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General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

The FPC Connection Center is a hub on Sunday mornings and is a great place to learn more about us as a congregation. You’ll find brochures, information on our global and city missionary partners, where to go for Sunday school class and also purchase a book or two written by our senior pastor. For your convenience sermons in both audio and printed format are available here.
The Connection Center is located in the Sanctuary Building outside the reception room. It is open every Sunday after each worship service.

During the week, podcasts and transcripts can be found here or you may contact Jaci Gaspard for a hard copy (jaci@fpcbr.org).

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp

General FAQs
How do I become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First dinner as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First dinner those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene (225.387.0617).

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I am an adult and have never been baptized. How can I be baptized here?

Any adult interested in baptism is asked to speak to one of the pastors concerning that interest, or call the church office 225.387.0617. Baptism is a sign of belonging to Christ and to the fellowship of his people. Those interested in being baptized, therefore, are asked to participate in the Discover First class. At the time of baptism they then become members of this congregation

What is the procedure for having our baby baptized?

Infant baptism is administered upon request to the children of believing parents who are members of this congregation. In the baptism service the Christian faith and intention of parents is accompanied by a promise of prayerful support on the part of the congregation in which they participate. It is therefore most appropriate for a child to be baptized in the parents’ home church. In exceptional cases, however, the Session may grant permission for the baptism of a child whose parents are members of another congregation. Parents who desire infant baptism are asked to speak to one of the pastors of the church or call the church office (225) 387-0617.

When can our children take communion?

Children in the church who have come to personal faith in Jesus Christ and desire to participate in the Sacrament of Communion should express this desire to one of the elders or pastors of the church. They will informally be instructed as to the nature of the Lord’s Supper and the meaning of the sacrament.

How may our children and youth become members of First Presbyterian Church?

In this congregation a confirmation class is offered to all sixth graders. On the basis of that study and of a personal decision to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, the members of the confirmation class are normally received as adult members on Palm Sunday. Training for a young person in grade seven or above who wishes to become a member should be arranged with the Youth Pastor.

How may I arrange to be married at First Presbyterian Church?

The pastors of this church are always glad to officiate at a members-only marriage service where there is a serious intention on the part of both the bride and groom to establish the marriage on a Christian foundation. To this end, a series of three to five counseling periods is arranged for the bride and groom in advance of the wedding with the pastor in addition to the pre-marital service offered by the Baton Rouge Christian Counseling Center (www.brchristiancounseling.com). The couple is first asked to contact the Director of Special Events and Facilities who will coordinate pastors, facility availability and usage. The facilities of the church are available for both weddings and receptions. A brochure which includes fee schedules and rules is available. Pastors from other churches are allowed to co-officiate in weddings in First Presbyterian’s facilities when one of the church’s pastors co-officiates. Please contact Sherry McKinley for additional information (sherry@fpcbr.org) or visit our Weddings page.

How may I arrange for a funeral?

In the case of death in the congregation the pastors wish to be notified at the earliest convenience of the family so that a pastoral call may be made either at the home or at the funeral home. The pastors of this congregation are always willing to officiate at the funeral of any person, whether or not a member of this church, as their schedules permit. Please call the church office at 225.387.0617.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you.

The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is 225.387.0617.

Email us at information@fpcbr.org.

What does "Presbyterian" mean?

Most of the New Testament was originally written in Greek. “Presbyterian” comes from a Greek word in the Bible, “presbyter,” which in English is translated “elder.” Presbyterian refers not only to what we believe in general but also more specifically how we govern ourselves as a local church -- by a board of elders made up of both “ruling elders” (lay representatives elected by the congregation) and “teaching elders” (our ordained ministers on staff).

Visitors' FAQs
May I participate in First Presbyterian Church without becoming a member?

Absolutely! We hope that those who are not members will feel welcome not only at our worship services, but in Sunday school, adult study groups, women’s circles, clusters, dinners and everything we do as a church.

Membership is an opportunity to openly proclaim one’s faith in Jesus Christ, one’s sense of call to this particular fellowship of his Church, and one’s willingness to participate n the official life of the church – such as congregational meetings. But the decision of membership is not one into which we desire to hurry or pressure the friends and guests of the congregation.

How may I become a member of First Presbyterian Church?

Sometimes becoming a member of a church can be about as impersonal as transferring your library card to a new library. Our church hopes to make becoming a member more like joining a family than like joining an institution. For this reason the Session has instituted the Discover First class as the route by which we normally receive members. Each class is led by a team of pastors on a Sunday evening.

We hope to include in the Discover First class those who may be interested in membership but have not yet made a decision to join. Classes are normally scheduled three times a year. Anyone interested in registering is asked to speak to Meagan Greene, 225.454.2504; meagan@fpcbr.org). At the conclusion of the class, those who decide to unite in membership are received by the Session.

I am in Baton Rouge temporarily and want First Presbyterian Church to become my home-church-away-from-home. How can I do this?

Adults who wish may become affiliate members of this congregation while retaining full membership in their home church. Those who request affiliate membership are encouraged to participate in the Discover First class simply to learn about the ministry of First Presbyterian.

I have many questions. How can I learn more about First Presbyterian Church?

We would love to share more about First Presbyterian with you. The Connection Center is a great source of information on Sunday mornings. It is located in the Sanctuary Building.

You are welcome to call the church office for further information also. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am - 4.30 pm. The church phone number is (225) 387-0617 or email us at information@fpcbr.org.

How Do I Become a Christian?

No question is more frequently or clearly answered in the New Testament than this one. And no question is more important. In the third chapter of the Gospel of John we read that God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us and then rise to life again so that whoever believes in him, that is depends on Jesus and personally welcomes him as Savior and Lord, may not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Apostle Paul put it this way. When asked "What must I do to be saved?" He answered, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). It is this good news of salvation through Jesus Christ upon which the whole life of the Christian Church is based. We as a church urge all that read this to accept him as Savior. That is how a person becomes a Christian. That is how the Christian life begins.

To become a Christian is as simple as praying: "Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God and the Savior of the world. Please come into my life and be my Savior. Forgive all of my sins. Please come into my life and be my Lord. Guide my life. Thank you for the gift of eternal life. In your name I pray, Amen."

After making such a commitment, discipleship is essential. Who is this Lord you now worship, serve, and trust?  Please contact a pastor, elder, or friend at a local church. Inform them of your commitment and seek out the next step in spiritual growth.

So Loved Nursery Policies
Are there guidelines for volunteering in the nursery?

Our goal is for every family and child to feel "so loved" by our church and by God through their experience in Kingdom Kritters. In order to achieve this goal, we will need a minimum of one volunteer to every four children that join our nursery. We will strive to find volunteers called by God to serve our children and families. These volunteers will be asked to commit to serve 1-2 times per month (at a minimum of one service time). This means 20-40 volunteers are needed.

The following are guidelines to ensure this ministry is a witness to our church and to the world.

  1. First and foremost, we want our volunteers to be in pursuit of an intimate relationship with Jesus, which includes being a regular worship attendee.
     
  2. Convey to everyone entering your environment that the children of this environment are “so loved” by Christ and his church (us). We want this message communicated to parents, volunteers, staff, custodians, and most importantly, to the children themselves. Communication does not necessary mean “speaking.” We communicate through actions, body language, appearance, etc.
     
  3. Look to the Room Mothers for guidance and leadership. Room Mothers will be asked to be equippers leaving the volunteers to do the main work of being with and loving the children. When in doubt, turn to the Room Mother for support. This includes issues of child illness, behavior, crying, etc.
     
  4. Create an environment where children feel "so loved." This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Hands-on engagement with children at all times. Volunteers will not sit by idly and “watch.” This is a babysitting mentality. In order to communicate that children are “so loved,” we need to be playing, rocking, walking, holding, and generally engaging every child.
  • Rooms are “clean” and excellent looking at all times. If you notice there is a spill, accident, broken toy, etc. please report it to the RM.
  • Receive babies in a loving manner from the RMs. Smile at children, make them feel so loved and find out any specific needs that child may have.
  • Each child will be called by name. Although you are not there every week, make an attempt to learn every child’s name as quickly as possible.
  • Diapers will be changed frequently. No child should sit in a dirty or wet diaper for long. All diapers will be changed before the end of nursery time, even if they are clean.
  • Volunteers should manage their appearance This includes wearing child-appropriate, but still professional clothing (no shorts, sweat pants, flip-flops, etc). This also includes wearing FPC smocks and/or t-shirts.  Excellence in appearance conveys competence and love to parents. Below the knee pants or skirts are strongly advised. (Lots of bending over and/or sitting on the floor)
  • Volunteers will make sure that nothing negative is ever said about a child. Love seeks to honor children and parents.
  • Volunteers will make sure something positive is said to the parents about the children. 

What is the sickness policy?

Children who show any visible signs of illness should not be allowed into the classroom. When addressing this issue with parents, assure them that we want their child in the nursery ministry as soon as they are feeling better. If you continually have a problem with a sick child, enlist the help of your Room Mom. If an illness is discovered after a child is in the classroom, remove the child from the other children and ask your RM to locate the parents.

Upon the recommendations of the Committee on Control of Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not be taken from the home when any of the following conditions exist:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (even associated with teething and medication)
  • Any symptoms of childhood diseases, such as scarlet fever, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, cough, strep throat, flu, etc. or any other infectious or contagious disease
  • Common cold from onset through one week
  • Sore throat
  • Croup
  • Earache or any discharge from the ears
  • Fifth disease
  • Any unexplained rash
  • Eye discharge, pinkeye or other eye infections (All eye infections are contagious. The child must be on medication for 24 hours and not exhibiting any symptoms before entering nursery)
  • Cloudy or green runny noses or persistent cough
  • Head lice
  • Any communicable disease

We require that a child be free of fever for 24 hours before entering First Nursery Ministry. When in doubt, please apply the “Golden Rule.”  Adherence to this policy is important to protect the health of all children in our department.

Keeping the nursery clean...

One of the best ways to prevent the passage of germs is by washing hands. It’s important to teach children and model for them frequent hand washing especially at this age because many of them are still putting hands, fingers and sometimes toys in their mouths. Please remind the children continuously and assign a volunteer to help them wash their hands.

Hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before and after eating
  • Before handling food for snack or center time
  • Before and after changing diapers
  • After helping a child in the bathroom
  • After wiping and blowing noses

Please make sure all snacks are eaten in a contained area. Do not allow children to walk around the room or playground with food. Snacks should be administered and eaten at table in classrooms.

Children's hands should be washed:

  • Upon entering the classroom
  • Before eating snacks (wet wipes may be used if the number of children make it impossible to practically to a sink washing)
  • After using the bathroom

Diaper Changing Procedures

Please make sure that every child goes home with a dry and clean diaper. This communicates to every parent our care for the welfare of his or her child. It is important to follow these procedures to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases. Each child’s health and safety is our ultimate priority. We will assemble all of your supplies for you and have them together in a tub/container.  These supplies include diapers, wipes, paper towels, rubber gloves, wax paper, cleaning spray (Basic G) and a changing pad.

  • Wash hands
  • Use wipes, if there are none in the child’s bag, then use wipes provided by the church
  • After changing, return the child to the play area
  • Spray the area, let the cleaning solution sit on the mat for a minute and then wipe thoroughly
  • Place soiled diapers in an individual plastic bag and dispose of in the diaper trashcan
  • Wash your hands

There is one designated area for changing diapers. Please do not change diapers anywhere else in the room.

 

Potty Breaks

For the protection of our children and our volunteers, it is important to follow procedures when taking children to the restroom. The following guidelines are the rules for the bathroom, please don’t overlook them.

  • You must do your best to make sure the bathroom is clear of any other people.
  • A volunteer is never allowed in a bathroom stall alone with a child.
  • All boys must use a stall (this is for their protection).
  • Assist children with their clothing in the open doorway before they go into. the bathroom.
  • Encourage children to do as much of this for themselves as possible
  • If you have an emergency situation where a child becomes ill or needs your assistance, open the stall door and provide what assistance the child may need. Under no circumstances will a volunteer be inside a stall with a child with the stall door closed.
  • Make sure the child washes hands before leaving the bathroom.

Safety is Our Goal

There is nothing more important in the nursery ministry than the safety of our children. We will do everything to the best of our ability to keep them safe and secure while in our care. This speaks volumes to the families that we serve. Please immediately report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect of which you have knowledge or observe within the scope of your duties to the Room Mother and/or Coach.

Additional safeguards are as follows:

  • There must be at least two volunteers in a classroom before children are received. No one may be alone in a classroom with a child.
  • No one is to be alone in a bathroom at any time with a child. (See bathroom policy)
  • All staff and responsible leadership have frequent access to all classrooms where children are being cared for.
  • Any toy or piece of equipment that is broken or poses a hazard of any kind should be removed and/or reported to the coach immediately.
  • During playground time, any balls or toys going over the fence must be retrieved by an adult only.
  • Older siblings and/or children should not be present in the classroom. Their size, enthusiasm and lack of judgment can cause unintentional injury.
  • Security tags are required when releasing a child from a classroom to the parent.

Facilities

Please alert the coach if any toys, beds, etc. need replacing or replenishing. Clean, safe and “desirable” toys and equipment should be available at all times.

Toys should be sprayed with disinfectant before and after Sunday services. If a child puts a toy in his/her mouth, then moves on to another, that toy should be disinfected and allowed to dry before making it available to other children.

Any major spills, vomit or other messes that may require the custodial staff should be reported to the coach immediately.

Snacks

Infants – Parents must supply all bottles, sippee cups, etc. for children in our infant nursery on Sunday mornings. The nursery staff may offer plain Cheerios or Gerber Puffs only in the infant room. Food, whether sent by parents or offered from staff, can only be administered in a high chair or at a table. Children may not eat while sitting or crawling on the floor.

Toddlers – PreK – In the rooms of our toddlers – Preschool, we offer only peanut-free snacks and cool water. Snacks must be administered with children seated at a table. Children may not have snacks while walking around a classroom or on the playground.

Tables should be wiped down with disinfectant wipes before and after snacks are given.

Leaving the Classroom

In the event that a class leaves their classroom as a group, such as playground time or a nature walk, the following security measures will be taken:

  1. Children are counted before leaving the room.
  2. The Room Mom or a volunteer will check the bathroom and under furniture for any stray children.
  3. When arriving at the destination, the children will be counted.
  4. Upon leaving the playground or other destination, the children will be counted and the Room Mom or a volunteer will check under and inside all play equipment for stray children.
  5. The children will be counted again upon entering the classroom.

Discipline Policy

Discipline provides a set of guidelines for behavior of children and adults.
“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22: 6).

Discipline is necessary:

  1. To prevent bodily harm
  2. To protect the child's health
  3. To increase the child's social awareness and encourage the child to develop
  4. To provide the child with emotional security

Discipline and punishment are not the same. Discipline should show the children how to behave in a social environment. It should be a process by which children are learning to control their own actions. The ultimate goal is to build up the child's self control. Discipline redirects behavior in a positive way. Because we provide low ratios of adults/children in our classroom, adults should usually be able to head off most situations before they occur. In the rare event that action is needed for  our wee ones, like toddlers and two’s, loving correction and redirection should usually be sufficient. When possible, adults should practice the desired behavior with the child before moving on to another activity. When redirection does not produce the desired results, our older toddlers and two’s may require some “time out” or cool down time away from the group and beside an adult. A child should NEVER be placed in a room by himself or alone with one adult.

Time Out should never exceed 2 minutes for toddlers and 2 year olds or 3 minutes for 3 year olds. This time-out is not to punish but rather to redirect the child. No corporal punishment will be used at our facility. Often, a reminder is all that it takes to change a child’s behavior. The Room Mom will speak calmly to the child about how the behavior was inappropriate. If a child becomes uncontrollably distractive to the other children, a parent will be contacted. If the Hall Leader and Room Mom should determine that a child’s continuous undesirable behavior is detrimental to the other children in the group, the Hall Leader will request a conference with the parents to discuss strategies for helping that child on a more individual basis.

Any behaviors that require further action, should be brought to the Hall Leader and dealt with along with the parents of that child.

Biting Policy

Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age. This means that is a particular concern for the staff in the Toddler/Young 2s Room.

For safety and health concerns, we take biting seriously. When it happens, it’s very scary, frustrating and stressful for children, parents and teachers. It is also not something to blame on children, parents or teachers, and there are no quick and easy solutions to it. Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results:  the desired toy, excitement, attention. Knowing that the effect of their biting will hurt another person is not yet a part of a child of this ages’ mindset, so the “cause-effect” relationship is not internalized. Our teachers plan activities and supervise carefully in order for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.

Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:

  • The biter is immediately removed from the group with a firm "NO."
  • The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising.
  • The biter is not immediately allowed to return to play and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
  • A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
  • We look intensively at the context of each biting incident for pattern, in an effort to prevent further biting behavior.
  • We work with each biting child on resolving conflict or frustration in an appropriate manner.
  • We try to adapt the environment and work with parents to reduce any child stress.
  • We make special efforts to protect potential victims.

We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families. Only after we feel we have made every effort to make the program work for the biting child do we consider asking a family to keep the child out of our nursery for an agreed upon amount of time in order to break the pattern.  

Fire or Emergency Evacuation Procedures

In the case of an emergency, such as fire, that requires evacuating the building, the following procedures will be used:

  • Room Moms and nursery volunteers will gather and count all children in their class
  • A volunteer will lead the children out of the classrooms designated emergency exit door
  • Room Mom will check the bathroom and under all furniture, in playhouses, etc. for stray children, then follow the class out making sure no children are separated from the group
  • All classes in the preschool hallway will be taken to the "Louisiana Companies" parking lot across 8th street where students will be counted again
  • If a child is missing, the Room Mom will re-enter the building to find that child while leaving the class with the volunteers
  • Coach and hallway greeters will immediately go to the infant nursery to help carry non-walkers out of the building
  • Children will not be brought back into the building until it has been inspected and cleared by the Fire department or other safety authorities
  • Children will be released from the parking lot across 8th street to authorized guardians with a pick-up receipt
  • Parents are advised NOT to come to the preschool area during the emergency, but to come to the parking lot across 8th street to wait for their child

The success of an emergency exit and the safety of everyone involved depends on all of our RMs, volunteers, coach, and parents remaining calm and following the procedures that have been set.

Women's Ministry Recommended Reading
Book Suggestions for Devotional Life

The All-Sufficient God
by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence—Devotions for Every Day of the Year
by Sarah Young

Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
by Tim Keller

The Return of the Prodigal Son
by Henri Nouwen

The Screwtape Letters
by C.S. Lewis

Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
by Arthur G. Bennett (Editor)

Book Suggestions on Marriage and Family, Finance, and Sexuality

Desperate Marriages: Moving Toward Hope and Healing in Your Relationship
Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed

by Gary Chapman

His Needs, Her Needs
by Willard F. Harley, Jr.

How to Manage Your Money: An In-Depth Bible Study On Personal Finances
by Larry Burkett

Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
by Diane Mandt Langberg

Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?
by Gary Thomas

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ
by John Piper and Justin Taylor

The Silence of Adam: Becoming Men of Courage in a World of Chaos
by Larry Crabb

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
by Dan B. Allender

Book Suggestions for Further Study

According to the Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
by Graeme Goldsworthy

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life
by Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III

The Cross
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

by D.M. Lloyd Jones

Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

by Tim Keller

The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament
by William J. Dumbrell

The Four Loves
Mere Christianity

by C.S. Lewis

From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology
by T. Desmond Alexander

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story
by DA Carson

Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

Richard Bauckham

Growing Your Faith: How to Mature in Christ
by Jerry Bridges

Keeping the Sabbath Wholly
by Marva Dawn

The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses
by Vern S. Poythress

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life
by Simon Chan

Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
by Tullian Tchividjian

The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament
by Edmund P. Clowney

When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What we Can While We Wait for God
by John Piper

Children's Ministry Reading Resources

"The Family Worship Book" by Terry L. Johnson
"Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home" by Gloria Furman
"Parenting in the Pew" by Robbie Castleman 
"Grace Based Parenting" by Dr Tim Kimmel
"Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tedd Tripp