Christian Education Spiritual Road Map

Christian Education/Spiritual Road Map
Ages 0-18

Sunday Mornings – 9:00 a.m.

Nursery Care (0-3 or 4 years of age)
Safe, Loving Environment
Two hired staff provides quality care for infants and young children from 8:30-11:30 a.m. every Sunday morning.

The Worship Center (Preschool ages 3 to 5)

All of the senses are engaged as stories from the Bible are shared using wooden figures, felt, and sand. “Feast” time and sharing prayers through the lighting of candles help children to experience the love and care of God.

Following Jesus (Grades: Kindergarten and First Grade)

Similar to The Worship Center, a sensory-motor style of storytelling is used as a way for children to experience God as well as learn about God. After the story is shared, freedom is given so children can respond to the stories of God through continued working with the story figures and art materials. A time of prayer using candles and prayer shawls (children wrap the shawls around their shoulders) are ways for children to encounter God.

The Way of the Child (Second/Third Grade)

The Way of the Child is a wonderful, enriching program that helps children develop their own relationship with God, providing opportunities for children to experience and practice spiritual disciplines to nurture that relationship for a lifetime. After discussing a Bible story or spiritual discipline, children can experience the following reflection stations: Gazing, World, Reading, Journaling, Painting, Sand, and Art.

Learning to Use my Bible (Second/Third Grade)

Second and Third Graders receive their own Bible as a gift from the church. During Sunday School, they are invited to learn how to use their Bibles with the hope that the Bible will become their lifelong companion.

Science Sundays and Cocoa and Christ (4th-6th Graders)

During Science Sundays, kids and teachers will start with a related Bible verse or story and several “I wonder” statements to help engage the kids in discussion. Afterwards, the class will talk about the theme for the day and then be invited to share in a number of science experiments related to the theme. For instance, in the magnetism section the kids will have a chance to talk about what things they are “attracted” to and why. Some of the other themes that will be covered include air and water, the fall season and plant life, magnetism and electricity, and light and sound. There will also be a Gazing station for kids who need some quiet space and meditation time.

On the Cocoa and Christ Sundays, there will be a project or topic that will be looked at for that day. For instance, one of the Sundays, the kids will interview one of the elders in the congregation using guided questions.

Children’s Music Program

Preschool—6th Grade
Children meet three Sundays a month with Julie Mazer, the Children’s Music Director,
during worship for singing, drumming, poetry writing, and playing Orff Instruments (percussion instruments)

Confirmation (7th/8th Grade)

(Every other year)
The Confirmation year is organized around three engagements. The first engagement is with oneself. In this engagement the youth will try and answer the basic questions: “who am I?” and “who am I becoming?” The second engagement is with God. In this engagement the youth will spend time looking at and experiencing the many ways we can know God. The third engagement is with others. This is bound up with our whole concept of the church as a people committed to God in Christ and to one another. It includes an Urban Immersion learning and service weekend to Milwaukee, a state-wide United Church of Christ middle school retreat, and a family retreat.
As we move through the activities and topics, we invite students to choose for themselves a life of faith within the Christian church and ORUCC. At the end of the year, confirmation youth decide for themselves if they want to proclaim this faith for themselves. We honor those who say yes and we honor those who say no to this decision. We recognize that young people live within the context and environment of their families and encourage discussion and participation in the process at home.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education (7th/8th Grade)

(Every other year, alternating with Confirmation)
The overall goal of Our Whole Lives is to create a positive and comprehensive lifespan educational program that helps participants gain the knowledge, values, and skills to lead sexually healthy, responsible lives.
While Our Whole Lives is designed to be relevant for young people from a wide range of family backgrounds and religious traditions, it is not value free. The program gives clear messages about key sexuality issues. These issues are organized into four broad topic areas—self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, and justice and inclusivity.

TRU Function Youth Rock Band (7th Grade and Up)

Youth who play an instrument or sing are invited to participate in TRU Function. They rehearse every Sunday from 11:115 to 1:00 p.m. and play in worship once a month. They choose and play from a wide variety of music genres including rock, blues, Christian rock, and rap.

High School Youth

Youth are invited to group meetings and special gatherings that include Christmas Caroling, fundraising events, and service work. Every year the youth engage in a week-long mission trip that involves service work, faith sharing, and learning about social justice issues. Places the youth have gone: Philadelphia, Chicago, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, Alamosa, Colorado.

Family Retreats and Camp Experiences

All Church Retreat at UCC Pilgrim Center (Green Lake, WI) in January.
Children, Youth and Family Camps at Moon Beach (St. Germain, WI) in the summer.

ORUCC Vegetable Village

The children and youth are invited to work in the Children’s Garden Plot every Sunday from May through September. Children have the opportunity to learn about the deep connection between our faith and the earth.