Special Events for Children and Families

Children and Family Ministry at Fourth Presbyterian Church is active, exciting, and growing every year. Please join us for these and other events to share fellowship, expand your circle of friends at church, and grow in Christ as a family.


Help Fourth Church Go Green
Good Friday Children’s Service
Easter Sunday for Children
“Mindful Parenting”
Family Communion Service
Enriching Relationships
“Faith Formation” Workshops
Parent Space
Spring Family Camp


Help Fourth Church Go Green

   All Sunday School Classrooms

While April is obviously a big month in terms of our church calendar, it is also the month in which we celebrate Earth Day as a reminder of the ways in which we are each stewards of God’s creation. Stewardship is indeed important to us as a congregation, but our size can sometimes create some unpleasant realities.

Each year throughout the forty-six Sundays in which our Sunday School is in session, our Children and Families program uses more than 5,000 plastic cups. To put that in perspective, one of our parents figured out that if you stacked these cups by their total height, the resulting cup tower would be taller than the Hancock Center that neighbors the church! That’s a lot of waste, and it’s something that we as a program would like to change.

Starting on Sunday, April 6, we began using fully biodegradable cups in our classrooms to reduce our carbon footprint—and you can help us even further. If you are able, we’d love for you to consider bringing a water bottle to/from church to keep us from throwing anything away or to have a conversation with your kids about why this switch is important. We appreciate anything that you can do to help Fourth Church become greener and to foster an awareness of the ways in which we are each called to be stewards of God’s creation.

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Good Friday Children’s Service

   Friday, April 18
   4:00–5:00 p.m.
   Buchanan Chapel

While it is easy for children to get excited about the celebrations of Palm Sunday and Easter, it is very challenging to communicate with them about the dark events of Good Friday. Our Good Friday Family Service will seek to engage with children in an appropriate manner about what Good Friday means and why it is so important in the context of the wider Easter story.

The service will look and feel very different from a typical worship service at Fourth Church. It will begin with a short ten- to fifteen-minute worship service at the front of Buchanan Chapel, but after this opening time, families are welcome to explore at their own pace a variety of stations set up around the chapel. These stations will be loosely modeled after the Stations of the Cross and will have a variety of activities, crafts, readings, and media present so that families can engage in self-guided reflection together. In order to ensure that children are exposed to age-appropriate reflections, each station will have a suggested age range listed on it.

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Easter Sunday for Children

   Sunday, April 20
   9:30 a.m. worship only
   Gratz Center, Fourth Floor

An Easter Service for children four years of age through fifth grade will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Easter morning. Although we will begin the morning all together in the fourth-floor lobby area, the children will be split up into three different groups from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. and will rotate between three different rooms, where they’ll interact with figures from the Gospel stories and make Easter crafts. After this rotation through the Easter story is complete, children will be invited to go on an Easter egg hunt throughout the fifth floor of the Gratz Center. Please plan on coming up to the fifth floor following 9:30 a.m. worship to pick up your child (and join in the search!).

Because the line for 9:30 a.m. worship in the Sanctuary begins so early, you are welcome to drop your child off on the fourth floor of the Gratz Center as early as 8:30 a.m. We will have a movie and a variety of crafts available before the group rotation begins.

For those of you with children under the age of four, please note that the Nursery on the first floor of the Gratz Center will be operating as early as 7:30 a.m. in order to accommodate the increased number of worshipers.

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“Mindful Parenting”:
A Monthly Series for Parents

   Sunday, April 27
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G of the Gratz Center

“Mindful Parenting” is a monthly series centered on mindful, creative, and effective parenting. Participants explore a variety of topics, from discipline techniques that develop responsibility to creating a family culture that supports each member in becoming who God intends them to be. The format of each session is thought-provoking and interactive.

Hosted by the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being in collaboration with Children, Youth, and Family Ministry, sessions are led by Sue Schemper, a spiritual director and an educator who has worked for more than thirty-five years with children, parents, and teachers. She is the parent of Ben, Jake, and Pete, her most influential teachers on the subject of parenting.

2014 Schedule
April 27
Discipline: Putting It All Together

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Family Communion Service

   Sunday, April 27
   12:15–1:30 p.m.
   Buchanan Chapel

Following the 11:00 a.m. Sunday School hour on Sunday, April 27, we will have a unique opportunity for families to learn about and participate in Communion together! Although this event initially started as a way to reach out to second graders who had Catholic friends or classmates who were taking First Communion, it has since blossomed into an event for families of all ages.

We are planning to gather from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. in Buchanan Chapel, where Minister for Children and Families Matt Helms will walk the kids through a short worship service and talk about what Communion means to the church and some of the ways in which our understanding is different from that of other denominations. That will be followed by a time when we'll celebrate Communion together.

Immediately after this service, families are invited across the hall to the Bumpus Room, where we’ll have lunch provided so we can share a lunchtime meal together.

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Enriching Relationships

   First Sundays
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G of the Gratz Center

Our faith calls us to love and care for each other, but many couples are so busy just managing schedules that time for our most significant relationships is often put aside. Take time with your partner to attend this series and enrich your relationship. Classes will cover key topics, offer practical tools, and be directly applicable to your everyday life as a couple.

2014 Schedule
May 4
Prioritizing Our Time

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Faith Formation Workshops

   Third Sundays of the month (except in May)
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G of the Gratz Center

Faith Formation Workshops are designed to help parents grow in their own faith and understanding so they can help guide their children in their faith development.

2014 Schedule
April: No Workshop

May 11
Cultivating a Spirit of Service and Compassion in Your Family

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Parent Space

   Fourth Sundays
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G of the Gratz Center

Parent Space is a casual time led by parent hosts. It provides opportunity for parents to get to know each other and discuss topics from the “Parenting
in Faith” workshops—or whatever else is on their minds!

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Spring Family Camp

   Friday, May 30 to Sunday, June 1

It may seem hard to believe, but our Spring Family Camp is right around the corner. Join us on the final weekend of May as we once again travel to Camp Geneva in Holland, Michigan, for two days and two nights of fellowship and fun!

More information is available here.

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For more information about Children and Family Ministry,
contact Matt Helms, Minister for Children and Family Ministry (312.573.3362).