Our Redeemer's Blog

Youth Formation October Update

by Pastor Gretchen Mertes

Our classrooms are coming along downstairs! HUGE thanks to all our volunteers who cleaned, prepped, painted, carpeted, hauled furniture, and basically made a huge change in our welcoming space! Thank you: Betsy McGregor, Phillipa Dugaw, Stephanie Fowler, Kari Guddal, Kim Ward, Dana Wright, Alex Fidis, Sarah Uhlemann, Ryan Mertes, and Matt Grover! 

There is nothing more important in our life as Christians than to love and serve God. One of the most important ways Jesus tells us to love and serve God is to honor and welcome children. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,” says Matthew 19:14. As a congregation, we are learning new and better ways to include and honor children fully in the body of Christ that is Our Redeemer’s.

Our Redeemer’s Nursery is available Sundays from 8:30 AM -12:30 PM beginning October 17! We are excited to announce that Jordan Holt has been hired as our Sunday morning Nursery Attendant. He is a life-long member of Our Redeemer’s and brings a deep love of children and joy to our nursery. Welcome to the staff Jordan and thank you for serving our littlest ones!

The “Prayground” in the sanctuary is available to families with little ones. This intentional space helps them participate fully in worship in a way that is developmentally appropriate. As adults, we are learning to appreciate the wiggling and joy (and sometimes rebellion) that children bring to our worship times. You are invited to pray about how you might further welcome children into our worship.

Sprouts class is for 3-5 year olds, and helps children learn the joy of Jesus’ love. Offered both in-person during the 9 AM service, and online at 10 AM on zoom, Sprouts is an energetic, fun, spontaneous group that reminds us exactly what Jesus was talking about when he said, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

Our Redeemer’s Outstanding Church Kids – O-Rock! is our version of Sunday school. We welcome kids from kindergarten to 5th grade to explore Bible stories, get to know each other and caring adults, and invite questions about God, life, and everything they can imagine. It’s on Sundays following the 9 AM service.

Middle School Hang Out with Ms. Betsy is an opportunity for 6th & 7th graders to get to know each other, and learn ways to pray and care for the earth. Starting following the 9am service, this group meets in the “Upper Room”.

Confirmation is a catechumenate process for our 8th (and this year 9th) grade youth. We are introducing them officially to Lutheran theology, the “why” of Lutheran worship, and how the Bible was written and functions in our faith tradition. We also visit other houses of worship, and compare and contrast where there are similarities and differences. It’s a great experience!

CONFIRMATION: SAVE THE DATE! Confirmation will be on Sunday, November 7th at the 11 AM service.

All of these groups and classes and experiences happen because caring members of our congregation get involved, teach, volunteers, make snacks, ask children their names, and demonstrate respect and joyfulness as part of their faith. We would love for you (yes, you) to get involved with our little ones, because like I said at the beginning, Jesus calls us to do nothing less. 

Thanks be to God for children, and for this congregation who holds them so dear! – Love, Pastor Gretchen Mertes