Youth & Family

Youth & Family News

Sunday School Schedule

10/1: Jesus is Born
10/8: Music & Popcorn
10/15: Wise Men
10/22: Pumpkin Carving; Christmas Program handout
10/29: No Sunday School

2024 ELCA Youth Gathering

8th-12th graders: If you would like to participate in the Youth Gathering, there is still limited time to get you registered. Registration forms and a $150 deposit are due October 15. For those who wish to attend and financial assistance is needed, you are strongly encouraged to speak with Pastor Jacob. If a youth wants to participate in the Youth Gathering, we will find a way to make it happen. After October 15, registration fees for the gathering become considerably more expensive, with just the event registration not including transportation, meals, or lodging jumping to $425 per person come November. If your household has a youth that is considering going, please at the very least turn in a registration form as soon as possible. Registration forms can be picked up by asking Pastor Jacob, picked up from the church office or from the Youth Gathering folder on the bulletin board outside Pastor Jacob’s office. Completed forms can be given to Pastor Jacob, placed in Pastor’s mailbox in the library, or turned into the church office.

2024 Youth Quake

6th-12th graders: The 2024 Youth Quake is January 26-28 at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg! Mark your calendars and make plans to attend! Join Echelon (the event band), speaker “Packer” Dave Gunnlaugsson and hundreds of youth for this life-shaping weekend of faith-filled teaching, activities and music. The event cost is $200 if you register by October 15th, after October 15th the price increases to $230. To pre-register for the Schaumburg Youth Quake turn in your $50 deposit by October 15th. We hope to raise the rest of the funds for this event! Friends are welcome! Participants are also responsible for purchasing a few of their meals. If you would like to participate and have financial need please speak with Pastor privately.

October Children’s Noisy offering

ELCA Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) shares God’s hope, healing, and renewal with people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. When the dust settles and the headlines change, we stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need. LDR responds domestically to flooding, hurricanes, severe storms, tornadoes, and wildfires throughout the United States. LDR also continues to respond internationally by supplying aid in Eastern Europe Crisis Response, Horn of Africa Drought, Middle East Crisis, Middle East & Europe Refugee Crisis, South Sudan Relief, as well as AMMPARO: Protecting Migrant Children.

Youth Outing at Selmi’s

On October 24 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, youth from St. John’s, St. Paul, and Immanuel will gather at Selmi’s in Rock Falls for some autum time fun. We’ll walk the corn maze, visit the Haunted House, play Tug-o-War, maybe even go on a Hayrack Ride or get some Cliff’s Donuts. You’ll have to come to find out and join the fun! We’ll all meet up at Selmi’s (1206 Dixon Ave, Rock Falls, IL 61071) at 4:00 pm. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay if they’d like. Pick up time is 6:00 pm. Let pastor know if you’d like to go by Sunday, October 22 so we know about how many to expect.

Trunk or Treat

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 31. It’s time once again for Trunk-or-Treat at St. John’s! You’re once again invited to decorate the trunk of your car, truck bed, or back of SUV and hand out candy and other goodies to trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. You will not be required to stay the entire time; if you’re available anytime from 4:30-7:00 pm, please feel free to stop by and join us. You’re also welcome to dress up in costume. Please provide store-bought wrapped candy for children or other small toy items like stickers, spider rings, etc. Not interested in decorating your car but want to join us and hand out candy? Great! Bring your candy and lawn chairs and we’ll park you between the cars.

Fall Retreat at LOMC

6-8th graders: The Fall Retreat at LOMC November 17-18! This overnight adventure involves digging into God’s word and creation while sleeping in a cabin at LOMC! Cost is $30. If you are interested in attending this retreat please let Pastor know by September 15. We will attending with a few other churches in the area and sharing chaperones among our churches. If you would like to participate and have financial need please speak with Pastor privately. Please note Hometown Holidays in Rock Falls is November 17.

Confirmation Schedule for 2023-24 Year

I am pleased to share that after much conversation with Pastor Bree and Pastor Makayla, Immanuel, St. Paul, and St. John’s will once again be collaborating for shared Confirmation Classes during the 2023 – 2024 Academic Year.

This collaboration will once again allow for youth from all three congregations to gather for Bible Study, conversations and questions about faith and life, service opportunities, worship, retreats, and other activities.

To accommodate the variety of schedules of congregations, students’ schools, and other extracurricular activities, the combined Confirmation Class will meet for monthly Sunday gatherings from 11 am to 2 pm beginning in September with each session including a light lunch.

As Confirmation Classes at each congregation have been and continue to be part of a multi-year faith formation program, this year’s focus is faith life and a deep exploration of Luther’s Small Catechism. Our tentative schedule is as follows:

  • September 10, 2023 – St. Paul – Exploring Baptism
  • October 1, 2023 – St. John’s – Exploring the Apostles Creed
  • November 12, 2023 – Immanuel – Exploring the Apostles Creed
  • December 3, 2023 – St. Paul – Exploring the Apostles Creed
  • January 14, 2024 – St. John’s – Exploring the Lord’s Prayer
  • February 4, 2024 – Immanuel – Exploring the Commandments
  • March 3, 2024 – St. Paul – Exploring the Commandments
  • April 14, 2024 – St. John’s – Exploring the Commandments
  • May 5, 2024 – Immanuel – Exploring Communion

Throughout the course of the year there will also be occasions for mid-week community service nights as well as gatherings for conversation and planning for youth events including the Fall Retreat, the Schaumburg Youth Quake, and the upcoming Youth Gathering.

On Sundays that do not have a scheduled Confirmation Class meeting, seventh and eighth grade Confirmation Students will gather with the sixth grade Sunday School Class as well as assist the lower grade students during the whole Sunday School event days.

While I understand that this is a significant change from the past year’s Sunday School and Confirmation Class programming, I want to assure Sunday School and Confirmation Class students and families that I will be walking with you during these transitions. As always, if you have a question or would like to know more, please feel free to contact me by phone, text message, or email.

God’s peace to each of you—I’m looking forward to the upcoming School Year and the opportunities it will bring.

Sunday School

We host Sunday School classes for all ages from mid-September to mid-May annually. Check the Calendar for exact dates and times of classes.

Confirmation Classes

7th-9th grade students, staff and parent leaders gather each Wednesday evening from September through May with their peers from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Sterling, and Immanuel Lutheran Church, Rock Falls, using the “Co-laborate” Confirmation curriculum. This two-and-a-half-year program involves parent participation, learning, service to others, and safe, fun events led by caring adults.

Junior High & High School Youth Classes

Our junior high and high school students meet regularly throughout the year for classes, service events, fun events and trips. Events are updated and advertised on the Calendar, and on our Branches Youth & Family Ministries Facebook page.

CommUNITY Vacation Bible School

Each summer St. John’s participates in the Sterling-Rock Falls CommUNITY VBS (a collaboration of local congregations providing VBS as a free 1-week event for families in our communities with Pre-K age 4 through fifth grade). Location moves to a new church location each year. VBS Meets in the evening, Sunday through Thursday, with a free dinner each night.

Community vacation bible school logo

Youth & Family Forms & Policies

Adult Volunteer Application

Medical Release & General Permission Form

Youth Safety Policy

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