Youth Ministry and Milestones

Sunday School and More…God’s children are never too young (or too old) to begin bringing the word of God into their lives. That’s why every year we enjoy offering our children a wonderful, loving environment in which to learn God’s Word.

Elementary School Offerings

Welcome to Sunday School (2-3 year olds)
Preschool students are welcomed into Sunday School with the presentation of a story Bible in early September.  There is also a time for parents to learn about our education programs and practice ways to develop faith in the home.

Learning to Use My Bible (3rd grade)
Once each year we offer a time for families to learn how to use their Bibles together.  Third graders are invited with their parents to attend a workshop that teaches how to find things in the Bible, ways to read the scriptures together, and some ideas on how to make the Bible a part of your daily routine.

First Communion Instruction (age varies)
Students in early elementary school are invited to learn about Holy Communion during a special workshop held one Saturday during Lent.  This workshop is designed for parents and students to learn together.  We generally plan the workshop at a second grade level, however we recognize that when a child receives Holy Communion for the first time is a decision each family needs to make.  Accommodations can be made for students who are older or younger than this general age.  A conversation with the pastor may be helpful in making this decision for your child.

Elementary Summer Camp
Elementary age children can attend a week of camp at Stony Lake!  First timers (grades 1-3) participate in a 3 day experience, while grades 3 and up can experience an entire camp week!  Students participate in a variety of camp activities ranging from games to waterfront, crafts to campfires, archery to horseback riding–all in the midst of a caring Christian community!  Registration begins in January.  Visit http://www.elcalivingwater.com/ for more information on Elementary camp offerings. 

Middle School

Youth Charge
Charge is a gathering hosted by Living Water Ministries.  Youth in grades 6-8 attend for small group experiences, service projects, worship, and LOTS of fun!  To learn more visit the Charge website.  

Watch for details through church publications on how to register with our group for the next event!

Catechism Class
Grades 7-8 learn more about their faith as they move toward affirming their baptism and becoming adult members of the congregation.  Led by the pastor and staff, this class meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings of the month.  Class sessions together combined with home-study, parent conversations, and a mentor experience work together to prepare our students to affirm their baptismal promises.

The content includes material from Martin Luther’s Small Catechism as a way to integrate the foundations of faith into everyday living.

Confirmation Camp
Offered each summer in June or July, Confirmation Camp is an extension of our fall confirmation instruction and provides students the opportunity to gather in a relaxing and fun atmosphere to reconnect over the summer and deepen their relationships and confirmation studies.  Youth also have opportunities to take part in camp activities like swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, and much more. Registration usually opens in January for the following summer.  Visit www.elcalivingwater.com for more information on camp programs.

Worship Service Opportunities
We encourage youth of all ages to be actively involved in our worship services. Opportunities include serving as acolytes, lesson readers, praise band, communion assistants, projection system and sound system assistants, website help, greeters, and ushers. Get creative and get involved! We are open to other ideas students have regarding worship service participation.

High School

Hang Outs
Join us on the First Sunday of each month for an informal hang out time after church. You can meet us at the church for a carpool, or watch for details as to where we will be meeting. We will find a local place to gather and talk!

Great Lakes Gathering
Our youth join hundreds of high school youth from all over the region. The event is provided through Living Water Ministries in Lansing, MI December 27-30, 2018.  Students participate in small group learning congregational team building, service projects, worship and other faith-filled fun!

“The Gathering is an opportunity for groups of ELCA Lutheran high school age youth from the lower peninsula of Michigan and Episcopal youth from EDOMI to gather in Lansing to experience three days of fun, worship, spiritual growth, and so much more.” –Living Water Ministries

To learn more and to register (registration opens September 1), check out The Gathering website.

National ELCA Youth Gathering
For youth who have completed grades 9-12. This gathering brings about 30,000 Lutherans from around the country to worship, learn, and serve together.  The next gathering will take place in 2021 in Minneapolis, MN.

Bridge Builders Camp
From Living Water Ministries, Bridge builders offers a unique approach to training youth to be leaders in their communities  , Living Water Ministries hosts a week of camp for high school students called “Bridge Builders.” Bridge Builders is a collaboration of our two ELCA synods in the lower peninsula of Michigan. The goal of our Bridge Builders program is to develop young leaders for the church and world with a raised awareness and understanding of the realities of racism. The camp environment is utilized to form intentional community that grows together and with Christ through this uniquely formative experience.  This program has become nationally recognized and now often includes youth from around the country interested in working for justice and peace in their own communities.  For more information visit the website here.