Faith Formation is Lifelong: Sunday School through Adulthood
At Saint John we are about lifelong faith formation for people of all ages.
Faith formation starts at infancy and continues throughout the journey of life. Because 90% of faith formation takes place in the home, we are committed to providing resources and support to families and households that are useful and effective.
We provide opportunities both for you and your family to grow spiritually.
We engage in relationships so that you can gain ideas from other families with kids or who have been in your shoes. We provide opportunities to learn and practice these skills so you have the tools to share and pass on faith with your child.
Some of the support comes through programming such as Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Confirmation. Other support comes through small groups, conversations, hands-on resources, and interactions with the pastors and leaders in the church. We encourage participation of children and youth in all areas of worship and the life of the church.
Baptism classes are offered on various Sunday afternoons throughout the year to prepare families, sponsors, and those receiving the sacrament of baptism. Baptism is a gift from God for all ages. Prior to scheduled baptisms you will attend the class to learn about the sacrament, receive helpful tools and resources for growing in faith throughout the years, and have an opportunity to ask questions.
GIFT: Growing In Faith Together
GIFT helps families and households learn faith practices that can be done in the home. GIFT is geared towards birth-8 years old and their adults (parents/grandparents/baptism sponsors, etc). GIFT meets 5:30-6:00pm in the sanctuary followed by dinner at 6:00pm.
Sunday School currently runs in between the two Sunday morning worship services from 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Sunday School begins at three years old and goes through middle school. Please meet in the Sanctuary at 9:45 to begin with music.
Confirmation typically starts in 6th grade and is a three year education time that provides tools for lifelong faith. Wednesday night gatherings work through Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, the Lutheran Confessions, and Spiritual Practices. Teaching is done with the intent to be hands on and interactive so that confirmands experience faith formation and gain ways to see the intersection of their faith in daily life. Confirmands experience large group and small group learning as well as one-on-one mentors from the congregation.
Wednesday Morning Adult Bible Study takes place on Wednesday mornings at 9:00am in the Welcome Center. We explore the texts for the upcoming weekend through conversation and learning.
Wednesday Night Adult Bible Study takes place on Wednesday nights at 6:30pm in the Conference Room. Pastor Jon is currently leading the class through learning on Martin Luther.
Summer camp takes place at Carol Joy Holling Camp in Ashland, NE. Youth 1st-12th grade can attend week long camp along with options for an overnight for K-2nd grade. The Saint John group will be attending camp June 19-24, 2016.
Please register at www.caroljoyholling.org. Scholarships are available through the church and through Carol Joy Holling.
Mentoring is an important part of the confirmation experience. We value the relationships between the adults and youth in the church. Each confirmand is paired with an adult mentor who can walk with them on their faith journey and be authentic, available, and affirming. The mentors and mentees meet once a month together on a Wednesday night.
High School Youth
The high school youth gather on Wednesday at 6:00pm for dinner followed by a time where we have Bible study, discussion on faith topics, and current issues. We also do a service project once a month and hold regular game nights.
High School youth are encouraged to experience and participate in God’s work in the larger world through mission trip opportunities each summer. Past trip have included serving in Minneapolis, MN, Mingo County, WV, Boundary Waters, MN, Council Bluffs, IA (stay at home mission trip!), and Detroit, MI. The youth will travel to Cheyenne River, SD in June 2016 to serve on a Native American reservation.
Children in Worship
Children are always welcome in worship and Saint John. We encourage children and families to sit near the front so the kids can see better and actively participate in the service.
Blessing Bags are available in the narthex for their learning enjoyment.
Children’s Hour is also available at the 8:30am service with Ms. Judith for children 3 years-Kindergarten. Ms. Judith leads the children to the Noah’s Ark room (nursery) after the children’s sermon. The children also come to communion during the worship service.
Children and youth are part of the worship leadership at Saint John through music, lectoring, ushering, greeting, acolyting, helping with altar guild, and more. Everyone at all ages have gifts they can share as we worship together.
The music ensembles of Saint John offer music ministry opportunities for all ages.
Choir On Fire
A choir for children of Sunday School age.
A group of adult and youth singers and instrumentalists. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings and lead music in different worship services.