UPDATES in response to COVID-19
Please note that all of the changes we’ve made to Sunday School, EduWorship, Communion Classes, Confirmation, High School Book Studies are found in the linked document below. Update 3/14/20 at 1pm.
Education Ministry at St. John’s
Spreading the Good News, sharing the Bible, teaching of God’s grace, and seeking to demonstrate God’s love in the world is part of the work of the Education Ministry at St. John’s. Education doesn’t start with Kindergarten and end with Confirmation. Spiritual growth is a never-ending journey that we encourage through Sunday School classrooms that are divided by age and/or grade, GIFT (Generations In Faith Together), Adult Education Hour, book and Bible studies, and empowering parents to support faith practices at home (especially the FAITH5).
The goal of GIFT (Generations In Faith Together)…
is to gather generations around the cross to share stories, explore the Bible, and deepen relationships with people of other generations. We value and recognize our OWLS (Older Wiser Lutherans) and the wealth of experience that they possess. We celebrate the youngest, most wondering children of God. We gather in groups that mix all the generations together because every generation has gifts they need and every generation has needs they gift! GIFT occurs on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month during the Education Hour from 9:15-10:15am during the school year.
Age-segregated Sunday School…
is still alive and well. It occurs on the 2nd, 4th, and occasional 5th Sundays of the month for children and youth up to 10th grade. The children PK-6th gather together in the Friendship Room (aka gym) at 9:15am for Opening: a time of songs, learning about the day’s theme, and collecting an offering. Then, they move to classrooms where one of the volunteer lead teachers will help them explore God’s story, how that story applies to us, and experience God’s love. With over 100 children and almost 20 volunteers involved, just imagine the love, laughter, and learning that goes on as they all gather together!
Sunday School Program for Toddlers: Parent and Me…
Families who have a child that is not yet enrolled in 4K have an opportunity on Sunday mornings during Education Hour. “Parent and Me” Sunday School class is designed for parents and their toddlers to experience an abbreviated, interactive Sunday school. The Mary and Martha rooms are open, beginning at 9:15am, on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays. There will be stories, songs, and playtime for parents to engage in with their toddler. Everything will be ready, you just show up with your toddler! Families must contact Jen if they would like to participate in this program. Please note that this class runs from September until Christmas. It provides a bridge for your child to then attend the PreK Sunday School class (either with or without a parent). Children can participate in the PreK class the following year, too, for the whole year. The curriculum coincides with the sermon themes, so there is no repetition from one year to the next. Children need to be able to use the bathroom independently in order to attend the PreK class, but that is not required if they attend the Parent and Me class, since a parent is able to assist with toileting needs.
Sunday School Program for Confirmation…
Youth who are in Confirmation (7-10th grade) are invited to gather with a volunteer in the Recreation Room downstairs during the Education Hour or to volunteer in a Sunday school classroom.
does not currently have a Sunday morning gathering. Many of our high school youth volunteer in Sunday school classrooms. If you or your child are interested in creating an opportunity for high school youth to gather on Sunday mornings, please contact Jen.
Registration for Sunday School and Confirmation are done online through ACS Technologies On Realm software. All members have been emailed an invitation to join our online community. If you have not received an invitation, please contact the church office.
Once you have used the emailed invitation to log in, you will notice a drop-down arrow in the upper right corner of your screen, next to the “Help” question mark. The first item in the drop-down menu is for your “profile”. Go to that screen, first. Please ensure that your email address and your phone number are in there correctly. That is how information regarding Sunday school or Confirmation will be sent to your family and how volunteers will obtain your phone number if an emergency arises. To change incorrect information, simply click the “edit profile” bar. (Please add the preferred email and phone number to each of your children’s profile – a link to the profiles of each family member should appear to the right when you are on the “my profile” page.)
While on the “edit profile” page, it says “Personal Information” just under the name for that profile. When you click on that link, you have the ability to add any allergies to a profile. Again, this is how Sunday school volunteers will be notified of any allergies that your child may have. Please be sure this information is updated. If you or your children do not have any allergies, please select “none” so we know that you have actually considered that field. Please also ensure that your child’s baptismal date is entered and correct. If you do not know the date your child was baptized, please contact the church at which the baptism was held. They maintain records of all baptisms and should be able to easily assist you in obtaining that information. (Don’t worry about asking, it happens a lot.) You should have also received a baptismal certificate or maybe even took pictures of the event. Both can help you determine the date. We would like to celebrate all baptismal anniversaries and don’t want your child to be left out of the celebrations, so please try to determine this important date in your child’s faith journey. They will need it for confirmation projects, too, so you’ll be a step ahead of the game if you research this now.
Back on the “my profile” page, there is a white-rimmed blue circle toward the top-left of the page with your initials inside of it. If you click there, you can add a photo. It is very helpful to all volunteers if you add a photo to your profile. There is an opportunity to put individual photos of your family members (each on their own profile page) as well as a family photo. They don’t have to be perfect photos, just something that is a good representation of how you look so that volunteers can familiarize themselves with children and their family members.
At the bottom of each profile page, there should be a box that indicates any groups to that person belongs. Each child should have a group listed that corresponds to their anticipated graduation year. If that information is incorrect, please contact the church office so that can rectify that. Afterward, be sure to double check that it does show up. Youth in Confirmation will belong to two groups, one that corresponds to their anticipated graduation year and one that is for confirmation. If your child’s profile page does not show both, please contact the office.
If you have any questions about how to use this software, please grab your nearest teenager for assistance 😊 Jen will also go over this information during the Parent Meeting. We encourage you to register in this way before Labor Day. However, you can add information at any time to update your profile or that of your child/ren. Here is a pdf with pictures, in case you’re a visual learner. OnRealm Screen Grabs
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Youth Ministry Teams
If you are passionate about the children and youth of St. John’s faith family, please consider joining one of these ministry teams. You don’t need to do anything special, just show up and share your thoughts and ideas and help us bring them to fruition.
Education Ministry Team’s focus is currently on Sunday School, Summer VBS/Worship, Milestone Celebrations, and outlining our purpose for the upcoming school year. This team meets on the 1st Monday of the month at 6pm.
Family Ministry Team offers three events per year that families can participate in for low or no cost. Additionally, the Family Ministry Team organizes the Host-A-Family gift-giving at Christmas time. This team meets on the 1st Monday of the month at 7:30pm.
Youth Ministry Team is reforming – come be a part of its inception and determine where and how the high school youth of St. John’s are Led by the Spirit and Called to Serve. High school youth and all adults are encouraged to join! Contact Jen if you are interested.
High School Youth
The Youth of St. John’s will gather on the 3rd Sundays of each month to participate in a synod-wide Rise Up Night. These events are hosted at various congregations and locations throughout the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the ELCA. Because travel times will vary, the time frame of these events will change each month. Be sure to watch the calendar and newsletter for specific details.
*Minneapolis 2021 – ELCA Youth Gathering – June 29th through July 3rd, 2021*
Every three years, the ELCA has an event that brings over 30,000 high school youth together to celebrate who they are, serve a community, and challenge them to grow. In 2021, The Gathering will be held in our backyard, Minneapolis. If you are a Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior in high school this fall, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND this amazing Gathering!!! The cost is generally around $1000-$1200/youth, but families are typically only responsible for $300 or less as long as they participate in the fundraising events. Watch for details, the preparation starts NOW.