Children Ministry

Our focus in the Children’s Ministry is guiding children to develop a right relationship with God and others through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Our Children’s Ministry seeks to fulfill the Great Commission by serving our young people. We invite your children to join us, and together we will discover the fullness of God’s love for us!

Learn about the power of God’s Word! Classes are from 9:15am to 10:15am. Leaders and the children explore the Bible in an age appropriate in small group class.

The classes consist of Bible based teachings and activities which includes games, music, crafts and story-telling. These are just some of the ways God’s Word comes alive during this hour.

Come make some new friends in the Kids of the Kingdom Sunday School class!

 

Youth Ministry

St. Matthew is intent on involving youth into the fabric of the church. Through special events, meetings, and outreach to families and youth, it values and desires the involvement of junior high, high school and college age youth. Young people have special opportunities for leadership activities through assistance with Vacation Bible School, Kids of the Kingdom and involvement in the various committees of Faith in Action. In addition, the church readily supports the youth to attend retreats, summer camps and mission activities. Watch the church calendar for special events that impact youth and be sure to ask specific questions about where you can be involved!

Retreats:

St. Matthew Church has had a long relationship with Mt. Cross Camp in Santa Cruz and helps to support youth to attend retreats and camps. Check out the website www.mtcross.org and watch for special events for youth during the school year. For several years, St. Matthew has supported youth to attend Mt. Cross Camp and raises funds to support campers to attend. Several offerings and dates are available, and it is important to connect with the "Camp Scholarship Committee" to learn about how to get involved in attending camp. Scholarships are available for both members and non-members. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship for this opportunity, contact the church office. Fund raising begins in the spring of each year and all campers and their families are expected to be involved and participate in fund raising activities.

Higher Things:

Higher Things is a recognized service organization of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The mission of Higher Things is to assist parents, congregations, and pastors in cultivating, encouraging and promoting a distinctively Lutheran identity among their youth and young adults. To fulfill this mission, Higher Things:

  1. Catechizes youth through instruction in Christian doctrine and life
  2. Involves youth in the mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people
  3. Publishes periodicals, literature, curricula, and other resource materials using print media and the internet
  4. Organizes conferences, retreats, and seminars to help youth become informed and active members of their congregations
  5. Encourages youth to consider vocations of service in the church; Establishes networks for congregations to share resources for youth ministry
  6. Connects high-school and college youth with faithful Lutheran campus ministries and assists congregations and campus ministries in their service to Lutheran college students.

Visit their website for more information about summer conferences, newsletters and resources. www.higherthings.org

Confirmation Class

For Lutherans, youth confirmation has always been and continues to be a high priority.
They are united in their commitment to the Lord's Great Commission. Parents love their children as God's gift to them and to the church. Confirmation has the potential for being a significant singular event in a young person's life and connection to God and church. The purpose of confirmation is to:

  • Personally confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and take personal ownership in declaring, by the power of the Holy Spirit, their own allegiance to Christ;
  • Eagerly explore the awesomeness of God and the mysteries of faith;
  • Identify themselves as members, as a unique and special part of the body of Christ, as Lutheran and members of a local congregation.
  • Regularly participate in public worship and the reception of holy communion, engage in personal and group Bible study and its application to life, strive to lead God-pleasing lives and offer services to God by serving others;
  • Celebrate the relationships that they have with God as their personal God who loves them graciously, their pastor and other confirmation staff people, their peers participating in the confirmation process, their family and other members of their congregation.

Our Lord commands obedience to his will by all of the faithful. The church in its catechesis of young people can teach basic skills of discipleship and spiritual discipline. These skills include the beginnings of competence in such areas as:

  • BIBLE STUDY: learning to read God's Word for understanding in a personal devotional life and in group study with other Christians;
  • PRAYER: learning to pray for the needs of others, for personal needs and for the mission of the church;
  • WORSHIP: learning how God blesses his people through the divine worship service and how they can express praise and thanks to the Lord through a variety of worship forms, including the historic liturgy of the church, learning to make profession of faith with fellow believers, to listen to the exposition of God's Word and to comprehend and apply it to daily living;
  • WITNESS: learning to express the Gospel of Christ in a winsome and meaningful way and to share what God in Christ has done for them;
  • SERVICE: learning to recognize the needs and hurts of those in the world around them and to be a part of helping, healing service,
  • COMMUNITY: learning to relate to other Christians as students, friends, caregivers and teachers.
  • FAMILY LIVING: learning to be a representative of Christ in the roles of youth, sibling and possible future spouse.
  • LEADERSHIP: learning to use their God-given gifts and abilities in a manner that strengthens the mission outreach of the church.

The Rite of Confirmation

At the conclusion of confirmation instruction, young people traditionally make a public profession of their faith in a public ceremony. The rite of confirmation is a time of celebration for the congregation as it receives the confession of these young people and affirms and encourages them in the continuation of their faith journey These young people are saints of God marking a significant milestone in their personal and spiritual lives. It is a time for the congregation (together with all the company of heaven) to explode in joyous celebration! First communion in The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has traditionally taken place after confirmation.

 Confirmands will benefit from http://smallcatechism.org/ which provides information and resources on Luther's Small Catechism.