few!) in the other week

We believe that with hands on participation in each of the workshops, children are better able to understand and remember the Bible stories. Children have a great time because there are a variety of activities – and they are all lots of fun!

On the first Sunday of each month, it is our practice to serve Communion. Children are invited to stay in the main Sanctuary for the entire service and to take Communion with their families and the congregation.

To navigate this uncertain time, Family Ministries invite our families to worship as they feel comfortable. It’s our desire to make God available to all, however, wherever they are.

We celebrate the joy of moving back into a more normal Church School routine while also helping those families who choose to worship at home.

With that in mind, starting February, Church school options are;

  • Our children under 3 are invited to the Nursery on the third floor or they can stay in the sanctuary where you will find toys and books in the boardroom if needed.
  • Ages Pre-K, Kindergarten, and unvaccinated children are invited to start Church School at 10:00 am on the Parish house third floor or stay with their families for the beginning of Worship then come up.
  • All other elementary-aged children are welcome to worship with their families then leave for Church School after a special children's moment in the Worship service.

Children’s bulletin and activity sheets are available in the narthex.

An emailed weekly Faith@Home lesson with video, story and activity is available. Sign up here.

A Children’s message is Live-streamed each week before the live Worship Service.

Air filters will be used in Church School. Our teachers and unvaccinated children are required to mask.

Bible Presentation

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At the start of the school year, fourth graders are invited to come before the congregation at our worship service. They receive a gift: a Bible to take with them into their church classrooms. The congregation blesses their Bibles and promises to walk with them in faith as they learn and grow.

Children in kindergarten, or new families visiting our church receive a Spark Story Bible. We enjoy the wondering questions, the images, and the imagination this Bible inspires. It is the greatest gift we can give!

Confirmation

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone." (Ephesians 2:19)

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confirmation class

We invite youth in 9th grade and above to participate in weekly Confirmation Dinners and Discussions from the beginning of October through the beginning of May. Classes are uniquely designed to support our teens as they explore the faith of their childhood through the lens of a growing adult. Each week our confirmation class will be invited to gather together in community to share a meal (as able) and experience the Confirmation journey through

  • Story
  • Music
  • Film clips/discussions
  • Scripture lesson reflections and prayer
  • Service experiences

Each week we provide a sacred space in which our youth can gather in friendship to share a meal, explore their faith, ask questions, and share experiences with one another. The culmination of these experiences are shared on Confirmation Sunday, where our youth are invited to write and share their faith journeys with our church family.

We look forward to these youth affirming their Baptism and entering into full membership in the Hills Church by the solemn rite of Confirmation during a Sunday worship service in May!

Middle School (6-8th grade) programs

Youth Groups

During this time of Covid safety awareness, we have adjusted our youth activities in order to maintain the health and safety of our children and youth! We offer a variety of indoor, outdoor and virtual faith-filled activities for all ages!

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Middle School Youth Group (Grades 6, 7, 8)

Through our youth programs, we seek to create opportunities for our Middle School students to gather together in community and service. We strive for this community to be a place where our teens can simply “come as they are”. Our youth Group is a community that is built on trust, acceptance, love and FUN! We provide many different events through which young people can learn and grow spiritually.” Middle School Youth Group is held September to June on most Sunday evenings beginning at 6:30pm.” Want to participate in our youth group program offerings for Middle Schoolers? Contact a minister below. 

Sr. High Youth Group (Grades 9-12)

We provide many opportunities for our young adults to grow in their faith. These opportunities may occur on a Sunday, a service day, a weekend retreat, or a service trip. But in every instance, our hope is that our youth will continue to develop in their faith and learn to experience God in their own ways. We strive to help our youth find ways to feel at home in a community that is supportive and loving, discover ways to use their unique God-given gifts and creativity to make a difference in the world! High School Youth Group Gathers together on most Sunday evenings throughout the school year! Every first weekend of each month our youth help lead/participate in service projects. Want to join in the fun?

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

Children, Youth, & Families

Register for Children & Youth Ministry