Faith Stepping Stones for the Baptismal Journey
Our own baptismal journey begins with the promises of faith proclaimed in the sacrament of baptism and concludes upon our own death when we return most fully to the presence of God. The faith journey of young people especially is a time that is rich and full of hope and promise, as well as challenges. When a child is baptized parents and sponsors make particular commitments to:
- Live with them among God’s faithful people.
- Bring them to the word of God and the holy supper.
- Teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments.
- Place in their hands the holy scriptures.
- Nurture them in faith and in prayer.
Our congregation is committed to walking alongside of children, parents, and sponsors as they seek to fulfill their baptismal promises as the child grows. As such, our congregation celebrates important moments in the faith journey of the child within the congregation with faith stepping stones. We know that blessings and rituals can be a powerful way to connect people with God. Each faith stepping stone provides a structure to bless the child, gift the family, and call us back to the promises of baptism while affirming children as they take major steps along their faith journey.
Faith Stepping Stone 1
Baptism – “Stepping into God’s Family”
All in good faith are invited to bring their children to the font to receive the sacrament of baptism. In Holy Baptism the Triune God delivers us from the forces of evil, puts our sinful self to death, gives us a new birth, adopts us as children, and makes us members of the body of Christ, the Church. Holy Baptism is received by faith alone. Quite simply, it is in baptism that God comes to the one who is baptized and promises a lifetime of grace. If you are interested in a conversation about baptism for your child (or for yourself), please contact Pastor. Along with some baptismal gifts to remember this occasion, each baptized child will also receive their first faith stepping stone.
Faith Stepping Stone 2
Entry into Children’s Ministry – “Stepping into Learning”
As children grow, so does their curiosity and their desire to learn. We love to support young children as they grow into their identity as a beloved child of God. We love to introduce into their vocabulary and world a God who loves them beyond imagination! We love sharing bible stories with them and watching their minds grow in Godly ways. Around the age of three, we celebrate your child stepping into this world of learning who God is by gifting them a storybook bible, along with their second faith stepping stone.
Faith Stepping Stone 3
Presentation of First Bible – “Stepping into the Word”
As your child grows and learns more and more in school, we support their learning about who God is and where they fit in God’s great story. Around age 8 (3rd grade), as some children start to gain confidence and interest in reading chapter books, we help parents and sponsors fulfill their promise of placing the scriptures in the hands of the child by presenting each child with a Children’s Bible so they can read the great stories of our faith. Along with their bible, each child will also receive their third faith stepping stone.
Faith Stepping Stone 4
First Communion Instruction – “Stepping Up to the Meal”
We welcome all baptized Christians to the table of the Lord to receive Holy Communion. We trust in the promises and activity of God in our baptism, and not merely our own intellectual understanding of the sacrament. Therefore, baptized children begin to commune on a regular basis at a time determined through mutual conversation that includes the pastor, the child, and the parents or sponsors involved, within the accepted practices of the congregation. Ordinarily, this is when a child can eat, drink, and is reaching out to participate in Holy Communion. However, we also believe that catechesis (teaching) about the sacrament is also important. Around age 9 (4th grade), we invite your child to receive some formal teaching about Holy Communion and celebrate this instruction with a faith stepping stone.
Faith Stepping Stone 5
Entry into Confirmation Instruction – “Stepping into Questioning”
As your child approaches their teenage years, they are continuing to form their own sense of self-identity, belief, faith, and question anything – along with many, many other changes that come during their teenage years. Around age 12 (7th grade) students are invited to begin a formal time of instruction, exploration, questioning, and formation. Ordinarily, this process lasts two years and concludes with their Affirmation of Faith (Confirmation), though not always. Our faith is durable enough to be wrestled with, questioned, doubted, and held up to the scrutiny of a teenager- so we encourage all of this on their faith journey! We celebrate taking this step with another faith stepping stone.
Faith Stepping Stone 6
Affirmation of Faith – “Stepping into Affirmation”
After a period of instruction, questioning, formation, and discernment, a student may make the decision to publicly affirm their faith through Affirmation of Baptism (Confirmation), usually around age 15 (end of 8th grade). This is the time when they affirm the baptismal promises that parents and sponsors made on their behalf, if they were baptized as a child. While this is a particular celebration, the entire congregation remembers their own baptisms alongside of the students, as well as frequently throughout the year. We celebrate this occasion with a faith stepping stone, along with the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism.
Faith Stepping Stone 7
Graduation from High School – “Stepping into the World”
As your student prepares for graduation from high school, no matter their future plans, we mark this transition in their life and faith. While this is not nearly the end of the faith or their baptismal journey, this is often a time when young people may move to a new place, pursue further education, and take on new responsibilities. To mark this change, as well as the congregation’s journey alongside this young person as they were raised in the church, a faith stepping stone is given along with a blessing.
Please Excuse this Page While it is Under Construction! (Below this line is before 8/4/2021)!
Click here for a playlist of our past children’s sermons!
With the completion of Our Savior Lutheran Church and Campus Ministry’s renovations and the addition of the education wing in 2003, our ministry with children has a permanent home.
Our well-equipped Nursery is professionally staffed on Sundays. Parents may bring their infant and preschool children to the Nursery during the first part of the worship service and gather them up again to join the community when we receive Holy Communion. The audio of the service is piped into the Nursery, so it is not isolated from the worship the rest of the community is offering.
Kids Club happens Sunday mornings during the academic year, starting at 10:00 am. This is 20-25 minutes of children’s ministry with Pastor Kyle then time for a quick potty break before worship at 10:30 am. Kid’s Club usually includes a theme, bible story, teaching time, interactive video, and singing. There are always lots of laughs and many smiles. Our Kids Club serves all children in the same room, allowing children to learn from one another. While some of our children are regular attenders, Kids Club is certainly open to any child- even if it is your first time here!
At worship children often help the ushers, are involved in a particular aspect of the worship. They are invited to come forward for a blessing if they are not yet receiving Holy Communion. We believe that in baptism, God’s promises are given to us in full. Therefore, we welcome children to take holy communion once they are baptized. Periodically, we will provide communion instruction so that we may all learn to trust in the promises made to us in Eucharist.
Confirmation instruction is also available to anyone who would like to learn more about God, Christianity, spirituality, or their faith life. This is especially appropriate for those wishing to be confirmed in the near future. Arrangements may be made in consultation with the pastor.
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