All About Our Youth
Psalm 145:4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts …
Whenever a child is baptized at Trinity, we each promise to: “… pledge our support to that child. Offer our love, our resources, and our faith so that he or she may grow and learn in the community of the church.”
Meeting from 9:45am to 10:45am on Sunday mornings, our Sunday Children’s Ministry is divided by age into three separate groups:
Every stage lifts up the understanding that Faith is not meant to be a “school” subject to learn and file away, but the center of a person’s’ identity. We also intentionally have moved away from a “Sunday School” label because a child doesn’t have to enjoy or “be good at” school to have great faith.
Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten
Each Sunday morning, loving teachers and shepherds provide our youngest Children’s Ministry participants with a place to learn about Jesus’ love and meet other children who will walk with them through the early years of their faith journey.
First to Fifth Grade
Trinity’s 1st through 5th grade Sunday Children’s Ministry uses the Workshop Rotation Model. This way of teaching recognizes that different people learn best in different ways. A bible story or concept is taught for five weeks in five different ways (SEE IT, TELL IT, MAKE IT, MOVE IT, TASTE IT). Each week, children rotate by age group into a different “experiences” that present the Bible stories and faith concepts in different, fun and memorable ways.
Sixth Grade - Pre-confirmation
Our 6th graders meet upstairs in Trinity’s Large Conference Room every Sunday morning. Using the ELCA’s new “Sparkhouse-Connect” curriculum they explore biblical authors, figures, origins, concepts and concerns through video, activity and discussion.
Week at Pine Lake
Every year in late July and early August, Trinity sends a bus full of Trinity’s children and youth (those who have completed 3rd – 12th grade) to join with youth from other ELCA churches for a week at Pine Lake Camp in Waupaca, WI.
Pine Lake Camp is one of the three sites that make up Crossways Camping Ministries. In the process of becoming an ACA(American Camping Association) accredited camp, Pine Lake provides a fantastic week filled with friends, faith and fun. Campers enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, cooking and camping out, singing, worship, campfires and games. The counselors are wonderful! The weather is…. the weather! The food is great, the games are fun, the setting is beautiful! What more could we hope for??
Pine Lake is also the site Trinity has used for almost 20 years of fabulous Fall and Spring Confirmation retreats. Crossways also offers a variety of other opportunities at all three of their sites for individuals, families and groups of all ages and interests. Check out their website at www.crosswayscamps.org .
Watch in January to find the dates for Trinity’s Week at Camp 2018!! Registration is handled online through Crossways website – www.crosswayscamps.org
A youth group experience for 4th – 6th Graders, F is designed to help our youth connect with each other, their church and God in an atmosphere of fun, joy and acceptance. There is nothing that helps a youth recognize their faith as an important part of their lives as well as having it associated with friends, belonging and good times. It adds a deeper dimension to what can be accomplished in one hour a week of Children’s Ministry.
F meets one Sunday a month during the school year. Generally it’s a celebration of a holiday or season with a faith focus held in Trinity’s Fellowship Hall from 11:00am to 12:30pm. The 90 minutes is filled with a light meal, themed games, prizes, activities and fun. Several times a year we go offsite for bowling, snow-tubing, etc..
First Communion Workshop
Our 7th and 8th Graders meet Wednesday evenings throughout the school year from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. There are Two full weekend retreats at Pine Lake Camp in Fall and Spring. There is also an Overnight at a Hotel for our beginning 9th Graders. The 9th Graders attend Confirmation through the second Sunday in October which is their Confirmation Day.
Senior High Youth
Throughout the year, there are monthly opportunities for our Senior High Youth to deepen their faith, friendships and ability make a difference in their community and beyond. There is a Senior High Winter Retreat at Pine Lake camp in early February. There are also fundraisers for the summer servant trip throughout the year. As adult members of the congregation, Trinity’s Senior High Youth are welcome and encouraged to take an active part in all of Trinity’s ministries.
Summer Servant Trips
The Sr. High Summer Trip is an annual opportunity designed to give our 9th – 12th grade youth a chance to encounter a world and a faith that’s much bigger than just West Bend and Trinity Lutheran Church. In a community of fellow faith travelers, youth on the summer trip explore issues of faith and life through service, worship, community building, education and fun.
The Trinity Summer Trip ministry is designed on a 3-year cycle, with each year emphasizing a different setting in which our youth can “share the love and promise of God” Year A, is an opportunity to serve in the name of Christ in an outdoor, ecologically focused setting. The emphasis is on community building, discovering the wonder of God’s creation, and working together to care for God’s world. Year B, is an opportunity to serve in the name of Christ in an urban setting. The focus during this year is on developing understanding, respect and compassion for urban issues and the people that face them everyday. We serve in a variety of urban service projects, discover a variety of needs that are not a part of what we usually face and discover skills and passions we can develop to be God’s presence in a big city setting. And in Year C, the emphasis is on helping youth recognize that they are part of a powerful historic movement with many opportunities to grow and serve. It is in Year C that Trinity travels to the ELCA National Youth Gathering.
Thus, every summer trip includes aspects of growth, service, worship, community and fun. Our “Senior High Summer Service Trip” ministry provides so much more than a “vacation” for our young people. They are given important “eye opening” opportunities that can change their lives and the whole church.