Families & Children

Faith Milestones

In every one of our Milestones we will:

  • PAUSE – to stop and lift up the age and stage of life.
  • POINT TO JESUS — We will use these opportunities to point to Jesus in the life of the person.
  • CELEBRATE — We will celebrate all that God is doing in our lives and how He is growing us to maturity.

Holy Baptism: Baptism is God’s gift of acceptance and for us. In baptism God says, “Welcome to my family.” You belong!” It delivers God’s specific blessings of life, forgiveness, and salvation. We often baptize infants, but baptism can happen at any age.
Picture Bible: This Saturday morning workshop equips parents of 2 & 3 year olds to be a spiritual leader in the home for their young child. The primary focus is to teach parents what tools they have as a resource for teaching faith to their young child and how to use those tools.
Splash Baptism: Kindergarten children and parents attend 3 interactive sessions to remember the child’s baptism. This sacrament is celebrated with age-appropriate activities that help families remember their baptism.
First Bible: Third graders and parents attend two sessions while learning how to use the Bible and given background information for key portions of the Bible. Shepherd of the Valley gifts each child with a new Bible. The child and parents will receive a special recognition and blessing in worship. Communion Prep Classes: Parents and 6th grade students will attend 3-4 sessions teaching about the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Following these sessions youth will be invited to participate in Holy Communion.
Confirmation (8th graders) In Confirmation classes (7th-8th grade on Sunday mornings), students will discover the basics of our faith and learn to respond to God’s leading in their lives. At the end of Confirmation class, 8th grade students can publicly profess their faith during the Rite of Confirmation. We are confirming all the good work God has done in the life of the child—and that he/she is ready to fully accept that faith as their own.
Senior High Recognition Sunday: Parents and graduating High School Seniors are celebrated in our 10:30am worship service. They receive a blessing along with a basket full of gifts-- We love to encourage and support students as they launch into adulthood.

Sunday School

Sunday school is an educational opportunity for children infant through grade 12 to root and grow their faith in God. It is also a time of Christian fellowship while being in God’s Word. During the summer months Sunday School combines classes to accommodate smaller groups.

Children 0 – 2 years meet in the nursery and have Jesus time as they are introduced to the basic stories of the Bible through song, flannel boards, and learning activities.

Children 3 years through 4th grade are working through the Bible in three years. Classes have a small group introduction to the week’s story, large group time as the story is presented visually, and more small group activities as the day’s story is explored more deeply.

JAM (grades 5 & 6) work from a two year cycle exploring both the Old Testament and New Testament. Youth are encouraged to critically assess what they are reading and assess how that applies to their life.

Confirmation (grades 7 & 8) rotate between Bible study and age related topical studies with an emphasis on building relationships and addressing life issues.

This year round education opportunity happens weekly from 9:15 – 10: 15 a.m.

Confirmation

Confirmation is Shepherd of the Valley’s ministry that supports families in preparing for the Rite of Confirmation. Seventh and Eighth grade youth study the doctrines and beliefs of our church through a Biblical perspective. Topics of confirmation study may be studied with a pastor, lay leader, youth mentor or parents. This two year program runs during the school year on Wednesday nights from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

When youth are ready for their Rite of Confirmation, Shepherd of the Valley hosts a celebration weekend. At the actual Rite of Confirmation, parents and people close to the youth bless the youth in worship. Confirmation brings the youth into membership of the church.

7th and 8th graders attend classes on Wednesdays to prepare themselves to become members of the church.

Wednesday Night Kids

Wednesday Nights provides many opportunities for faith growth and fellowship. Wednesday Night Ministry runs from September to April starting at 6:30 p.m.

  • Children 3 years through grade 4 have a variety of activities that teach stories from the Bible. 
  • Grades 5 & 6 attend JAM, Jesus And Me, which is an in depth story of both the Old Testament and New Testament. 
  • Grades 7 & 8, see Confirmation tab. 
  • Wednesday Nights often have an adult Bible study while the children and youth are in class. 
  • The evening contains time for adults to stop and connect as well as play time after class in the gym. 
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