Education & Youth Team 2022 Annual Report
Children & Youth Ministries 2022 Annual Report
In 2022, the Education & Youth Team is thrilled to report that the education ministry at Good Shepherd has returned to a feeling of “normalcy” and renewed excitement. There has been an overwhelming positive response for volunteers throughout our education programming, which has allowed us to continue to provide our children, youth and families the quality educational opportunities they deserve.
One area to note where we are still looking for help is the position of Youth Director, which has remained open since February of 2021.
For all of the 2022 calendar year Sunday School has been in person, with the students back in their classrooms three weeks a month using the Sparkhouse curriculum and all together the first Sunday of every month for an All-Kids event. It has been great to have the kids back in their small groups but we have also enjoyed many fun events at all-kids, including a service project week, an in depth lesson about Martin Luther and a fun end of the school year scavenger hunt and ice cream social. We were also able to hold the annual Palm Sunday Easter Egg hunt and First Communion instruction for seven students took place in April.
One of the brightest spots for our Children’s ministry this year has been the overwhelming support of parents and other members of the congregation who have stepped up to volunteer in various roles but particularly that of Sunday School teachers. The Education Team was truly taken aback by the generous support this year and it has enabled us to bring back the Little Lambs ministry for the 2022-2023 school year, which provides a Christian education opportunity for children 0-3 years old and their families once a month during the education hour.
The beginning of a new school year once again kicked off with God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday, with the students able to participate in a number of volunteer activities. September also brought Bible Sunday, with Bibles gifted to students in 4K, 3rd grade, and 7th grade.
In October we co-hosted a Trunk or Treat event outside at GSLC. It was once again an incredibly successful event this year thanks to the help of our Cub Scout pack also participating. In December we were once again able to put on a Sunday School Christmas program. Students presented the program “The Runaway Christmas Pageant” during worship service.
We are pleased to report that overall, Sunday mornings in the Education wing are full of energy, excitement and love. We have been blessed to have two new families join the Sunday School program this year. As we head into the new year, we look forward to the many blessings and opportunities God gives us to learn from and with the youngest members of His flock.
Like Sunday School, Confirmation has been held in-person throughout 2022, with students meeting at church on Wednesday evenings for large and small group instruction, as well as various mission and ministry events. In January, the students had the opportunity to hear from Kourtney Feldhausen with the Giving Tree, learning about the importance of this program in our community and then students were able to assemble meal kits to support the food pantry. Our 9th grade students were able to go to Imago Dei Village in February, for a retreat in preparation of their upcoming Confirmation. Confirmation Sunday was held on May 1st for these students.
During the season of Lent, Confirmation students helped lead Wednesday evening worship services. Spring of 2022 also saw the return of Fellowship hour in between Sunday morning worship services, and youth and their families have returned to helping host those. During Holy Week, Confirmation students were able to participate in prayer stations throughout church, giving them the opportunity to experience the story of Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem in a more tangible way.
Summer of 2022 brought 7th and 8th grade youth to Imago Dei Village for a week of Confirmation Camp, and then Confirmation ministry kicked off the new school year in September. Ministry night in October took the youth to Green Bay Community Church for the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack. At the end of November, students were able to participate in a favorite annual activity, the “stained-glass” window painting project, using creative skills to help tell the story of our Savior.
Despite being unable to fill the role of Youth Director, our youth continue to experience a full and robust Confirmation program thanks to the phenomenal leadership of Pastor Jen. Many thanks also to Tara Jagler for her assistance in leading and coordinating Confirmation through the spring of 2022. We continue to be blessed with awesome youth, who share their talents in many ways, both within the congregation and in our broader community. Youth are actively involved in many facets of congregational life – helping with Sunday school, ushering, lectoring, baking Communion bread, hosting Fellowship hour. We are blessed to see them sharing their gifts and actively living out their faith.
As we close out 2022, we give thanks for the many volunteers who give generously of their time and talents to support this important ministry and we look forward to carrying this positive momentum into 2023.
The Education & Youth Team of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Tarra Gallagher & Hallie Langenhorst