Youth and Family

“Let the children come to me,” Jesus said. As a Family of Faith we understand the importance of ministry to children, youth and families. At each baptism, this community promises to nurture and support each baptized person as they grow up in the life of Jesus Christ. It’s that commitment that leads us to offer a variety of programs and events specifically for children, youth and families.

 Faith Activities by Age Groups

Depending on the age of your children, Faith offers many ways to worship, serve, learn and grow as God’s child.

Infants, Toddlers and Preschool

Cradle Roll – We send materials to parents that provide resources, ideas and tips for telling the story of God’s love in age-appropriate ways. We also send cards celebrating the anniversary of baptisms to remind and celebrate the gift of new life God gives in baptism.

From the Font e-mail newsletter – News and information for families with young children that keeps you connected with the Faith Family and other parents.

Sunday Church School – Beginning at age 3, children gather for weekly classes (September – June) to learn basic Bible stories and to hear the good news of God’s love.

Beginner Bibles – Three-year-olds who are starting Sunday School receive a Beginner Bible of their own.

Faith Nursery School – Faith provides a Christ-centered nursery school for children from 2 ½ to 5 years old; families of students are invited to share in the congregation’s outreach ministries, including CROP Walk, Food Drives, Christmas Sharing Tree and more.

Families With Young Children Gatherings – Twice a year, families with children 5 and younger gather for lunch after Sunday worship. While the children play games and create a craft project, parents have time to network with other parents and share stories of their adventures.

Kindergarten through Fifth Grade

Sunday Church School – In weekly classes (September – June) children learn and discuss the story of God and God’s people in ever deepening ways. Children will also learn the parts of the catechism – The Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.

First Communion – In fifth grade, children are invited to explore the story, meaning and purpose of the sacrament of Holy Communion in a day-long retreat during Lent. The children receive their first communion as part of Holy Thursday worship.

New Revised Standard Version Bibles – At first communion, fifth graders are given a NRSV study Bible that they will use in confirmation preparation and beyond.

Vacation Bible School – At the end of June Faith offers a Vacation Bible School for children from age three through 5th Grade. In VBS, children experience God’s word of love and promise through music, stories, games and crafts.

Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade

Sunday Church School – In weekly classes, the children explore in depth one of the three lessons read in worship that week.

Confirmation – An intensive program of faith formation that runs from sixth grade through eighth grade and is focused on setting a foundation of worship, learning, service and growth in the life of Christ that God will build upon throughout life.

High School — Peer Leaders of Faith

Youth ministry at Faith seeks to foster discipleship throughout the high school years. Each year, Peer Leaders make a commitment to grow in their faith by committing themselves to weekly worship, Youth Forum, and servant ministry in the following areas.

  • Community Care – Visits to Broadway House AIDS Center and ARC Group home.
  • College/Military Care – Send care packages to members away at school or in military service.
  • Confirmation Retreat – Serve as group leaders for annual confirmation retreat.
  • Global Poverty Team – CROP Walk for Hunger and Pedals for Progress bicycle collection.
  • Green Team – Scotch Plains/Fanwood Recycling Center volunteer, Faith community garden.
  • Hunger Ministry Team – Serve in Fall and Spring food collections, serve at St. John’s Soup Kitchen.
  • Parents’ Night Out – Entertain children while parents enjoy a night or afternoon out.

In addition, the Peer Leaders are encouraged to be part of Faith’s Appalachian Mission Team traveling to Cosby, Tennessee, to run a day camp and building program. Peer Leaders also serve as role-models and sources of encouragement for children in Faith’s Sunday Church School.

Opportunities for Families to Serve and Share

The Family of Faith understands itself to be a servant community. The Family supports ministries including, ELCA World Hunger, Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, hospital chaplaincies, shelters and schools. Families are encouraged to serve together in a number of the congregation’s ministries, including ARC Group Home, Broadway House AIDS Center, Christmas Sharing Tree, CROP Walk, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, Fall and Spring Food Collections, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Pedals for Progress, Appalachian Mission Trip and many more throughout the year. Check your Family Notes, Sunday’s Coming, e-mail and newsletters for more information on how you can put your faith into action. This year we will be supporting the Irente School for the Blind in Lushoto, Tanzania as our special project.

Additionally, the Family of Faith gathers for events designed to build community and a spirit of fellowship. These events include an Advent Craft Event, Family Game Night, Family Picnic, Menorah Lighting, Families with Young Children events and more.

For more information about learning and growing as part of the
Family of Faith call the church office at 908-464-5177