In our baptismal service, the priest asks the gathered congregation, “Will you do all in your power to support this person in their life in Christ?” The congregation responds in a loud voice, “We will!”
At St. Matthew’s we take our responsibility to nurture the faith of the children of St. Matthew’s very seriously. Not only is it a responsibility—it’s also one of our great joys.
St. Matthew’s has a large core of active youth and a vibrant Sunday School program. Our Sunday School students learn about the Bible, Church tradition, Christian community, and most of all, about the deep and abiding love God has for them. The Sunday School year runs from September to June and is held weekly at 9:15, between our two Sunday worship services. This schedule gives both the teachers and students the opportunity to worship with the larger community of faith; our common worship is the centerpiece of our life together as a Christian community.
For our younger ones (age 5–6 and under), we offer nursery for the first half of the 10:15 service, staffed by church volunteers who all have been trained in “Safe Church & Safeguarding All God’s Children”.
During both our 8:00 and 10:15 Sunday services, Mother Carrie gives a children’s sermon about the Bible, Christian life, current events, or general Christian themes. (It’s also well-understood that the adults enjoy the children’s sermons too!)
In addition to Sunday offerings for youth and children, St. Matthew’s also hosts various youth events during the course of the year. Children and families enjoy: A yearly family retreat, a camping trip to Highland Forrest, special worship services designed for youth, a Halloween party, and more.
St. Matthew’s youth and children not only have activities especially designed for them, but they are also involved in general parish life as well. Youth and children attend our Community Eucharists, and parish dinners and picnics.
Our youth and children also participate in outreach and service projects. They have joined with the adults of the parish to serve at the Samaritan Center feeding program, walk in the CROP walk, and collect items for mission trips. The youth have also taken on their own service projects by raising money to sponsor two children in Africa. Inspired by the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, the children have raised funds through selling lemonade and hand-made Anglican Rosaries to send to Christian Children’s Fund.