In Baptism, we promise to:
- Teach the baptized the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and the Ten Commandments,
- Place in their hands the Holy Scripture,
- And nurture them in faith and prayer.
At Immanuel, our Christian Education ministry is designed to fulfill that baptismal promise. After baptism, children under the age of three are placed on our Cradle Roll and their parents receive materials to help share their faith in the home. Our Sunday Church School program provides an opportunity for everyone from ages 3 to adult to deepen their understanding of the Bible, to learn about what it means to be a Lutheran and to grow in their faith. We also have classes for those making their First Communion and Confirmation. We have adult Bible studies during the week and everyone can experience the Bible in unique and fun ways through our week-long Vacation Bible Schools in the summer.
The First Communion Class prepares youth in the fourth grade to begin receiving Holy Communion. The class, taught by Pastor Paul, meets on four Wednesday evenings in January and February. The children are invited to receive their First Communion at the worship service on the Sunday following these classes. Youth often extend invitations to grandparents, baptismal sponsors, relatives and friends to participate in this special service with them.
In these classes, the students read and study passages of Scripture to help them understand what Holy Communion is. The youth take part in activities that will help them grow in their appreciation of Holy Communion and the gift of love Jesus gives us in this sacrament. They learn “how-to” receive Holy Communion and also bake the bread used in the Holy Communion celebration for First Communion.
Confirmation is defined as a pastoral and educational ministry of the church which helps the baptized through Word and Sacrament to identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission (ELCA 1993).
At Immanuel confirmation is not graduation from Sunday School but is in fact, the opposite. It is a process through which children grow into adults in the church. Growing into adulthood means that one worships regularly and actively participates in the ministry of the church.
Therefore each confirmand will:
- Celebrate regularly by attending weekly worship services
- Grow in understanding by attending the confirmation program twice monthly during the school year for two years, participating in confirmation camp, and taking part in weekly Sunday School classes.
- Serve using their time and talents in support of Immanuel’s mission. This service could include assisting at worship, helping at soup suppers during Lent, and working with the children during Vacation Bible School.
- Demonstrate their growth as disciples by completing a project during their second year in conjunction with a mentor that shares their faith.
Typically confirmation class is for youth in seventh and eighth grade. Arrangements with the pastor can be made for older individuals.
Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO)
Immanuel’s Lutheran Youth Organization (LYO) is for youth in grades 6 through 12. The LYO participates in activities that help our youth explore what it means to be a Christian in today’s world. These activities combine learning, serving and fun.
An important aspect of all congregational activities is building relationships. These relationships are among the youth and also between youth and adults assisting with these programs. We strive to include all members of our congregation in supporting our youth.
Immanuel’s youth have traveled 3 times to the Gulf Coast to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. They went to Greensburg, Kansas, to help rebuild after a tornado destroyed much of the town. The “30 Hour Famine” and participation in the annual “Souper Bowl of Caring” raises awareness of hunger in the world as well as raising funds to support local hunger relief. They participate in local service opportunities.
On the fun-side, Immanuel’s youth and families have had picnics, lock-ins, game nights and entertaining times at places in our community. Other activities combine social activities with Bible study. We have fun while we learn.