"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
Love and strengthen your family: West Side’s value-centered programs surround parents and children with that vital sense of community so needed in everyone’s lives.
- Be a part of our growing family ministry as you find and build new relationships.
- Reinforce your family’s values at West Side, a safe space for young families to meet at small and large gatherings.
Children & Parents
West Side offers a variety of programs for children and their parents to participate in together. There are seasonal events like “Trunk or Treat,” the Harvest Festival, and, of course, the annual Easter Egg Hunt, just to name a few. But we also recognize the need for young parents to get away every once in a while, to interact with other adults. Therefore, some of our programs are purely social, while others might have an educational side to them. But they are all a part of West Side Family Life. Click here to view the Children and Family Life brochure.
West Side Special Event Child Care
Childcare is provided for free for most Church events (look for the asterisk, which denotes childcare provided), including Sunday morning and most daytime classes and events. Exceptions include Where Moms Connect and Kid’s Club (during Adult Night Out), programs for which there is a childcare fee.
Mom’s Dinner Fellowship
Looking for support and encouragement as a mom? This is the place for you! Join other moms for dinner and fellowship at West Side the second Thursday of every month between October and June. Enjoy meaningful conversation, laughter, and friendship as you’re supported in your journey though “mom-hood.” All moms welcome! Childcare is available. Contact Farrah Buchanan for more information at Farrah.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easter Egg Hunt
Trunk or Treat
All toddlers through second graders are invited to trick-or-treat in costume from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in the West Side parking lot on October 29! Children will go around to each car to Trunk-or-Treat. This is a safe and fun trick-or-treating alternative that includes pumpkin decorating, cider and donuts too. West Siders decorate cars and provide candy for the trunk-or-treaters. Prizes are given for the most creative trunk! Join the fun and bring a friend!
Practices During Lent: Cents-Ability Program
Each Lent, we invite families to participate in the Cents-Ability program to heighten awareness of hunger and highlight simple things all of us can do to help. Families are asked to put two cents into their Cents-Ability container at each meal and to say a prayer to end hunger. Parents can involve children in this activity by discussing as a family the idea of hunger. Pennies collected during Lent are dedicated on Palm Sunday. We make a joyful noise to the Lord with our pennies as children will be invited to bring forward their pennies during the children’s message!
Each year, West Side Presbyterian Church presents Bibles to all of our second grade children on Bible Sunday, as they begin what we hope will be a lifetime of study. If your child comes to our church after this annual event in the fall please contact the church office for a Bible.
Family Worship Sundays
On Family Worship Sundays (generally the first Sunday of each month), our children’s and youth choirs sing during the 10:00 a.m. worship service. All Sunday School children who are not involved in a choir are invited to sit together with their Sunday School classes in the first few rows on the right hand side of the sanctuary (looking at the chancel), where they are able to see and participate in worship. There are no separate Sunday School classes on these Sundays.
If your child chooses to remain with you on Family Worship Sundays, please help your child follow along in the bulletin and during the hymns. Children will feel more comfortable participating if they know what is happening in the worship service.
Middle and high school years can be especially difficult and sometimes painful. Fitting in and feeling welcomed by one’s peers can make a huge difference in the way a young person adjusts to the world and deals with life issues. At West Side, we make a point of reaching out to our youth, giving them safe places to hang out, to fit in, to be welcomed. At the same time, we see these times as opportunities to teach our kids what it means to be a Christian in today’s world. Click here to view our Middle School and High School Youth brochure.
Youth Group Schedule
High School BARN: Sunday nights from 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm at the Barn
If you’re in high school, join us on Sunday nights for fun, fellowship and faith exploration. If you’d like to come for dinner, join the Foundation worshiping community at 6:15 pm in the DePhillips Hall for a meal before youth group.
Middle School BARN: Tuesday afternoons and evenings
If you’re in middle school, Tuesday is your youth day! Come hang out at the Barn after school from 3:00 pm-5:30 pm. Hang out with friends and work on homework too. Then stay for our regular Middle School BARN youth group meeting from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm. If you can’t come after school, no problem—join us just for the youth group meeting at 5:30 pm.
Connect 4 High School Retreat—October 7-9
Save the date for this high school-only retreat. Connect 4: Friends, Fun, Faith and a Fantastic weekend. Click here for more info.
Middle School Retreat at Johnsonburg—December 2-4
Save the date for this middle school-only retreat. Registration details coming soon!
Montreat & Triennium Outings
Every three years, thousands of Presbyterian youth from all over the country and the world gather for an amazing week of fun, worship, making friends, Bible study, play, rest and other adventures. In July 2016 a group of West Siders made the trip to the campus of Purdue University in Indiana. It was a trip no one will ever forget…ever!
On the non-Triennium years, West Side High Schoolers regularly make the trip down to Montreat, in North Carolina for a regional Presbyterian Youth meeting. While not as big as Triennium, this gathering also produces memories guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Rest assured, the kids at West Side don’t have all the fun. There are plenty of activities for adults as well. If you have performance skills, you might be interested in a talent show, or a cabaret, or possibly a part in a Hillside Players stage production. Maybe you’re a ball player…West Side’s softball team, The Jammers, play in the Ridgewood Church Softball League. Of course, if your preference is for less energetic activities, you may enjoy a cruise on the Hudson, a trip to a play, or a high tea!
Jammers: The regular softball season runs from the end of April through July, with playoffs in early August. Interested in playing? Contact team manager, Paul Nuti, for more information.