CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILY MINISTRY
Bless the Child, Gift the Family, Every Week at Church,
Every Night in Every Home.
At Elk River Lutheran Church we strive not to be regular but, instead, be remarkable in our faith formation programming. Our programs, from preschool through Senior High, strive to strengthen families and involve parents in many ways. The curriculum we use seeks to engage all of the senses in learning about God's great love.
Each week we work our hardest to provide fun, unexpected, engaging, creative, innovative and Christ-centered learning.
There is so much for our young people to do here at Elk River Lutheran Church! From family-centered Sunday school (“LiFT!”) to Confirmation, to Sr. High Ministry our youth are invited to explore and grow deeper in their faith through service & mission, community outreach, fellowship, gatherings, milestone ministries and much more.
Still, we are more than just programs at church. We are a community of believers who walk together through life; celebrating our joys and supporting each other through life's tough questions.
Wherever you are on life's journey, you are welcome here...just as you are. We are a church where families Learn, Pray and Serve together to the glory of God.
LiFT! (Living in Faith Together for families with children) LiFT! Is our innovative replacement for traditional Sunday school held each Sunday between our 2 worship services. Following the FAITH5 model, we partner with parents, grandparents and children to teach God's love through Bible stories, activities, worship and fellowship. Parents are an integral part of LiFT! and attend every week with their children.
Time and Location: Families meet in the Sanctuary at 9:20 AM where we sing songs, discover Bible stories through interactive pictures on a big screen, participate in skits and games and learn theme Bible verses through American Sign Language. From there we head downstairs and gather around tables for intentional conversation, deeper learning, snacks and crafts & activities. LiFT! is finished by 10:20 AM.
Bonus: In addition to gathering each week at church for LiFT!, LiFT! goes home each night with FAITH5 Home Huddles.
We hope you try out LiFT! - where families make friends in faith, older children serve as role models and helpers for the little ones, and children grow up with multiple adult faith mentors. Plus we have a ton of fun! Click on this link for the registration form for LiFT!.
The foundation for our faith formation programs here at Elk River Lutheran is a simple 5-step practice called the FAITH5.
The five steps of FAITH5 are:
1. SHARE your highs and lows
2. READ a Bible verse or story
3. TALK about how the Bible reading might relate to your highs and lows
4. PRAY for one another's highs and lows
5. BLESS one another
FAITH5 is practiced each week at church, and families are encouraged to practice FAITH5 every night at home in what we call the "FAITH5 Home Huddles". FAITH5 is a simple, easy-to-implement faith practice, perfect for incorporating into your bedtime routine, and it takes just a few minutes each night. When done over time, FAITH5™ actually carries the power to enrich family communication, deepen understanding of ourselves and each other, and connect us strongly to God's action in our daily lives. FAITH5 has the power to hold families together in a world that can tear them apart. Click here to see FAITH5 in action!
Designed for 5th & 6th graders, this is a chance for the older kids at LiFT! to get to know each other better and deepen their relationship with God. Our kids meet several times each year on a Friday evening to enjoy wacky games, fabulous food, outlandish activities, deep conversation, faithful prayer and a service project.
Elk River Lutheran connects with students to provide 7th & 8th graders an opportunity to grow their faith, serve God's people, study Martin Luther's catechism, and prepare students to affirm their baptism promises in 9th grade. This is not your traditional classroom setting. During their 2 years they will make friends, connect with God in a real way and have fun in an engaging and unexpected way. Confirmation takes place on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-7:30 PM The purpose of Confirmation is threefold: It affirms our baptisms, provides us instruction in the Christian faith, and connects our faith to our daily lives through learning, service & fun!. During the fall of their 9th grade year, students will attend a weekend retreat where they will participate in faith growing activities and begin working on their own faith statement. Confirmation will take place during a special service in the beginning of November. Summertime welcomes our confirmation students to participate in Luther Crest Bible Camp.
Click on this link for confirmation registration form
Sr. High Youth Group
Students in grades 9-12 gather every Wednesday evening from 7:30-8:30 PM to explore their faith and grow deeper in their relationship with God and friends. Our teens make time for games, food, and conversation about topics relevant to their lives. Our mission is to show young people that they are cared for and loved by Jesus and to give them opportunities to experience Christ in unconventional ways that will allow their faith to grow throughout their lifetime. In addition, our youth are provided with leadership opportunities, mission trips, service projects, lock-ins and more.
Click on this link to register for Senior High Youth Group
Family Vacation Bible School
Every summer kids and parents from all over the community come every evening for an awesome week of indoor and outdoor games and activities, snacks, group Bible study, great music, videos and funny skits.
It's a great week to grow in faith and friendship with new and old friends.
Milestone Ministries: 3rd Grade Bibles:
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is our most important book. Inspired by God, it teaches us how to live our best lives and reassures us of God's infinite love. Here at Elk River Lutheran, we joyfully give our 3rd grade students their very own Bible. It will be presented to them during a special worship service in the fall, following a class where they will participate in a special activity, learn how to use their Bible and learn about its importance to us.
At Elk River Lutheran all are welcome to the table. This means that during worship, anyone at any age is welcome to receive communion. It's important that the children of our congregation feel they are fully included in worship and are a part of this community. All children are welcome to receive Holy Communion at their parents' discretion. We also acknowledge the importance of this sacrament by offering a class about the history, ritual, tradition, and significance of Communion. First Communion is designed for children in grade 5, which is a great time, developmentally, for a child to begin to explore the deeper meanings and historical context of the Last Supper. The first class begins in January with the students creating their own communion cup with the help of a professional potter and a lesson on “The Creator's Hand”. On the Saturday before Maundy Thursday, students will meet for 2 hours where they will Participate in a hands-on experience about the Passover and the Lord's Supper Explore “What is a Sacrament?” Learn about the words of Institution Bake bread Have fun! Then, during the worship service on the evening of Maundy Thursday, families and students are invited to participate a special celebration of their child's 1st Communion. Other Milestones celebrated: ·Confirmation Sunday · Senior Sunday
Luther Crest Bible Camp – Alexandria, MN
Located on the shores of Beautiful Lake Carlos near Alexandria, Luther Crest offers innovative, Christ-centered experiences that are fun, safe, spiritually filling and open to all! Visit their website for details on their programs and camps. www.luthercrest.org
More: Christmas program, Parent Night Out, Family Fun nights, Farmer's Market “Jump for Jesus”, Lenten Journey, Palm Sunday, Easter Service & Mission trips/opportunities, Lock-ins.
You do not need to be a member of our congregation to participate in LiFT! or any other activity. No matter what age you are, all are welcome. Children are always welcome in worship. If you prefer, nursery care is available from our professional and caring nursery staff for newborns through age 5.
We've are having such a great year! Check out some of the highlights: