GROWING YOUR FAITH
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH?
We seek to embody a Christian community in which children are not merely accepted but listened to and treasured as a vital part of God’s presence among us.
All children and youth remain in worship on the First Sunday of each month when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. Many children take the bread and cup as soon as they are old enough to open their hands for it. We require no rite of “first communion” and special preparation.
On all other Sundays between September and early June, children and youth remain in worship through the reading of the scripture lessons. They then participate in a children’s message and are dismissed to church school classes. Throughout the church year, they study the Old and New Testaments and Jesus’ life and teachings.
We also involve children in mission activities throughout the year. Youth over age 16 participate in our annual Mission Trip. Youth and children take the lead in collecting food items for the hungry in our annual Souper Bowl of Caring and they participate in the annual Walk Against Hunger.
All adults who work regularly with children have been checked for criminal records and follow procedures that insure the safety of children and youth, including the presence of two adults with children and youth in all classroom settings. Parents are asked to ensure a safe environment by being aware of their children’s whereabouts during the liturgy and coffee hour.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE FOR ADULTS?
We offer a wide-ranging adult program of classes, retreats, and special events. Our goals are to help our congregation be centered on God in and through Jesus Christ, to increase biblical understanding in ways that help us interpret contemporary issues in light of the Christian faith, and to provide us with tools and spiritual practices that help us to live our faith in the world.
From September through June, a mid-week adult faith formation meets from 6:15 p.m. until 7:25 p.m. on Wednesdays. We gather for a shared meal followed by prayer and bible study. This group is usually led by our pastors.
Also from September through June we have an Adult Forum from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m on Sundays, immediately following worship. The Adult Forum usually focuses on an important societal issue and includes an outside speaker who helps us better understand a particular issue such as climate change, transgender issues, immigration policies, or other topics.
A Reading Circle gathers monthly to discuss a contemporary novel or nonfiction book, reflecting on how its themes intersect with Christian faith.
Because we believe art and creativity are intrinsic to spirituality, we seek to create opportunities to engage with music and the arts. We host an occasional art display in Hodge Hall where members can interact with creative artists and art.
A “day-apart” or mini-retreat is held occasionally to offer an extended time for spiritual formation and guided prayer and discussion