Family Ministries

Families at First logo

Heather Hawkins and her family welcome you to First United Methodist Church of Salem!

Soccer games. Laundry. Lost keys. Swim lessons. Dog park. Leaky faucet. Empty milk carton in the fridge. Piano lessons. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe our lives!

We know that it can be so hard to do it all – but here’s a secret – you don’t have to! Community. Connection. With these two simple words, families can transform from harried and frazzled to peaceful and intentional.

At Salem First UMC, we want to help you face the struggles of modern day life in a loving and Christ-like manner. We believe a family connected to others and in community together will thrive no matter what challenges they face.

Jen and Rachel are two of our quality childcare providers

We offer families:

Quality childcare during class times and worship times – open from 8:30 a.m. to 10 in the MICAH Center, and from 10-12:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary building — for infants to age 5 in our Nursery (rooms 206 and 208). Stop by during these times for a visit to see what it is all about! Contact Mora Carpenter if you are interested in volunteering during any of the times the nursery is open.

Sunday Education for all ages! In addition to fabulous adult classes, we have activities and classes for children ages nursery through 5th grades; and for youth in a 6th through 12th grades. Children 5 through 5th grade are also welcome to sing with the Rejoice! Kids’ Choir.

Saturdays of Service – held on one Saturday a quarter, Saturdays of Service provides an outreach experience with mission activities  for all ages. Children have been invited to join their families in helping at the community gardens, to make toys for the Humane society, and pack lunch bags for children who need some food help for the weekends, when a school meals aren’t available.

Holiday and Annual events such as a Family Halloween activity, Children’s Christmas Eve and Palm Sunday worship events, Vacation Bible School and our All Church picnic in August.

Mora Carpenter

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Heather Hawkins, the Family Ministry Director at or call the church office, 503-364-6709 and leave a message for Heather.

Our Priorities are:

Many families are still struggling with isolation as they try to juggle all the needs of kids, work, and life. We offer opportunities to connect with a community of support. These aren’t always “church-y” activities – just a way to reach out and develop connections with other families dealing with the same life stuff.  As you become comfortable here, we invite you to continue into deeper connections with some of the activities listed in “Connecting New Families.”

  • Friday morning “Parent-Tot” playgroup – this once a month group gathers for social play time in the nursery, the 4th Friday of each month.

Connecting New Families

We are excited you have found some connection to our church, whether it’s through worship, Sunday school or Saturdays of Service. This first connection likely meets a spiritual need – but it’s time to take that relationship deeper. Families need to connect with each other in a relaxed and open way.

  • Family Class – each week, young families meet to study and connect. The chosen study will change every few weeks, so feel free to jump in whenever it is convenient for you!

Sustained Care and Connection

So what if you’ve been here for a while and developed a circle of friends? That doesn’t mean that you don’t need continued care. After all, our families grow and change and challenge us all through the years! We encourage these families to reach out and offer hospitality to those who are still dipping a toe in the water – after all, they’ve been there before. But we also encourage them to ‘go deeper’ in their faith and commitments through:

  • Church retreat or camping opportunities – Our next ‘official’ family retreat will be Fall 2018, but there are other informal camping opportunities throughout the year.
  • Advent Adventures and other seasonal offerings around Thanksgiving and Lent offer a chance for families to come together at critical times in the church year to focus on the season ahead.