Faith Formation

Faith formation is a process which helps our young people embrace the faith in their own way.  At Faith Lutheran, we believe the church is here to help parents in this most important responsibility.  Faith is learned really through what is taught in the home, rather than what is taught in the few hours of contact in the church.

Here is how we hope to help:

Birth

Faith formation begins at birth.  As the child learns what it means to be immersed in love, they learn about God’s love.  Parents are encouraged to learn how to speak a blessing from God over their baby every night.  My daughters have heard this blessing almost every night since they were born:  God says, “You are my child, my beloved, with you I am well pleased.”  Now they are older and they still ask for this blessing every night before going to sleep.  We are happy to baptize all ages at Faith as a sign of God’s love and claim on us as his very own precious children.

Grade 1 First Communion

First grade offers their first opportunity to learn formally about the gift of receiving Holy Communion.  Some parents may decide to wait until the child is older and is expressing a desire to start receiving the body and blood of Christ rather than a blessing when they come forward during the communion distribution.  It’s up to you when you would like first communion to occur for your child.  After taking two classes for basic instruction, we will schedule this wonderful day of celebration for the whole family.  Again, it’s important to remember the kids don’t learn the importance of depending on the grace of God to live a new life from a couple classes.  They learn to value Holy Communion from watching their parents value coming to worship and communion as often as they can.

Grade 3 New Bible Presentation

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We don’t just give out regular inexpensive Bibles for third graders and hope they read them someday. We gather again as families to talk about how to share in meaningful bible devotionals in the home.  Special Bibles are picked out which have excellent notes to help engage the children in understanding what is in the Bible.  Pr. Dave has also written an introduction to every book of the Bible with these third graders especially in mind.  They take the kids on a tour of the Bible as parent and child connect God’s word to their everyday lives.  Parents and children learn to share their highs and lows, read a little devotional, talk about related topics, pray and bless one another.  This is a crucial time to confirm some good habits for lifelong growth in faith and discovery of a meaningful relationship with God.

Grade 5 Holy Communion RefresherHoly-Communion

A refresher course on the meaning of Holy Communion is offered for fifth graders and their families.  At this time, kids are beginning to think on a whole new level.  They can start to understand abstract concepts and new depths of spirituality.  We talk together about the importance of repentance and forgiveness in everybody’s life and how that can be reinforced in creating an honest and loving home environment.  If kids can form a healthy relationship with God and parents and trust the power of forgiveness in their lives, they will be better positioned to handle the transition through the teen years to adulthood.

Grades 7, 8, and 9 Wednesday Confirmation Classesevents-section1

This is what most people think of as confirmation.  We meet from 6:30 to 7:30 most Wednesday nights during the school year in order to delve more deeply into the Bible and its various interpretations especially from a Lutheran perspective.  Unlike traditional classes however we try to meet our teens where they are in life.  We help them to ask good questions and while we offer the answers which have informed many generations, we do not ask the kids to regurgitate answers they are “supposed” to give.  We try to create an environment in which questions are honored and learning can be fun.

Grade 10 Mentorship Program

In the summer before their 10th grade year, those going through the confirmation process identify an adult to mentor them.  One on one meetings help each child talk about whatever aspects of their faith may still be troubling them.  Again, the purpose is not to quell any doubts, but to give them good information so that they may embrace faith at their own level.  Healthy teens have at least five caring adults in their lives reinforcing their identity as a child of God.  On the Sunday closest to Reformation Day, (October 31st), we hold a service of confirmation where each candidate presents what their faith means to them in worship.  It is a powerful service to hear how each confirmand has made their faith their own.

Life-long Learning Opportunities

Our hope is that this process instills in them a desire to learn more about God in their life for the rest of their lives.  Confirmation should not be thought of as a graduation from Sunday School, but more like a decision to continue to love God and determination to discover a deeper love with God.  After confirmation, our young members are recognized as fully participating members of the body of Christ in our church.