Christian Education: Forming Lifelong Disciples of Christ

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Connect at West Raleigh on Sundays

9:30 – 9:45 Gathering
9:45 to 10:00 Music for Children
10:00 – 10:45 Sunday School
11:00  Worship in the Sanctuary and Children's Worship
6:00 Youth Group

Christian Education and Faith Development

Children & Family Ministries

Jesus welcomed the little children to come. At West Raleigh, children are welcomed into the family of faith, learning to follow Jesus through intentional, caring relationships formed across the generations and in a variety of settings.  

See our SafeConduct Policy.

SUNDAY WORSHIP
Children of all ages are welcome! Join us for worship at 11:00 AM.

Nursery
Trusted caregivers nurture our infants and toddlers in a loving, safe environment.

Lesson for Young Christians
The worship service includes a special time with the pastor or other leader at the front of the sanctuary. Children will enjoy this conversation just for them. Parents are welcome to accompany their children.

Worship Bags
After the Lesson for Young Christians, children may want to pick up a worship bag if they return to their pews. These bags, located in front of the pews, include pencil crayons, children’s books, and other activities to keep little hands busy and further your child’s understanding of worship.

Children’s Worship
Children aged 3 1/2 through 3rd grade are led from the Sanctuary after the Lesson for Young Christians for Joy Worship, a Montessori-style session of worship, wonder, and response. On occasion, older children through 5th grade meet for Alleluia Worship which introduces more challenging Bible stories and encourages deeper theological conversations with trained leaders. Weekly information is posted in the bulletin.

Worship Leadership
Children regularly share their gifts in worship by singing, playing instruments, and participating in dramas.  Children in 3rd – 5th grade may serve as Acolytes, carrying the symbol of the Light of Christ into and from the worship service each Sunday

SUNDAY MORNINGS

Nursery— Our childcare staff arrives at 9:30 AM and remains through the end of worship. Infants and toddlers through age 3 ½ spend time playing and enjoy snack in a safe, caring environment.

Sunday School & Music— During the school year, children gather in broadly-aged small groups for music and to explore Bible stories, create and play together.

9:45 – 10:00

Joy Singers: infants through Kindergarten
Alleluia Singers: 1st – 5th grade

10:00 – 10:45 Sunday Groups

Cross-Generational Gatherings - On some Sundays, varied ages gather to creatively explore a spiritual practice, mark an important milestone, or celebrate an important festival of the church year.

INTENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Retreats
Children and families connect with God, God’s creation, and the family of faith as they do church away from the building!

BYG Retreat
3rd – 5th graders head to Camp Agape for a weekend designed just for them.

All-Church Retreat
Families join with other members of the congregation to learn and grow in this weekend away. This retreat typically takes place after Easter with locations including Montreat, Camp Albemarle and Umstead Park.

Serving
Families that serve together grow in their faith together.  Children and their families learn about what it means to be a follower of Jesus by serving in the church and the community. There are many opportunities to serve such as with the Family Promise program, gleaning, or working in the Beeloved Community Garden.

Youth & Family Ministries

At West Raleigh, we seek to intentionally support and engage youth and their families in an inclusive, nurturing, faithful community to grow a resilient faith that empowers young people to SEEK God’s will and LIVE it!

See our SafeConduct Policy.

SUNDAY MORNINGS

Youth Classes
During the school year, youth gather from 9:45 – 10:45 in broadly-aged small groups to explore the scriptures and thematic topics.

Cross-Generational Gatherings
On some Sundays, varied ages gather to creatively explore a spiritual practice, mark an important milestone, or celebrate an important festival of the church year.

Confirmation
West Raleigh staff and dedicated adult mentors help youth prepare for a deliberate and mindful affirmation of Christian faith. Confirmation typically takes place in 8th grade.

Leadership
Youth make use of their gifts in a variety of ways. Singing, playing instruments, and assisting in the Children’s Worship rooms are just some of the ways that young people serve God in the church. community.

INTENTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Youth Group
Middle and High School Youth meet most Sunday evenings from 6 – 7:30 PM to deepen their relationships with one another, with God, and with their world.

Retreats
Youth get away from their busy schedules to connect deeply with God and with other young people and adults.

Presbytery Youth Retreats
These weekend retreats are a great way for Middle and High school youth to get to know other young people throughout the presbytery. Members of the Presbytery Youth Council who are High School students from around the area, plan and take leadership roles.

Massanetta Middle & Montreat High School Youth Conference
Youth get to be immersed in vibrant worship and music, meaningful small groups, lively recreation, and late-night back-home conversations that matter during these exciting and transformative summer conferences.

All-Church Retreat
Families join with other members of the congregation to learn and grow in this weekend away. This retreat typically takes place after Easter with locations including Montreat, Camp Albemarle and Umstead Park.

Serving
West Raleigh youth are passionate about putting faith into action. They seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving in the church and the community. There are many opportunities to make a difference. Our youth have volunteered at the pay-what-you-can restaurant A Place at the Table; joined their families in gleaning, bagged lunches for WRPC Feeding Ministry, and worked in the Beeloved Community Garden.

Mission Trip
Youth take a weekend or a week to engage with diverse communities in relational service work. Through daily dialogue at work sites, small discussion groups, and worship, the goal is to develop leaders who can identify ways in which Holy Scripture calls for justice and love for all, and to stimulate conversations leading to lifelong service and discipleship.

Adult Ministries

As you take part in Christian community, learn what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. West Raleigh offers a variety of classes and small groups to encourage your commitment to lifelong faith formation.

SUNDAY MORNINGS
9:45 – 10:45 AM

The Bible from Scratch Class
Using the book, The Hard Sayings of Jesus, this class examines some of the sayings of Jesus that people struggle with. Some sayings are hard because they are difficult to understand, others because the demands they make on us are only too clear. The book is available to all class members. Teacher: John Gordon. Room 113

Frank Haasis Class
This class schedules a variety of topics led by class members and guest speakers. Issues of faith, new movements in theology, and peacemaking initiatives in the church are some issues for discussion. Moderator: Ben O’Neal. Fellowship Hall

Family Faith Class
This group of parents with middle school-aged and younger children supports and connects parents in fellowship, service, and learning. In addition to their monthly fellowship gatherings at Bruegger’s, they regularly discuss topics of special interest to parents. Some Sundays they join with the Haasis class. Moderator: Tim Nichols. Room 313

Joel Moody Bible Class
Through the exploration of the biblical text, students are invited into a deeper relationship with God. Teacher: Maurice Farrier. Room 110.

Christian Spirituality Class
This discussion-based class focuses on the weekly lectionary text to prepare for worship. Some weeks there is a specific topic for discussion.  Each lesson is self-contained, allowing members to attend class as lives permit. Room 312.

SMALL GROUPS

Special topical studies are offered in the spring and fall to enable learners to delve more deeply into areas of interest.

SUMMER SERIES

Summers are a time to get creative in our exploration of the Christian life. Many weeks we gather all ages together for learning.   Past topics have included Sabbath, Christian Worship, Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life, and Caring for Creation.

 

Retreats, Conferences, and Mission Immersion

Retreat experiences are an important aspect of Christian Formation ministries. Retreats provide two helpful elements: new space –forcing participants out of their routines, and time –extended time to be immersed in a community of faith. This year’s opportunities include:

  • Middle School Presbytery Retreat: October 5 – 7 at Camp Don Lee
  • High School Presbytery Retreat: March 15 – 17 at Camp Willow Run
  • Confirmation Retreat: March 29 – 30, Location TBD
  • BYG (Gr. 3 – 5) Retreat: March 29 – 31 at Camp Agape
  • All-Church Retreat: April 26 - 28 at Hill Forest
  • Massanetta Middle School Youth Conference: TBD (depending on Broad Street trip – see below)
  • Montreat High School Youth Conference: TBD (depending on Broad Street trip – see below)
  • Presbyterian Youth Triennium (high school youth): July 16 – 20 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

Mission Trip to Broad Street Ministries in Philadelphia

We are planning a week of experiential learning and service to be held next summer, 2019! In addition to worshiping and serving with Broad Street Ministries, we will explore the Presbyterian Church’s heritage. This trip will likely be open to Middle School, High School, and adults. Stay tuned!