Religions and Spirituality

New Faith Adventures for Children at Willow Grove Church

Sunday School classes teach about inspiring women in the Bible. Credits: Rev. Cynthia Cochran-Carney
Willow Grove Church builds faith in creative ways. Credits: Rev. Cynthia Cochran-Carney
Willow Grove Presbyterian Church, 1961 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains Credits: Willow Grove Presbyterian Church
Music Adventures with Willow Grove Church Director of Music Paul DiDario and Contemporary Music Leader Rebecca Dias Credits: Rev. Cynthia Cochran-Carney
monthly service projects for kids ages 4-12 Credits: Lori Lim

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Willow Grove Presbyterian Church in Scotch Plains invites children and parents to experience a newly created multi-faceted opportunity for elementary children on Sunday mornings.  These learning opportunities enable elementary age children to experience faith in different ways beginning Sunday, Sept. 10, at 10:00 am.

Children and adults begin in worship together in the sanctuary with songs, hymns, and prayers, followed by a message for young disciples. The children are invited to go to their classes. Girls move into “Girl Power Hour”, a class focusing on learning about different women from the Bible like Ruth and Naomi and the power of their friendship or Mary, mother of Jesus, and what it means to be chosen to do something difficult. Then girls learn to apply these lessons in their lives.

Boys will have their own new adventure. Their class, “Building Faith Brick by Brick”, is a creative approach to faith-formation, bound by a deep reverence for the power of biblical stories retold and experienced with LEGO® bricks. As each child learns a new Bible story, they will turn their reflections into a Lego creation and ponder questions that inspire a deeper love for God and others.

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During the last part of the classes, children come together with the church’s music staff, Paul DiDario and Rebecca Dias, for “Adventures in Music”, where they learn songs and play instruments, bells and chimes. Children will experience the joy of making music together.  Occasionally, they will practice music to participate in special worship services.

Mr. DiDario and Ms. Dias have special gifts for this ministry.  Mr. DiDario is an acclaimed concert pianist with Bachelors and Masters degrees from The Juilliard School‎. He is the Director of Music at Willow Grove Church, and also teaches at Long Hill Music School, gives concerts throughout the area, and is an accompanist for South Plainfield High School. Ms. Dias is an accomplished vocalist and instrumentalist with a Bachelors degree from Westminster Choir College.  She is Willow Grove Church’s contemporary music leader, and is a music teacher for elementary school children in West Windsor-Plainsboro.

In addition to classes, children learn community service through Willow Grove’s monthly Mini-Mission group.   Children learn experientially about others in need and work to provide help.  In one recent project, children learned about the desperate need for water around the world, then carried large buckets of water over a distance, before working to collect money to help support drilling water wells in remote communities.


Willow Grove Church classes are open to all.  Separate activities are also offered for nursery age children and teens, in addition to adult Bible studies.  Willow Grove Presbyterian Church is located at 1961 Raritan Road in Scotch Plains, near the Southside soccer field and firehouse off South Martine Ave.  For more information, call 908-232-5678, visit or on Facebook at

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