SUNDAY SCHOOL — Allison Ray, Coordinator
Everyone is welcome in our community of faith, especially children. At MFPC, children and youth of all ages participate in both worship and Christian Education programming. Our goal is to help teach and reinforce the tenets of the Christian faith, encourage curiosity, provide opportunities to live out the Word as disciples, and assist children on their own spiritual journey as they come to know themselves and develop their unique relationships with God.
On a typical Sunday, families share the first portion of the worship service together in the sanctuary. We appreciate the joyful noise of babies and young children in our pews and strive to help families feel comfortable to stay in the sanctuary for as long as desired. If families prefer to allow their little ones to play and enjoy basic Bible stories and lessons, our experienced nursery staff and volunteers provide nursery care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers at any time during the service. After the choir anthem, Reverend Gnagy invites all interested children to the steps at the front of the sanctuary for the “Time for Young Disciples.” Rev. Gnagy takes this time to talk more directly to our young people about different, age appropriate aspects of our faith using stories or object lessons. Children are then excused to their Sunday school classes.
Preschoolers join the nursery staff where they play, sing, color and enjoy very basic Bible stories. Students in grades K-6 attend the elementary Sunday school program. Elementary lessons are designed to teach fundamental lessons from the Bible and help students internalize the core messages of our faith. In small groups, students participate in discussions, creative projects, and energetic activities that keep them engaged and allow them to learn and express themselves and their learning in a variety of ways.
Currently, we offer a youth group for junior and senior high school students in grades 7-12. These young people remain in the worship service until the conclusion of Rev. Gnagy’s sermon, then convene in one of the youth rooms for a lesson and activities. Recent graduates are also invited to return to attend youth meetings and events after leaving high school. Youth group lessons take a variety of forms and often include faith-related discussions of current events, multi-week series studies focusing on particular topics, multi-week movie studies, and self-awareness lessons that encourage students to think more deeply about themselves, their beliefs and their faith. We also offer a Confirmation course. Volunteer activities are planned throughout the year beyond regular youth group lessons, providing opportunities for our young people to live out their faith in the world as agents of change. Social events are scheduled regularly, as well. The youth are active participants in many aspects of the church services throughout the year, sharing their unique gifts and talents. Interested youth also have the opportunity to serve on Session as Youth Elder or Youth Deacon.
See the Connections Newsletter link on our homepage for current Sunday School news