In a world of gadgets, programs and quick fixes, we encourage a different, older approach to Children's Ministry at Immanuel: Family Discipleship.
Here at Immanuel, we cultivate family discipleship where parents and children learn and grow together in their relationship in Christ, at church and home. We see the role of the church as one of support. We are here to support and supplement parents as they nurture their children's faith through family discipleship.
What is Family Discipleship?
The church's responsibility in family discipleship is to encourage and support parents in the discipleship of their children. The parent's responsibility is to be disciples themselves and lead their children into their life in Christ. It isn't rocket science, and it doesn't require a degree, but it is out of the norm. So to encourage and support parents in the discipleship of their children, we offer the following support.
Sunday worship is for the whole family. We believe that children learn the Christian faith by being involved in the worship of the church and seeing their parents engaged in worship. The Christian Faith is both taught and caught. While children of all ages are welcome in our services, we provide a nursery for children who are under the age of three, and Children's Chapel for older kids.
During the first half of our Sunday morning service, age-appropriate Children's Ministry is available for children 3 years old to the end of third grade. Children gather at the back of the sanctuary to process into worship and go to the Children's Chapel. There they will hear the scripture read, learn about who Jesus is and why he matters, pray and enjoy some fun activities. They come back to service after the sermon to join in worship and the celebration of Holy Communion.
We invite all children 4th-8th grade to be acolytes. Acolytes are actively engaged in the worship of the church, assisting in the Lord's Supper. If you are interested in learning more, please talk to Fr. Ethan.
Baptism is the entry point into the family of God, for either adult converts or children of committed Christian families. Here at Immanuel, we baptize infants as a sign of God's grace and work in their lives and the lives of their family. After infant baptism, parents disciple their children, remain actively involved in church and when they are around 14, bring their children through confirmation.
Baptism is offered three times a year in the fall, winter and Easter. Before each baptism, we offer a required four-week baptism course on baptism for all who are interested in being baptized or having their children baptized. Please contact Fr. Ethan to ask about the next baptism class.
In confirmation, we reinforce what parents have been teaching their children by learning about the Apostle's Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments. After confirmation class, confirmands receive a blessing and prayer from the Bishop to strengthen them in their life and ministry. Confirmation is not an end goal, but a reaffirmation of baptismal vows.
Confirmation occurs once a year when the Bishop visits. To be confirmed you must go through the confirmation class that is offered in late spring.
The Gospel Project
The church also support families disciplining their children by offering The Gospel Project on Wednesday Nights in the fall and spring. The Gospel Project introduces children to the big story of scripture and shows how every story points to Jesus. This is a great opportunity for parents to talk to their children about who Jesus is, who they are and what Jesus is doing in their lives.
Resources for Family Discipleship