From our Pastor of Christian Education & Family Ministry
“Christian Education is to enable people to learn the Christian story, both ancient and present, to help people develop the skills they need to act out their faith, to live as Christians and Christ’s ones. Christian Education is to help people to reflect on the Christian story so that they can live aware of the truth in the story and how that truth is present in their own lives, and finally, to nurture those sensitivities, attitudes and attributes that people need to live and work together as a community of faith. We need not only to know about the Bible, but how to embody its truths and insights in our own lives; how to live as Christians in the world today.” Basics of Christian Education by Karen B. Tye
Throughout the Biblical stories, when the people of God have an encounter with God, they pause to build an altar to honor God’s movement in their lives. After Jacob had his life-altering experience of wrestling with God and receiving a new name, Jacob/Israel builds an altar in remembrance of what God has done in his life. In many letters of Paul, he refers to his faith as a race. On every race track there are mile markers (or milestones that allow the runner to know how far along they are on their journey. The runner can pace him or herself, change the speed, or push on toward the end goal. Along the sidelines at the mile markers, crowds of people gather to cheer on the runners as they race, giving them encouragement, energy and support.
We have “faith milestones” in our Christian Education ministry. There are milestones to achieve, recognize and celebrate with our children and youth; faith development rites of passage.
The first rite of passage is the celebration of Baptism. Within the baptismal covenant, parents and the church promise before God and one another, to raise our children in faith, attend church, read the Bible and teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As the first of many milestones in a child’s spiritual journey, baptism gives us a chance to equip parents as well as our church community, to pour love into each child.
Another milestone in our children’s ministry happens at the end of Second grade. We want our children to begin to grasp the importance of the Bible in their faith development; therefore we give the children their own Children’s version of the Bible to help them to connect personally to the Word of God. An afterschool class is offered to children in 3rd and 4th grades called: “Learning to Use My Bible,” which helps the children to become familiar reading and learning from their Bibles.
Confirmation holds a lot of meaning in our faith tradition, as we invite our youth to continue the journey of faith as independent members of our church, celebrating their individual gifts and graces and welcoming them into full ministry as confirmed disciples.
We celebrate our High School graduates each fall, and share prayers of gratitude for their faithfulness and blessings for their continued growth as committed Christians as they make their way out into the world.
Our Education Ministry team is always looking for ways to celebrate our children’s commitment and faith development and help them to establish a solid, enduring foundation, a rock solid faith on which to stand.
From the leaders of our Asbury Choir and Sing+ Choirs, to the Acolyte guides, Sunday school teachers, Nursery caregivers, Youth group leaders, and VIM adults, we are blessed to have dedicated teachers, building relationships, providing vision, creativity, energy and enthusiasm for every stage of discipleship.
We celebrate and thank the EGUMC Education Ministry and all who have shared their faith with our children and youth this year! We look forward to adding more footings in the faith foundations of our children in 2016-2017.