Faith formation–First Third of Life
“Youth are not just the future of our church, they are the church today.” This sentence spoken by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton encompasses the way we see youth in our congregation. Our young people are gifted by God’s spirit to serve the common good. They are an integral part of our community and their faith development reflects the faith journey of our wider congregation. With this in mind we have developed programming for our youth that is both challenging and meaningful, reflecting their developmental level and encouraging them to grow in faith.
On Sunday mornings between services during the school year we offer a Sunday School program for students who are pre-k-grade 5. The emphasis is learning Bible stories and about living as God’s people in God’s world. Hands on projects, art activities, stories and songs combine to help students understand they are loved, supported and capable. Sunday School goes from Labor Day-Memorial Day weekend each year. We take a break in the summer and VBS and Camp Lutherwood Oregon as well as special family activities happen in place of Sunday School.
Middle school-aged students in grades 6-8 are invited to be a part of our confirmation program. This three-year program that takes place on Wednesday nights during the school year takes students deeper into understanding the roots of their faith and applying their faith to their lives now and in the future. Service projects, a Lenten mentoring program, worship notes and opportunities for fun and fellowship make up this program to allow middle schoolers to explore their faith and discover how they are part of the faith community.
High school youth meet Wednesday nights during the school year with our Youth Director. Topics geared to help students explore their growing independence and how their faith is an anchor for their exciting (although sometimes scary) futures ahead. There are many opportunities for service, fun and fellowship throughout the year as well.
Young adults ages 18-29 meet once a month for fun evenings at church or out in the Vancouver area. Contact Kirsten for more information about the upcoming meeting!