Children & Youth
A central joy and focus at Hillcrest Church are the programs and events for children and youth. Parents and teachers join together to develop and provide these activities and classes through the Christian Education program. The program is based on Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments. Together with discussion and activities, we connect the stories and their messages to the children’s daily lives.
The children and youth ministry staff meet monthly with the chairperson of Christian Education, a team of volunteers, and children and parents to determine the direction of the ministry. There is a preschool, nursery, kindergarten class; a grade 1-5 elementary class and a youth class. It’s dynamic!
Participation in Worship
Children are greeted and welcomed every Sunday at worship service. Frequently, children are a key component of the worship service including processions, liturgical readings, dramatizations, singing, dancing, discussing and displaying art work. To prepare for this participation, children meet first for an hour in the Sunday School classes to learn the biblical background, rehearse their roles (if they choose – being an observer is acceptable also), sing, respond with art projects, etc. Healthy snacks are provided!
After the children’s participation in worship (generally 20-30 minutes), they return to the classrooms where there is free time in the game room or outdoors on the playground as well as follow-up discussions, lessons, art projects etc. Often the children and youth share a personal experience, a school situation, or a big question for the group. This provides a forum for helping our kids with the situations they face in school and in life every day.
Family Friendly Events
Family fun is central at Hillcrest and includes many opportunities for families to participate: Family Movie Nights, Potlucks, the Fall Family Fiesta, the Sugar Plum Workshop, the Christmas Pageant, Ice Skating, Bowling, Easter egg hunting, events in the community i.e. the Butterfly Project, Pleasant Hill Festival, 4th of July Parade, Community Clean-Up etc. Some children have also accompanied their parents to help at the Food and Clothing Rooms when it was open on Saturdays (due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Saturday pantry was suspended until further notice).
Hillcrest’s award-winning “Kidz Camp” is a week-long daily summer camp ending with a celebration at Sunday worship centered on the unique and timely curriculum enjoyed at the camp. God’s creation, an environmental focus called “All Creatures Great and Small;” God’s commandment to “Love Your Neighbor,” an interfaith focus including the study of other religions are just two of the camp themes. Many children are returning campers every year!