The Old Testament Song
(Sung to the ABC's)
The New Testament
(Sung to Good King Wenceslas)
Greetings from the education staff here at Grace Lutheran Church. As we begin a new phase of faith formation in our congregation, we are wanting to make sure that we align our mission around the goal of passing on our faith in the God of the Scriptures and our hope found in Jesus Christ. Knowing God exists is essential to the making of disciples, but even more important is that this God becomes “your” God; a God who has called you, redeemed you, preserved you, and will resurrect you on the last day.
With this in mind we are beginning a new framework for our education ministry, especially with our children (Grades PreK-9th). We have entitled this ministry “TEAM 784”. This comes from Psalm 78:4 in which we declare that “we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.” This group serves the purpose of forming our young people in the faith by leading them through worship, prayer, education, Scripture memorization, and various milestones as they progress in growth into adulthood.
Here at Grace, through our “TEAM 784” team, we prioritize three parts of this journey that will help our younger members to be nurtured and equipped as they grow into Christian maturity: Kids Konnections, Grace Steps, and God's Word By Heart.
Kids Konnections is our education hour on Sunday mornings at 9:30am for children pre-K to 5th Grade. We begin with worship in which the kids prepare the altar, light candles, sing a song or two, and help lead us in prayer and reading. We then have a lesson time in which we read one of the lessons from the Sunday service and then learn why it matters and what it means for us. The goal being that what happens in the Sanctuary is carried over to our time with our youngest members.
Grace Steps is our milestone in which we take time throughout the year to work individually with our different grades on various portions of our Lutheran heritage. We have worked hard to find particular points in the life of each student from baptism to confirmation and beyond in order to give them opportunities to learn several basic parts of the faith, while also offering recognition and a reward for their commitment. Each step in the program builds on the previous milestone and helps to give both parents and students goals to aim for as they are nourished in the faith, with the hope being that we all might “fear, love and trust in God above all things.”
The different stages are taught to the young people during the Education Hour over the course of 2-5 weeks in which they receive a special pin upon completion to recognize their accomplishment, which is affixed to a lanyard they receive at the beginning of the year.
Sacrament of Baptism - Any Age
Baptismal Anniversary - 1st year after Baptism
Welcome to Sunday School - 4 Years Old
Blessing of the Bakpacks - Any Age
Books of the Bible - Any Age
What is Baptism - Kindergarten
The Lord's Prayer - 1st Grade
The Ten Commandments - 2nd Grade
Apostles' Creed - 3rd Grade
Acolyte Class - 3rd Grade or older
Confession & Forgiveness - 4th Grade
1st Communion - 5th Grade
Confirmation Study Bibles - 6th Grade
Confirmation - 6th-9th Grade
Blessing of the Keys - On receiving their Driver's License
In Luther’s Small Catechism, we are told that we are to “fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” This is the purpose behind all of our faith formation programs here at Grace Lutheran Church. As part of this mission, “God’s Word by Heart”, is a Scripture memorization plan for our young people as part of our “TEAM 784” milestone program. Building on the goals each student will be achieving in the various milestones offered throughout their time at Grace, “God’s Word by Heart” helps to lay a foundation of Scripture that will assist the student as they learn to “fear, love and trust in God above all things.”
The plan is Individualized (Each child memorizes at his own pace and level). It is Age-appropriate (Preschoolers and kindergarteners memorize a portion of a verse instead of an entire verse). It is Inter-generational (Adults are recruited from the congregation to assist the students as they complete the memorization program). The last portion of Kids Konnections is dedicated to this work of memorization.