Faith Formation is Intergenerational
We believe that faith is formed primarily as we gather in worship. Our worship is “family friendly.” Family Worship bulletins are available each Sunday (in person worship only). This bulletin guides parents and children in the rhythm of worship and includes prompts, a matching sticker activity along with simple crosswords, puzzles, space to color and write questions. Our weekly service includes a Message to All God’s Children; props, manipulatives and interactive questions make the message approachable for children, teens and adults. We invite children 3rd grade and up to serve as acolytes. Tweens and teens are invited to serve as worship leaders reading the prayers and lessons of the day.
Although worship is a primary focus of faith formation, there is no substitute for teaching the practice of faith more deeply as is age appropriate. We offer several of these opportunities throughout the calendar year.
- Our 3rd graders are given Bibles in November. Learning how to use them and what is in them takes place after worship for the next few Sundays. Treasure hunts, storytelling and games are some of the ways our children are invited into the Biblical story.
- Our upper elementary children and their parents are invited to learn together about the Sacraments of the Church; Baptism and Communion during Lent each year. Storytelling, bread making, and other hands-on activities are featured.
- Our Confirmation program is open to youth beginning in 9th This two-year program includes a deeper exploration of personal and community worship, opportunities to be worship leaders and serving others in the community.
- Intergenerational opportunities to learn together take place throughout the year. These include an Advent Adventure during December and an exploration of Holy Week during Lent as week as other seasonal opportunities throughout the year. Our intergenerational Christmas Pageant invites all ages to share in the telling of the Christmas Story.
Faith Formation is Safe
Committed to “Safe Church” best practices, Bethany’s people are committed to providing a “safe space” where ages are invited to feel at home: a place where they are protected from judgement and simply loved as we are taught God loves them. You can view our policy here.
Faith Formation at Home
Our own experiences as well as data from national studies reminds us that Faith is caught, not taught. Parents living lives of faith at home with their children is the most powerful invitation into a life-long faith. Parents can feel overwhelmed by this role, but at Bethany we believe in supporting parents so that the sharing of faith at home is simple, joyful and fun. Our Minister of Faith Formation’s website Faithful Families is designed to support families with information about the different seasons of the Church year, activities and crafts to create memorable experiences, help develop family prayer practices and so much more. There are articles, ideas and books included as well to help parents guide kids and teens in a life of faith.
For more information about any of our formation programs, please email our Minster of Faith Formation, Dr. Elizabeth Windsor at: email@example.com.
Our Pastor, program and support staff are here to empower and equip the “saints” for the work of the ministry. They are here to support and uphold the vision we create together as God’s people seeking to respond to the fresh winds of the Spirit among us. Call on them.
All pastors serving Bethany are vetted and authorized for ministry through the United Church of Christ (UCC), meeting the personal, educational, and professional standards for ordination required by the denomination. They must pass extensive criminal background checks and maintain state-of-the-art training for personal and professional boundaries. In the practice of their ministry, they are accountable at all times to the standards of the UCC’s Manual on Ministry (https://www.ucc.org/ministers_manual).