Pastor Jessica Myers makes church family friendly and relatable.

. February 1, 2017.
“Jessica and Jason Myers with their children Jace, Stella, Lily, and Miles”
“Jessica and Jason Myers with their children Jace, Stella, Lily, and Miles”

As a wife and mom, Pastor Jessica Myers of Findlay’s First
Presbyterian Church (FPC) relates deeply to the needs of families.
“Families are increasingly busier and pulled in multiple
directions. In my experience, parents only have one hour to
give on Sunday mornings. We need to be innovative in
terms of how we do church.”

A Michigan native, she has been married
to Jason for seven years and is mom to step daughter
Lily, (10), Miles (5), and twins Jace and Stella (3.5). Mission
trips as a teenager opened her eyes to the diversity of how
people live affirming her need to minister to all people.
Ordained ten years ago, she selected the Candler School of
Theology at Emory College because of its diversity of people
and religious voices. She graduated with a certificate in Church
and Community Ministries readying her to work with
“families, the homeless, the hungry, the under employed.
I have always been drawn to the outwardness.”

Godly Play

Collaborating with Senior Pastor, Rev. Cynthia Holder Rich,
Myers, has worked to formulate a program to make
church services more accessible to families with young children,
implementing a Montessori based children’s program
called Godly Play.

Bible stories are told to encourage children to wonder and think
more deeply about God. FPC has also partnered with
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) a group that meets monthly
and provides a space for mothers of preschool and school age
children to community, talk about or relate to God with childcare
providedduring meetings. Working with MOPS, Myers became
more aware of the prevalence of food allergies and the need to
have safe spaces for children with food allergies. As a result all
of the childcare rooms at FPC have become gluten, dairy,
and nut free. “We know God welcomes all and wants all to participate.
We also offer gluten-free communion so that everyone can fully participate.”

Loud and Joyful

The church held an interactive family service on Christmas Eve.
The service was purposefully planned for 5pm so families
could attend but also eat dinner or visit with relatives and then
have the kids in bed at a reasonable time. “I’m a mom and
my kids are in bed by 7:30 or 8pm. I get it” says Myers. During
the service titled, “The ABC’s of Christmas,” children were
given simple costumes to wear and asked to call out responses
to specific words or phrases. Myers says it was chaotic and
loud but joyful and well received.

Myers and the FPC staff are planning a completely allergy-free
Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday April 8th from 10am-12pm.
Myers selected the date on the weekend prior to Easter so
that families traveling over Spring Break would be able to attend.

Vision for Families

Looking ahead Pastor Jessie Myers is hoping to build the
congregation at First Presbyterian Church in depth, not only size.
“I want families to have community with other people of faith,
to engage faith in their home life with their kids, and to have spaces
where they can, when God calls them to do
so, engage in conversations of faith.”

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