Children and Youth
Children and youth are carefully supervised during activities, both at the church and at sponsored events held away from the church, under the guidelines of the church’s Child Protection Policy.
Sunday mornings include Sunday School options for children and youth of all ages. During worship, preschoolers are cared for in Tot Time. From September through May, KIDS Church provides an age-appropriate worship experience for kids in grades K-5 several times a month. The church Nursery is staffed for both Sunday School and the Worship Service. Summer and holiday schedules may vary.
On Wednesday Evenings, October through March, KfC (Kids for Christ) offers children in grades K - 5 a fun time with crafts, games, snacks, and weekly Bible lessons. Junior Youth is for boys and girls in grades 6 - 8. Programming includes recreational, service, educational and spiritual activities at their weekly meetings and during their winter and summer weekend retreats. Their Pinewood Derby competition is an annual favorite for the whole congregation. Mennonite Youth Fellowship (MYF) is geared for high school students and meets weekly (year-round) for worship, Bible study, service projects, and socialization. Their program also includes weekend retreats, extended service trips and attending Mennonite Church USA youth conventions.
In 2016, the MYF will be traveling to Aibonito, Puerto Rico for service projects in a rural mountain community, working in a Mennonite school - Academia Menonita Betania. To help support this effort, visit their GoFundMe page.
Other opportunities for children include a week-long, summer Vacation Bible School, for kids age 3 through 5th grade. VBS provides a learning and socialization opportunity for Forest Hills children and children from the community. The Halloween Alternative, for children up through 6th grade, is a fun evening with wagon rides, a moon walk, carnival games, a cardboard maze, crafts, homemade soft pretzels, and lots of candy treats.
A variety of Sunday School classes are offered each week for adults. On Wednesday Evenings, October through March, Men's and Women's Bible Studies meet. The Adult Choirmeets prior to Christmas and Easter to rehearse for the traditional holiday worship services. A Winter Bible School series is held in January with a congregational supper before each Wednesday evening session. Past series have included Bible Studies, discussions about current issues, and series focused on practical living issues.
MOMS (Morning Out for Moms) meets on Tuesday mornings during the school year to provide inspirational, social and educational opportunities for women and children of the community. Mornings begin with refreshments and a devotional followed by a speaker or craft. Children - infant through kindergarten age - are cared for in the nursery or organized classrooms.
Mennonite Women meets on the first Thursday of each month to sew for relief. These women enjoy fellowship while quilting, sewing layettes, knotting comforters and making school kit and health kit bags for Mennonite Central Committee. Men's Fellowship meets on the 4th Saturday morning of the month for relationship building and shared conversation about spiritual life. Several Small Groups meet in homes for Bible Study and/or book study and fellowship.
Senior Meals are held bi-monthly with Forest Hillers who live in the local retirement communities and with those who remain in their own homes. Our seniors anticipate and enjoy these times of fellowship and interaction.
Other Special Focus Groups and Programs:
A variety of Service Experiences are scheduled by our children and youth programs and by adult Sunday School classes. Annually, adults are given the opportunity to participate in a one-week service adventure with organizations such as Mennonite Disaster Service or Habitat for Humanity.
Our Adopt-a-Student program helps keep us connected with our college students. Sunday School classes adopt our students and support them with prayer and by sending letters and care packages throughout the school year.
Pastoral care is offered by the Care Team, a group of individuals who work with the pastor to assure that each person relating to the congregation is supported and encouraged as they deal with the challenges and joys of life. Sunday School class Shepherds expand the team of caring persons who are ministering to the needs of various age groups in the congregation. These individuals are attentive to needs of class members in times of stress, illness, or death and mobilize others in the class to respond in practical ways. Our Parish Nurses encourage healthy lifestyles through periodic educational events and health screenings.
Our Service in the Park is held in August in the West Earl Lions Park in Talmage. The outdoor location provides a wonderful setting for both worship and fellowship. Following the informal service, everyone enjoys a picnic lunch provided by the church. The annual Church Picnic is held at Woodcrest Retreat in Ephrata on a summer Sunday afternoon. Highlights of this event are the waterslide, aerial candy drop and a potluck supper.