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.


Smorgasbord of Schools

Parenting in Faith Programming

Social Service Center Food Drive
Thanks and Giving Family Night
Advent Wreath Workshop
Save the Dates


Smorgasbord of Schools

   Sunday, November 2
   10:00 a.m.–12:00 noon
   Borwell Dining Room

Fall means that it’s already time for city parents to start thinking about applying for schools for the 2015–2016 school year, and Fourth Church is pleased to offer its annual Smorgasbord of Schools as a resource in that process.

On Sunday, November 2, families are invited to feast on information about approximately twenty schools throughout the city—public and private, secular and parochial.

What makes our fair unique is that we try to staff each school booth with a parent whose child attends that school. Come collect literature, ask honest questions, and receive honest answers—and walk away with helpful advice!

Chicago families are faced with many fine public and private school choices, so we hope this event makes it all feel less daunting. If you’d like more information or if you’d like to represent your child’s school at Smorgasbord, please contact Matt Helms.

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Parenting in Faith

Grow in Your Faith

   Sundays, November 2 and December 14
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G

Each month we focus on a different aspect of our own faith as parents so we can be better equipped to help our children develop their faith.

The fall sessions focus on the question, What does our family believe? At the conclusion of three sessions, a family faith statement will be written as parents feel more comfortable tackling some of the big questions about God that children often ask. Topics to be covered will be

  • What does our family believe about God? About Jesus? About the Holy Spirit?
  • How do we pray as a family?
  • How does the story of the Bible become our story?
  • How do we cultivate a spirit of service and compassion as a family?


Become a More Mindful Parent
Led by Sue Schemper, educator and spiritual director

   Sundays, November 9 and December 7
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G

“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, meditative, 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.


Enrich Your Relationship as a Couple
Led by Rachael L. Miller, M.A., L.P.C., N.C.C.

   Sundays, November 16, January 25,
      February 22, March 22, April 26
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G

“Enriching Relationships” is a series for partners and spouses who want to grow and deepen their relationship. Classes are taught by Rachael L. Miller, M.A., L.P.C., N.C.C., from the Lorene Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being, and cover key topics, offer practical tools, and are directly applicable to everyday life as a couple.

Schedule
November 16: Cultivating Communication, Part 2
January 25: Managing Conflict
February 22: Understanding Expectations
March 22: Prioritizing Our Time, Part 1
April 26: Prioritizing Our Time, Part 2


Connect as a Community

   Sundays, November 23 and December 21
   9:30–10:30 a.m.
   Room 4G

Have you been smiling at the same parents as you pass them in the hall each week but still don’t know their name? Parents lead busy lives, and Sunday morning is no exception. One Sunday each month, there is intentional opportunity for parents to get to know other parents at Fourth Church during a time of casual conversation and fellowship. Discussion is led by parent hosts and based on the book Children Learn What They Live. No prereading is required; parents read and discuss a pertinent parenting topic or anything else that is on their mind.

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Social Service Center Food Drive

   Sundays, through November 16
   Fourth Floor of the Gratz Center

Our second annual Social Service Center Food Drive is back! Beginning on Sunday, October 19 and running through Sunday, November 16, we will be collecting nonperishable food items on the fourth floor of the Gratz Center to help stock the Consumer Choice Food Pantry at the Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center for the busy winter months ahead.

Many of you will remember that last year Ruthie Hornaday, Director of the Day School, and Matt Helms, Minister for Children and Families, had a friendly rivalry going for who could collect the most food items. The competition is back on again this year!

If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, please look for the bins located on the fourth floor of the Gratz Center near the elevators. All nonperishable food items are welcomed; however, holiday food items (instant mashed potatoes, stuffing) and ready-to-eat when heated items (soup, canned pasta) are particularly encouraged. Full lists of needed items can be found next to the bins.

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Thanks and Giving Family Night

   Friday, November 21
   5:30–7:30 p.m.
   Borwell Dining Room

Family Night season continues with our second annual Thanks and Giving Family Night—a chance for us to give back to others while having a ton of fun ourselves!

Throughout the night, you and your child will have opportunity to make a variety of crafts that will directly benefit others. Crafts will range from decorating placemats for Sunday Night Supper to drawing pictures and writing letters to the four children we support through our Sunday School offerings to making turkey-feathered gift bags to give to older adults within our community.

We’ll also play some harvest-themed games (bobbing for apple, anyone?) and have a shared meal together.

We hope to see you then!

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Advent Wreath Workshop

   Sunday, November 30
   10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
   Parish House Dining Room

Follow your noses on the first Sunday of Advent down to the Parish House Dining Room for our annual Advent Wreath Workshop! Families are encouraged to drop by after the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. Sunday School hours to construct Advent wreaths using live greens and to learn more about the meaning of each of the four candles we light throughout the Advent season.

We ask that you decorate one wreath together as a family.

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Save the Dates

Christmas Eve Children’s Pageant
     Wednesday, December 24
     4:00 p.m.

Spring Family Camp
     FridaySunday, May 2931, 2015

Vacation Bible School
     MondayFriday, August 1015, 2015

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