First Parish Church, Congregational

Youth and Children’s Ministry2021-11-29T17:03:00+00:00

Jeanne Westcott, Dir. of Youth and Children’s Ministries

Comfort Packs Program

This program provides a challenged neighbor in Christ, a pack of needed items when abundance is celebrated and need is so strongly felt.
The program provides youth participants (grade 6 and up) with community service hours in two opportunities.
1. Youth can create Comfort Packs on their own by purchasing and packing items needed to earn 4 Community Service hours per pack.
2. Youth can join a Packing Party, Tuesday, November 30, 6-8 PM with items provided by First Parish to earn 1 Community Service hour per pack.
Space is limited so contact Jeanne if you are interested in either option.
Jeanne Westcott, Director of Youth & Children’s Ministry at

Introducing The Winter Queen’s Emporium!

Join us for a special chance for children (ages 6-10) to do their own Christmas or Holiday shopping and surprise the entire family!

The Emporium allows children to come into a decorated space (Chapel location: Sunday School classroom) and meet the Winter Queen while they shop for everyone on their list (bring a list).

Gift wrapping available. Gifts will be priced $1 and under.

Proceeds to benefit a child-based charity.

Adults may wait outside the Emporium and enjoy a treat.

The Emporium will be open Saturday, December 11, 2021, 10 AM to 2 PM

Click here to sign up


The October School Supplies drive is complete, and many items have been collected.

Great thanks to our Congregation members who so generously donated. The school supplies will be delivered to Beeman Memorial School in Gloucester in the coming days. The following items are included in the donation:

10 Composition books

Sanitizing Wipes

4 packages of pens Backpacks

4 packages of pencils


2 Colored Pencils Crayons

6 Washable Markers Pencil Case

Pencil Sharpeners Stickers

Erasers Tissues

Colored Paper

Legal Pads



Thank you all for your participation. After the hustle and bustle of a new start to the academic year, teachers come to know where classroom supplies are lacking and take measures to supplement, most often from their own pockets. Supporting our teachers by picking up a few needed items goes a long way to minimizing their worries and allows them to focus on what they do best: teach! So, thank you again!


Approaching this time of Thanksgiving, I recall a young lady I knew who confided in me that she was having a tough time with gratitude.

Let me introduce you to Jill. Jill, at the time of our first conversation, was  small in stature, thin and tired. She had on the same jeans she had worn for over a week straight and a tee shirt she had pulled from a clothing donations bin. She was wearing flip flops but in the first week in September that year, it was pretty chilly. She was camping with about three thousand other folks, 2098 of them she did not know. She was hungry, scared, lost and most of all, in the physical withdrawal stage from methamphetamine Jill was fifteen at the time.

Jill had just attended a teen group for recovering addicts where the conversation had been about the gifts of a grateful heart. I was sitting outside a small outbuilding that served as a make-shift kitchen. I had just eaten lunch. I was enjoying my coffee and a cookie when I looked up and caught Jill’s eyes. She looked angry and annoyed. I  asked if she needed some help.

“How could you possibly help me?” she asked. “Do you have a magic wand or a million dollars?”

“No,” I said, “but I have an ear and can buy you a burger.”

She took me up on the offer.

We sat for nearly three hours together as she struggled to eat and talked about her young life. Thrown out of her parent’s house after sharing with them her sexual orientation, she found herself couch hopping and then with a young woman who she believed would be her salvation. Instead, Jill found drug addiction and prostitution.

She had just been arrested for the second time and was determined to set herself on the right path somehow, but this gratitude thing was just too much.

“Grateful,” she scoffed. “What do I have to be grateful for? That my parents hate me? That my girlfriend used me? That I spent every dime I got my hands on doing something that just won’t seem to kill me, no matter how hard I try!?”

“Why don’t we start with something small,” I suggested. “How about grateful for this lousy burger, or this bottle of water, or the fact that those jeans don’t have bigger holes in them.?”

Jill laughed. I laughed. We exchanged phone numbers. We talked a lot.

Jill is better now but she didn’t get there alone. Many people came to Jill’s aid when she was ready to accept it. Sometimes it was just a  meal or a clean sweatshirt, but little by little, Jill found a few other things to be grateful for.

Comfort is a gift. It helps people feel their dignity, even when  that dignity has been stolen. A small thing really.

Jill and I are forever grateful for the small things. How about you?


Summer Programs for Children and Youth 2021

The following programs are offered this summer. To pre-register, sign up on our Sign-Up Genius or fill out a registration form, more information below.

Send direct questions to Jeanne Westcott, Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries, at

Family Scavenger Hunt

Pre-register by June 20 to receive the first clue and follow additional clues in downtown Manchester by the Sea. Prize to the winning family – a cache of specially chosen, family-friendly items to use to create a video of the story the items represent. (Story script sample available). First Parish will use the video in a Faith Formation lesson in the Fall. June 30, 4-7 PM

Breakfast Buddies

Breakfast Buddies introduces a Bible character with a short presentation over breakfast. Children engage in an activity and a craft. Each day will introduce a different character so sign up for one day or all five. Ages 2-4 with an adult. July 12-16, 8-9:30 AM

Bible Arts Program

An interactive storytelling, music, song, imaginative movement, yoga & meditation, games, visual art (in a variety of mediums) food creations and group creative writing using 5 different Bible stories for children ages 4-12. Free, all materials included. Pre-register by July 16, space is limited. August 16-20, 4-7 PM

Youth ages 14-16 are invited to apply as a junior counselor and parents are encouraged to volunteer.

Sign Up online now

Download and mail us a Summer Events Registration Form to First Parish Church P.O. Box 187 Manchester by the Sea, MA 01944

Faith Formation for Children & Youth – Open Houses

Meet our new Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries, Jeanne Westcott

Learn about:

  • Our new hands-on Children’s curricular model for Faith Formation classes, mission & service projects and special events.


  • Youth Fellowship special events, themed celebration evenings and special service projects to warm the heart and ignite the spirit! In full swing in September.

The dates are:

June 27: Families with children of all ages are invited to worship at Tucks Point, 10 AM and then meet us at 1 Chapel Lane, 11- 1 PM for a tour of the revamped Faith Formation wing. Snacks available.

July 28: Youth (ages 12-18) and parents are invited to a Youth Fellowship Open House, Wednesday evening, 6-8 PM. Join us to explore our Youth space, play a youth game, share a snack and register for the 21-22 Program Year.

August 14: If you did not get a chance to attend either of the prior Open Houses, here is another chance. Saturday, 10 – noon. Faith Formation Classes Open House, come meet us, find out about the upcoming programs. Registration materials will be available.

Family Scavenger Hunt

Sponsored by the First Parish Church Christian Education Committee. Don’t miss out. Fun. Free. Family Friendly!

When: June 30, 2021, 4-7 pm

Where: Downtown Manchester by the Sea

What is Involved? Families pre-register by June 20 to receive the first clue. Additional clues will be found around the downtown area.

Winner will find a cache of specially chosen, family-friendly items.


Your family agrees to use the items to create a video of the story the items represent.

(Story script sample available)

First Parish Church will use your video to teach a Faith Formation Lesson in the Fall!

To pre-register, sign up on the Sign-Up Genius, fill out a registration form. Direct questions to Jeanne Westcott, Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries, at



Go to Top