Spiritual Formation & Christian Education

Spiritual formation and Christian education for all ages is especially important at First Church as we strive to encourage lifelong learning and discipleship. We are happy to offer a number of adult education opportunities in 2019. All classes are offered on Sunday mornings from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. unless otherwise noted.

Here at First United Methodist Church, we offer a wide variety if educational opportunities for all ages. These classes are designed to inspire, challenge, and encourage participants in their faith and life. If you have any questions about the classes or have an idea about a class you would like to see offered, contact Heather Ingersoll via our contact page contact page.

Sunday Adult Education Opportunities 

Classes for Adults (9-10 a.m.)
  • Early Birds: Room 212 – Led by Holli Davenport, this class is scheduled to allow Sanctuary Choir members a study option, but everyone is welcome to attend. The group will begin a discussion of the book Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Vanderbilt Divinity School’s Professor Amy Jill Levine. In this book, Dr. Levine takes “readers back in time to understand how their original Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables’ connections to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and morality, Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalized understanding, she interprets these moving stories for the contemporary reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also about us – and when read rightly, still challenge and provoke us two thousand years later.”
New to Salem First UMC?
  • Get Acquainted class: Dining Room – Please join us for a latte and an informal get aquainted time with church members. We will share about our church history, our ministries and outreach in the broader Salem community. We will answer your questions and then take you on a tour.
  • New Membership class: Interested in becoming a member here at Salem First United Methodist Church? We invite you to make First United Methodist your church home. Please contact Pastor Dan Pitneycontact Pastor Dan Pitney with questions or to make arrangements to join.
Classes for Adults (10-11 a.m.)
  • Prayer of the Heart: Room 207 – Led by Josh Stringer and Jerilee Avery, we’re reading Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit by Thomas Keating. The Prayer of the Heart group is a group of spiritual seekers who gather to share the ancient practice of Prayer of the Heart meditation in silence and community. The meeting format we follow includes a short period of shared spiritual reading on this prayer practice, a period of silent meditation, and a period of meditative praying with scripture (lectio divina) with an opportunity to offer a personal response to the scripture if moved to do so. Those who come for the first time will be given a short orientation. All those interested in deepening their interior life and abiding in the presence of Christ are welcome.
  • Modern Christian Life: Room B-8 – “Modern Christian Life” is a discussion group for adults of all ages and stages. The group discusses a variety of topics that are relevant and interesting to the group. We welcome ideas and leadership from the participants.
  • Digging Deeper in Theology and Ethics: Carrier Room – Led by Charlie Wallace and Jody Felton, we study and discuss a variety of topics about faith and justice issues that change every couple of weeks.
  • Adult Bible Study: Room 107 – Led by Gary Onstot, the theme for the winter is Loving God by Trusting Christ. We will discuss passages from various books in the Bible including Thessalonians, John, James, and Philippians.
  • Bridges: Room 110 – A gathering and learning space for differently-abled adults and their care-givers
  • (Young Families Study) Fits n’ Giggles: MICAH Conference Room/Childcare area – Designed for parents of preschoolers and young children, Fits n’ Giggles is a shared facilitation group. A casual gathering time, where parents can share their challenges and joys in an accepting environment, we meet every Sunday morning and Tuesday evening to talk, listen, learn, and be in community with each other. We share stories, support each other, and tackle thought provoking topics. (Sundays from 10-11 a.m. and Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. both in room 210.)

Sunday morning opportunities for Youth and Children

We offer a variety of options for children and youth Sunday mornings.

Childcare – 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Childcare is available for infants through second grade following the Children’s Time in the MICAH service. Children check-in with childcare attendants outside the MICAH Worship Center. Following the children’s time, children go with childcare attendants to Room 206 in the main building. Childcare is available in Room 206 the remainder of the morning.

Children and Music – Rejoice! Kids Choir
First Sunday of the Month – 10-11 a.m., 3 years – 5th grade – Room 304
One Sunday a month, children gather for a time of musical activities and singing. They will learn and prepare music to sing at a worship services in the Spring.

Godly Play
Every Sunday except when Rejoice! Kids Choir meets – 10-11 a.m., 3 years – 5th grade – Room 204
A unique approach to a Christian education which engages the whole child through a multi-sensory experience of the Biblical narrative. In this program, children are invited to explore their place in God’s story through rich storytelling, open-ended play, and a shared feast.

For more information about nursery and Sunday school options for children birth thru 5th grade, visit our Children’s Ministry page.

Middle & High School Youth
Sundays, 9:50-11:00 a.m., MICAH Youth Center
Mid-High, grades 6-8 and Senior High, grades 9-12

Youth and adult leaders will meet in the youth center for prayer, discussions, projects, and study.

Mid-High is using curriculum which empowers youth to explore their faith and ask the questions they actually wonder about the Bible, Jesus, disciples, creeds, other beliefs, and hot topics.

Senior High age youth have options that include assisting with children’s classes, music, learn tech (soundboards and projection) for worship and other special events, or join in lively discussions.

Using a variety of curricula, the focus is on social issues, mission work, the environment, and making a difference in the world. (The youth gather as the Open Door Churches Youth Group every Tuesday night during the summer for fun activities!) Check their Facebook page for updates!

For more information about youth, visit our youth page.