Sunday, September 14, Nelson United Church is launching a brand new Sunday School and Youth program this year that really digs deep into the interests and abilities of different age groups. The program was developed locally by the church’s newly hired Youth Minister, Robin Murray, based on her years of experience in child care, children’s recreational programs (including Camp Koolaree) and environmental education as well as her more recent studies as a seminary student at the Vancouver School of Theology. Three
Sunday school classes spanning ages 3-14 will happen during regular worship services on Sunday morning starting at 10 a.m. and youth groups for ages 11-14 and 15-18 will be starting up on Friday evenings beginning with an initial meeting for all on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.
The program is designed to span 16 years of a child’s growing up, starting with the 3-6 year-olds, in a story-based, play-centered Sunday School group known as the Wonderers. The next Sunday School class, known as the Explorers, is for ages 7-10 and focuses on story as well, but more on how we relate to the story and to each other. The Sunday School class for ages 11-14, called the Seekers, shifts into a more contemporary focus, examining what the church is today and what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century. Students in this group create a portfolio, leading to confirmation. The final step, the Wayfinders, is a group for 15-18 year olds and focuses more on creating a community of support for youth as they develop their faith on a more personal level, offering rites of passage for those growing into adulthood.
With Sunday school classes mostly staffed by volunteers, the new program strives to be user-friendly without having a one-size-fits-all approach. “I want our children and youth at Nelson United Church to have a solid understanding of the Christian story,” says Murray, “But also to understand what that story means to them personally, as individuals living in the 21st Century. I want our youth, in particular, to know how to ask the tough questions that lead them to becoming lifelong spiritual learners.”
All families in the community are welcome to come and check out the new Sunday school program on any Sunday morning. The Friday evening youth groups are also open to all youth in our community. For more information contact Nelson United Church at 250-352-2822.