Birth Until Age 3
Our Baby Ministry
Our new baby ministry provides faith formation support to families with babies and young children. Splash is a three year home nursery program that helps parents start faith formation along with the physical, intellectual, and emotional development of their children. Families are presented with a faith bag at baptism. Faith Chests are delivered to the home following a baptism. Baptismal anniversaries are honored with an age-appropriate CD or book, which is sent to the family.
In Baptism, God makes us members of the community of faith, the Church. Baptisms are celebrated in the context of congregational worship so that the family of faith can receive and welcome new members in Christ. Baptism dates are set in advance for each year, so please contact the church office to confirm when the next baptismal Sunday is and to make arrangements for the member of your family to be baptized.
Age 3 Through 5th Grade
Sunday Morning Faith Formation
Sunday School begins the Sunday following Labor Day each year with an Open House in the Worship Center. An overview of the year as well as an opportunity to visit classrooms and teachers is part of this morning. Sunday School registration forms are emailed to families each August. Children are welcome to begin Sunday School at any point during the year. The preschool and kindergarten classes are located on main level of the building and the elementary classes are located on the lower level.
Preschool (Age 3 and 4) and Kindergarten classes
Study Old and New Testament stories appropriate for the younger child through the use of creative stories and art projects. The preschool and kindergarten classes participate in Music Circle with Mrs. MacCabe each Sunday.
You can also look into the Holy Spirit Nursery School.
First Through Fifth Grade
Use a variety of materials that engage each learner from Cokesbury and Augsburg Fortress. The materials use a multiple intelligence approach. Stories from the Old and New Testament are covered along with lessons on becoming familiar with using a Bible and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.
Children are presented with an age appropriate Bible at the start of Sunday School (typically age 3), third grade, and at the beginning of Catechism. The Bibles are presented to families during a worship service in September. The third grade class is given special instruction in using their Bible throughout the year during Sunday School. Parents are welcome to attend these lessons.
If you have any questions, contact Karin Kahler at the church office.
Word For God’s Children
The vision for “Word For God’s Children” is to provide a meaningful learning experience for children ages 3-7 on Sunday mornings during the adult sermon portion of the 8:45 and 10:45 church services. The children join one of the pastors and an adult volunteer who lead the children in a Bible story, songs, prayer and activities. The sessions are held in the All Saints Room. A parent, grandparent or guardian are welcomed and requested to accompany their child.
First Communion Instruction
Group instruction for First Communion is offered during fifth grade CAT Club. CAT Club occurs during the month of February during the Faith Formation time. First Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday in March. First Communion instruction can also be done on an individual basis depending on your child’s developmental needs. You may contact the church office, or speak to a pastor on Sunday mornings to notify them that your child is ready to begin instruction, and to pick up instructional materials. When you believe that your child is ready to receive First Communion by demonstrating a firm understanding of the preparation materials, you may notify the pastoral staff and we will announce your child’s First Communion in the bulletin for that day.
Growing In Faith Together Activities
GIFT activities are activities that are geared to preschool and/or elementary age children and their families. They are activities for families to participate in together. The group gets together for monthly activities throughout the year. Activities have included: weekly Lenten and Advent activities, an Iron Pigs game, pumpkin painting, theater events, book bingo, Jesus and Jammies, and movie nights.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is normally held annually in the summer but has been suspended due to the Covid crisis. It is typically scheduled Monday – Friday from 9:15 am – 12:00 pm. VBS is offered for the children age 3 ½ – fifth grade. Children from the church and community are welcome to attend. The children will rotate through various stations (art, music, snack, storytelling, crafts and games) that are centered on a theme and help to grow a child’s relationship with God.
Youth Programs – 6th Grade and Above
Sunday School For Middle and High School
We use Faith Incubators Head2Heart Confirmation materials which help form faith in our youth through experiences of and studies about the Living Faith, Living Scripture, Living Lutheran, including Luther’s Small Catechism. It is a dynamic CD-based curriculum. Each catechumen is encouraged to regularly attend catechism class, worship, Youth Group, youth events, and serve other people. There are group service opportunities in addition to individual possibilities to serve other people, the church and the world.
Each sixth grade catechumen receives a Bible: The Message Remix and The Lutheran Handbook to spiritually nourish our youth Biblically and from a Lutheran perspective.The Rite of Affirmation of Baptism usually occurs in October of 9th grade. Each catechumen is given an Evangelical Lutheran Worship as they affirm their baptism and to help them continue on their journey of faith. The ELW contains a daily lectionary, prayers and worship services for daily devotions, Luther’s Small Catechism, in addition to the hymns and liturgy of our faith.
Catechism classes for youth in grades 6-8 are held on Sunday morning at 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
Catechism Camp or Cat. Camp is a \summer component to our Catechism education program for youth in grades 6th-8th. Our Cat. Camp is designed for those attending to both learn about the Bible and develop a lasting relationship with God and the community of faith. So that they might be empowered to engage the world as faithful and servant minded Christians. We do this over the course of the weekend long camp with music, lessons, scripture reading, games, outdoor activates and worship. Cat Camp is a required event for youth studying to be confirmed.
Senior High School
There is a Sunday School class for youth in grades 9-12 which discusses current issues and faith concerns of youth. They meet on Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. Senior High youth are encouraged to serve as mentors for Catechism Camp and other youth programs.
The Catechism Program at Holy Spirit uses the Sparkhouse Re:form curriculum. Described as “God Caffeine for Youth Ministry,” Re:Form takes a fun, sometimes irreverent look at Lutheran traditions, doctrines and faith, helping students to find how God led Martin Luther to launch an unintended revolution, how the Bible comes alive through the stories of the relationship between God and humanity, and how our faith is strengthened to help us live Jesus in the world every day.
Each sixth grade catechumen is given a Bible: The Message Remix and The Lutheran Handbook to spiritually nourish our youth Biblically and from a Lutheran perspective. The Rite of Affirmation of Baptism usually occurs in October of the ninth grade. Each catechumen is given an Evangelical Lutheran Worship as they affirm their baptism and to help them continue on their journey of faith. The ELW contains a daily lectionary, prayers and worship services for daily devotions, Luther’s Small Catechism, in addition to the hymns and liturgy of our faith.
Catechism classes for youth in grades 6-8 are held on Sunday morning at 9:45 – 10:35am.
Catechism Camp for youth in grades 6-9 is in August.
Contributing Their Time and Talents In Support of Their Local and Global Communities
The EHS Angel Network is a community based group, partnered with Holy Spirit, that works in conjunction with school guidance personnel to support EHS financially challenged students and their families. The mission of The Angel Network is to help students focus on learning by providing basic assistance, and showing we care through anonymous giving in thr true spirit of community.
We support The Angel Network by having our congregation donate food items and laundry detergent for 130 or more families three times a year. Our Youth Group also supports Angel Network with the Super Bowl of Caring drive. This donation is used to buy additional items for our food baskets. The Angel Network and Holy Spirit are blessed to have this opportunity to work together. We are making a difference in our community! God has been so good to us, let’s give generously to those in need.
Our youth can help collect and sort items, as well as assemble baskets, which can count as service hours for Catechism.
Every summer since 1992, a group of teens and adults from Holy Spirit has traveled to Starks, Maine, a very rural area in Maine. We stay at the Camp of the Eastward, where the setting is gorgeous and the cabins are rustic. In Starks, life is simple and the winters are harsh. The residents struggle to afford the labor and materials needed to repair their homes. Holy Spirit’s youth and adults spend a week each year working hard to help and connect with the community. The hard work proves to be a growing experience and extremely rewarding for all involved.
It is a transforming, spirit-led, community building week to serve other people. The trip is a week-long event and is open to ages from high school to seniors. Truly AWESOME! All are welcome!
Watch for information on next Cat Camp at Bear Creek Camp.
Filling vital roles at our weekly services
Our weekly services draw on our youth for a number of key functions. Youth can contribute as members of several different choirs and musical groups, as soloist performers, as acolytes, as readers and as ushers.
Fun family activities
Throughout the year the church sponsors a variety of family activities. Just a few examples are picnics, trips to the Iron Pigs or Phillies games, trips to the beach and snow tubing.
As our youth progress and develop, we offer them leadership opportunities such as attending the ELCA National Youth Conference (every 3 years), representing our youth on Church Council, assisting at Vacation Bible School, serving as Assisting Minister at our weekly services, and organizing youth activities.