Sixth graders participate in Explorers, which meets weekly on Sundays from 9:00-10:00 a.m. during the school year. Explorers is a “bridge” year between Sunday School and Confirmation. In that year, students begin to form their own community, and are encouraged to start thinking for themselves in matters of faith and life, seeing that not all questions have simple “yes” and “no” answers. Explorers are urged to take responsibility for their own learning and manage their own relationship with the church. A wide range of topics are addressed. They include age-appropriate subjects that need to be covered frankly, yet in a faith-based context: sexuality, bullying, and teen parenting.
Questions about Explorers can be directed to our Educational Ministries Coordinator, (630) 629-2630 x215 or by clicking HERE.
After Explorers, First Church 7th graders move on to Confirmation, a two-year program led by adult church members and the senior minister. In the first year, they meet with lay teachers and high school volunteers every Sunday morning from 9:00-10:00 during the school year, continuing to build a communityin which each middle schooler is accepted and valued. They also continue to develop skills of critical, independent thinking about faith and life as they explore the classic themes of Christian faith: forgiveness, Bible, church, and Jesus’ teaching of agape love for others. First-year confirmands attend at least one overnight in the church and one weekend retreat at Tower Hill UCC Church Camp near Sawyer, Michigan.
Eighth grade confirmands continue meeting with the same team of adult teachers and high school volunteers on Sunday mornings from 9:00-10:00, followed by worship in the sanctuary each Sunday at 10:15. Eighth graders also meet on Wednesday evenings with the senior minister. During this year, the goal is to help the confirmands understand what it means to be confirmed in the faith of Jesus Christ, making their parents’ faith their own. Two weekend retreats at Tower Hill are highlights of the year, with the day of Confirmation occurring in early May.
Questions about Confirmation can be asked of our minister at (630) 629-2630 x213.