Families & Children

SOTV Milestones of Faith

“So let us leave the simple teachings about Christ. Let us grow up as believers. Let us not start all over again with the basic teachings. They taught us that we need to turn away from doing things that lead to death. They taught us that we must have faith in God.” Hebrew 6: 1

Milestones are special Christ centered events in your life that are faith and life changing. These events help make you who you are today, a son or daughter of God. These events root and grow your faith, and equip you to reach out and bear fruit. This faith development moves you closer in your relationship with Christ for His glory. Shepherd of the Valley desires to walk through these milestones with you. Below is a brief description of some milestone.

  • Tiny Bundles: Tiny Bundles assists pregnant moms and their family prepare for the birth of their child and Baptism. Tiny Bundles is an opportunity for Shepherd of the Valley to support this growing family.
  • Rite of Holy Baptism:  Baptism is God’s gift of acceptance and belonging that roots us in his power and grows us in our discipleship. In baptism God says “Welcome to my family.” You belong!” It delivers God’s specific blessings of life, forgiveness and salvation in order for us to relentlessly reach out.
  • 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.  This worship ends in worship as parents give a picture Bible to their child and bless them.   
  • Kindergarten Blessing for school:  Parents and kindergarten children are brought forward in worship and given a blessing as they transition into school.  Children and parents are reminded that God is with them as they make this change.  Parents and children are gifted with a faith memento of this day. 
  • Splash Baptism:  Kindergarten children and parents take 3 sessions to remember the child’s baptism.  This sacrament is celebrated with age appropriate activities that help families relearn why we baptize.  The final session each child is encouraged to bring a guest for the baptismal party. 
  • First Bible:  Third graders and parents attend four 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.  Following the four session the child and parents will receive a special recognition and blessing in worship. 
  • JAM Bible Classes for 5th & 6th graders:  “Jesus and Me” is designed as a rooted and growing ministry that assists parents in providing a more complete Biblical foundational base for fifth and sixth grade students. This base is very important for a smoother transition into the confirmation ministry.
  • Communion Preparation Classes for 6th graders:  Parents of 6th graders will attend 3-4 sessions teaching about the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  Following these training sessions and with approval from their parents, youth will be invited to participate in Holy Communion.  Families are encouraged to celebrate this special day in their homes as it marks the beginning of a new tool for faith growth.  
  • Rite of Confirmation (8th graders)  Confirmation is a spiritual ministry that is designed for parents in leading their baptized children to deepen the roots of their faith, publically grow their devotion to Christ, and reach out with their gifts
  • Youth Leadership TrainingHigh School youth may apply to be a part of the year-long youth leadership training program which happens on a rotating basis.  This training includes a leadership event off-site, monthly discipleship classes, and other various opportunities to grow in their leadership skills and learn how to minister to others.  Following the completion of this training, the youth will receive a special gift and recognition in service.  They will also be equipped to help disciple others in their high school and/or college campuses
  • Senior High Recognition SundayParents and graduating High School Seniors are brought forward in worship and recognized at a special youth-led worship service.  They are also given a blessing as they transition into college along with a basket full of gifts.  Youth and parents are reminded that God is with them as they make this change and to remain rooted, growing and reaching out in their faith walk no matter what campus they may be on.
  • Marriage Milestone includes varied classes, retreats, online resources and celebration events that encourage strong and healthy marriages.  This marriage milestone is not solely for married couples although it certainly is inclusive of couples.  This milestone is about raising the importance of marriage for our children and teaching what is and how to have a healthy relationship. 

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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