Growing in Faith: Yearly Milestones
Passing on the faith from one generation to the next is at the heart of what Peace Lutheran Church is all about. Milestones and Together in Faith events are ways to bring an awareness of the presence of God to families by pointing out his presence in some key events during our journey of faith.
Milestones have four key components:
• Naming the sacred and secular events that shape our identities and give us a sense of belonging to Jesus Christ.
• Equipping families to model faith practices within their homes.
• Blessing individuals and marking the occasion with a worship celebration.
• Gifting a tangible item as a reminder of the event being celebrated and of God’s ongoing love.
Milestones and Together-in-Faith Events
|“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19|
|1||Anniversary of Baptism||January||Worship Event
|“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:17|
|“In my Father’s house there are many rooms.” John 14:2|
|3||Entering Sunday School||August||Family Event
Spark Story Bible
Blessing Our Bibles
|“Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105|
|“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
|5||Entering Kindergarten||August||Pizza Party
|“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid for the Lord your God goes with you.” Deuteronomy 31:6|
|Kindergarten||The Lord’s Prayer||November||Family Event
|“Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1|
|1st Grade||The Ten Commandments||March||Family Event||“I am the Lord your God.” Exodus 20:2|
|2nd Grade||First Communion||March–April||Family Event
|“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19|
|3rd Grade||Spark Bibles||September||Family Event
Blessing Our Bibles
|“Your word is a lamp to guide me and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105|
|4th Grade||The Apostles’ Creed||February||Family Event||“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:5|
|5th Grade||Martin Luther||October||Family Event||“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1|
|6th Grade||Entering Middle School/Entering Confirmation||August||Family Event||“Let us make mankind in our image (Imago Dei).” Genesis 1:26|
|10th Grade||Confirmation||October||Family Event||“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5–6|
|12th Grade||Senior High Quilts||May||Family/Intergenerational Event||“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6|
In the sacrament of Holy Baptism we celebrate the inclusion into the family of God. At Peace Lutheran Church we place a lot of importance on this special event. When your child is baptized at Peace Lutheran Church they receive a special gift from the congregation. We give every newly baptized child a Faith Chest in which to store all the important mementos of a child’s faith journey. The child will also get his or her name on a wooden dove that hangs on our baptism banner in the gathering area. The dove with your child’s name will hang on our banner for one year, then we’ll send you the banner on the anniversary of the baptism. Visit the Baptisms page for information about scheduling a baptism. Return to Milestones List.
Anniversary of Baptism
Each year in January, on Baptism of Our Lord Sunday, we encourage all families with children baptized in the previous year to join us at one of the six weekly worship services for a special blessing and celebration. Each family is presented with a shell, and then processes to the baptismal font as a group.
On the anniversary of the baptism itself, we will send your child’s wooden baptismal dove, which has adorned the banner in the Gathering Space, to your home, along with some ideas for you how can celebrate this special anniversary year after year, reminding your child of the wonderful promises they received through water and the Word. Return to Milestones List.
Two-year-olds understand “me” and “mine” – so this is a perfect time for them to take some ownership in their church. Families are invited to come for this special event where they spend time in the building, learning a few things about fixtures in worship like the baptismal font, giving jar, and our child-sized table. Pictures are taken and a special book is created to read at home, reminding your child of this special place where they hear God’s promises. Return to Milestones List.
Entering Sunday School/Story Bibles
At three, children love books and being read to – and most of them are ready to enter Sunday School for the first time. This milestone, held each year in August, brings three-year-olds and their families together to be reminded of their baptismal promises, receive their first colorful story Bible, and begin their Sunday or Wednesday School journey. Return to Milestones List.
The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus taught us how to pray with words recorded in the Bible. Many kindergarteners already know the words to the Lord’s Prayer, but during this event we’ll also talk about the meaning of those words and discover other ways to pray together (and alone) at home. If making prayer a part of your daily life can be a challenge for your family, come explore some new ideas about prayer together. Return to Milestones List.
Routines are important for four-year-olds, and bedtime is a great time to talk about their day, calm them down, and pray together. Families with four-year-olds are invited to this special event each March to talk about prayer, create a prayer pillowcase to take home, and enjoy one another’s company. It’s preschool messy! Return to Milestones List.
Kindergarten Pizza Party
For many children, kindergarten is the first time they are away from mom or dad or a special caregiver all day. Come help us mark this milestone with a special pizza party on the Sunday before school starts. We share a meal, create a craft, and learn some special ways to connect with each other at the end of our separate days. Return to Milestones List.
The Ten Commandments
First graders love rules and order – and fairness! It’s a great time for families to come to learn about the rules God gave us to make our lives better. We’ll show you a special way of remembering all ten of these rules, play some games, and send you home with some ideas to keep the conversation going at home. Return to Milestones List.
Communion is a special gift from Jesus, which he instituted during his last supper with the disciples. Because he commanded us to eat and drink of his body and blood, we pass along this tradition and these words to our children. Kids who are at least in second grade – along with their families – are invited to come learn more about this gift, create chalices, and bake wafers. A First Communion worship service is held each year during Holy Week, just prior to Easter. Return to Milestones List.
As kids grow in their faith, and in their reading ability, so do their needs for an age-appropriate Bible. Third-graders are presented with a Spark NRSV Bible each August, prior to the start of Sunday and Wednesday School, following a family workshop where they will dig into their Bibles together. Return to Milestones List.
The Apostles’ Creed
Fourth graders are just moving away from being solely concrete thinkers and are beginning to understand more complicated concepts – like God being three-in-one. They are invited, along with their parents, to learn more about God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through games, conversations, and hands-on activities. Return to Milestones List.
We all recognize the name, but who was this man that the Lutheran church is named after? And what did he believe that was so radical 500 years ago? Fifth-graders and their parents are invited into this pre-Confirmation conversation at a short event with activities, games, and conversations with a pastor. Return to Milestones List.
Enter Middle School/Enter Confirmation
Entering middle school is a big transition – new school, new teachers, more classmates. At church, middle-school students will find new opportunities for learning as well: Confirmation. Confirmation is a time to learn more about the promises made in baptism, a time for the church to come alongside parents to ensure these promises come true, and to help adolescents begin to identify their gifts and calling as a member of the church. This afternoon family activity – complete with ice cream sundaes – is an opportunity for the whole family to share and celebrate in these transitions. Return to Milestones List
As their formal “Confirmation” learning draws to a close, youth are invited to participate in the Rite of Affirmation – an opportunity for youth to affirm their baptism. But the celebration does not mark an ending, rather it is just the end of a chapter in their book of lifelong learning as they continue to learn and grow in their faith and live out their calling or vocation as a member of the body of Christ. Return to Milestones List