First Milestone: Baptism
Our life of faith begins in Holy Baptism. God initiates a relationship with us, calls us his beloved children, and through the promise of his Word proclaimed in Holy Baptism, brings us forgiveness, life, and salvation.
When a child is baptized, parents and/or sponsors are asked to promise before God and the community that they will raise their child in the faith, bring them to the services of God’s house, place in their hands the Holy Scriptures, and share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. They respond, “Yes, with the help of God.”
The pastor then asks the congregation, “Will you commit to praying for this child and for the parents, and help raise the child in the faith?” The congregation responds, “Yes, with the help of God.”
Through Holy Baptism, a child becomes a part of the Christian community and the child begins the process of faith development. As the first of many milestones in a child’s spiritual journey, baptism gives us a chance to equip our parents, as well as the community, to nurture the faith of each child.
● 3rd Grade: First Bible. Each parent presents their child with a Children’s Bible at the beginning of the year in church. Then the kids are invited to learn how to use it all year long in Sunday School as they journey through the Bible. Parents also attend a class on the role of the Bible in faith development.
● 3rd Grade: First Communion. Parents and kids attend a special class and receive a great take-home resource called “There’s a Place for You” that teaches kids the meaning of communion. Then they celebrate the gift of forgiveness, life, and salvation that we receive in Holy Communion.
● 4th-5th Grades: 10 Commandments. Kids learn the meaning of the 10 Commandments are in the context of a Sunday School class and with take-home resources for families.
● For all students: Each fall we offer a blessing of the backpacks as they begin the school year and we share the Good News that God goes is with them at all times.
Middle School Milestones:
● 6th-8th Grade: Youth Bible and Confirmation. Students each get a new youth Bible as they enter into Confirmation/Jr. High Ministry. After completion of this important Faith Milestone they can be confirmed as members of the congregation. Each teen affirms their faith in Christ and the promises God has made to them in Holy Baptism and are prayed over by their pastor, spiritual mentors, family, friends, and the community.
High School Milestones:
● 9th-12th Grade: Community. Each 9th grader is invited into Connection/discipleship with our Sr high youth that will be a supportive Christian community throughout their high school years.
● Driver’s License: We offer a blessing on each student at the time they receive their driver’s license and a resource for parents to share the faith connection that when God is in the driver’s seat of our life and we will go down a road of blessing and honor God in all that we do.
● 12th Grade: Graduation. Creating an opportunity for seniors to help them think through their spiritual life after high school. At the end of the year, students are asked to invite friends and family to a Graduate Recognition brunch honoring all seniors. During this time, seniors thank friends and family for helping them develop as a Christian and are invited to share a testimony of their spiritual journey. On the same Sunday, in worship, we offer a prayer of blessing and commissioning as God goes with them into their next adventures in life.