As the school year ends, many of our youth are transitioning from one stage of development to the next in their secular education and Sunday Faith Formation comes to end for the year within this congregation, I thought it would be a good time to write about the Learning Committee at Saint Timothy’s. Before I joined the Learning Committee, I thought that this was going to be the easy one because Faith Formation only meets approximately 30 weeks out of the year. Wow, was I wrong or what? Learning neither begins nor ends with Faith Formation on Sunday morning and it is not only for youth PreK – 12th grade. Learning starts in the home at birth and continues through all stages of our lives until we are called to the Church Triumphant. It is a journey with Christ that the Learning Committee of Saint Timothy works all throughout the year to make sure that the congregation is served.
When a family welcomes a child into their home and brings them forth to be received into the Church through baptism, Learning begins their work, and the infant is immediately enrolled in Saint Timothy’s “Cradle Roll.” Cradle Roll consists of monthly parent “Splash” pages that makes faith part of your child’s life from birth to 36 months. Also, every year the family will receive a music CD.
From the infancy/toddler stage of life we move to in-person Faith Formation for PreK – 5th grade youth on Sunday mornings before 10:30 worship services. We offer 2 classes with different age groups each with age-appropriate instruction revolving around the liturgical calendar and the weekly gospel lesson that heard during the service. There are many great things that come from this group of youth being together made up of glue, glitter, construction paper, popsicle sticks, and marker, but by far my favorite things are the laughter that I hear while standing outside the door and seeing the smiles that emerge after class is over.
Confirmation begins at 6th grade and is led by Pastor Jennifer Michaels. She will be sending more information as class gets started, but this is a time in one’s faith formation to help the baptized youth through Word and Sacrament to fully identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission. At the core of this instruction is study of Luther’s Catechism.
High School Youth and Adults also meet on Sunday mornings where they are met where they are in life today using ELCA blogs (High School uses the Faith Lens blog.) These blogs look at current events and are openings to broader conversation where we can see Christ at work today and how we can take these lessons out into the community.
We are looking forward to expanding and growing in learning opportunities and need the help of you, the congregation to do it. We would like to see a resurgence of VBS next year, possibly midweek bible study or an additional adult class during Faith Formation. The key to an expansive Faith Formation is a diverse pool of input. No matter what experience, you have the input, and we want you to be a part of it. If you are interested in becoming a part of Learning please reach out to Janel Tucker ([email protected]) or Kathy Graham ([email protected]), or show up to a committee meeting, held the first Saturday of each month in-person at 8:30 AM. ~Thomas Aben