All posts in “Kids”

Parenting Conference Featured Image

Parenting Conference 2020

Save the date for First Free Rockford’s parenting conference happening February 21–22, 2020. Stay tuned for more info.


SISSY GOFF, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP——Sissy has worked as the Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee since 1993, with a Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University. Sissy speaks to parents across the country and is the author of eleven books including ‘Raising Girls’.

DAVID THOMAS, L.M.S.W.——David is the Director of Family Counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville, TN, the co-author of eight books, including the best-selling ‘Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys’. He is a frequent guest on national television and podcasts, including their own soon-to-be released podcast called Raising Boys and Girls, and has been featured in publications like USA Today, and speaks across the country.


FIRST FREE ROCKFORD——First Free Rockford is a multi-generational, Christian church based out of Rockford, Illinois. Our mission is to bring people into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and our vision is to see all generations go, tell, and show the love of God in the city of Rockford and around the world. Their main campus is located at the southeast corner of Spring Creek and Mulford roads (2223 N Mulford Rd).

Parent Child Dedication

Parent / Child Dedications

Parent / Child Dedications take place in our Sunday morning services at either 8:30am or 10:30am depending on which hour you sign up for.  Check out our First Free Kids page for more information and to register.

Mom’s Day Out a longtime resource for Rockford-area families

Mom’s Day Out — a special ministry for children and families at First Free Rockford — celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The ministry started as a pilot program in 1989, created as a part-time, Christ-centered child care resource for parents. Three decades ago, moms mostly did the sign-up, but today, fathers and even grandparents are involved in the program, too.

“We’re seeing second generations coming through now,” said Patti Clauson, Mom’s Day Out Director.

Patti has been here since the beginning. She said a First Free member first saw a similar program in the south back in the 1980s and brought the idea back to Rockford.

Mom’s Day Out classroom at First Free Rockford – Rockford, Illinois

Families today can enroll their children starting at 1-year through pre-kindergarten age from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and/or Fridays.

Mom’s Day Out is open to anyone in the community – not just church members. Patti said the program draws people from all backgrounds, including families from outside the U.S. who have relocated to Rockford to work in such industries as aerospace, manufacturing and health care.

Patti Clauson, Director of Mom’s Day Out

“What’s so cool is we’ll have moms who don’t know anyone in town, so they seek out a church that will be a safe place. After a few years, they’ve got play groups, the kids are enrolled in summer day camp,” Patti said. “Our goal is to bridge families from not knowing anyone to finding a home and an extended family here.”

About 120 children attend Mom’s Day Out each day. Bible-based learning aims to teach kids about good values such as sharing, helping each other, comforting a friend and much more. A typical day may include songs, counting, learning days of the week, crafts, a Bible story, and playing in the gym or on the playground.

Crucial to the program’s success has been the ongoing help of church staff and members who volunteer their time to help with activities. Mom’s Day Out also employs more than 20 teachers, meaning it’s a good opportunity for educators looking for an alternative to full-time work.

That’s how Patti got started, in fact. She was a teacher looking for care for her young daughter at the time. She started teaching, then became assistant director and then director.

“It was all God’s planning,” she said. “This is where I was meant to be.”

Mom’s Day Out runs a similar schedule to the school year calendar, starting the week after Labor Day and ending the week before Memorial Day. Registration for the next session starts in May. Visit for more information, or call 815-877-7046.

Summerama Family Experience (food, carnival games, face painting, prizes)

Summerama Family Experience

First Free Rockford is hosting Summerama Family Experience, a free event for all families on Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature free food like hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn and snow cones; inflatables; carnival games; giveaways and prizes. All families are welcome!

“We encourage everyone to invite their friends to experience all the Summerama fun at First Free Rockford,” said Luke Uran, Lead Teaching Pastor at First Free Rockford. “Kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy this fun event right here on the First Free Rockford campus.”

In addition to Summerama Family Experience, First Free Rockford hosts a number of community events throughout the year, including its Christmas Traditions, Patriotic Celebration, and reSTART Rockford concert and more. To learn more about First Free Rockford, visit: