Children Praying

Growing Faith

a t   A T O N E M E N T

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”                         – Matthew 19:14

 

Jesus cares about children.   He made time to lift them up and let them know that they are loved by God.  Kids are also an important part of the life of our church family here at Atonement.  We want them all to feel loved and valued by our whole congregation.  We want to offer families with children a full course of events and opportunities for them to have fun, grow friendships, and grow in faith. 

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Worship
 

Growth in faith starts with WORSHIP. 

Children are welcome in worship at all our worship services. 

Our Christian Education program is coordinated by professional teacher Julie Kaufmann. 

It begins with our 11am Sunday Contemporary service,

which features weekly “CHILDREN’S MOMENTS,” stories or “mini-sermons” just for kids. 

For families with infants, we also offer a “CARING ROOM”

where parents can sit with their young ones in case they get fussy. 

The Caring Room has toys, rocking chairs and a window looking into the sanctuary,

as well as speakers allowing you to hear the service. 

Sunday School
(11am service)

 

Following the Children’s Moment, children are welcome to attend SUNDAY SCHOOL,

which runs during the “adult” sermon time at the 11am service. 

We currently have two classes – one for children grade 5 and younger,

and another for grade 6 and older, taught by youth leader Jane Gamble. 

Children Playing
Baby Baptism Ceremony

Baptism
 

As Christians in the Lutheran tradition, we offer BAPTISM to all ages - infants, children, or adults.   Baptism is a sign that Jesus Christ has died for us and claims us as his own.  We see it as the beginning of our walk with Christ, providing access to the forgiveness of sins and God’s Holy Spirit.  When you are baptized at Atonement, you become a member of our congregation and the wider family of all Christians.  Contact the Church Office if you are interested in baptism for you or a family member.

Even infants can receive baptism, which marks them as part of God’s family of faith - the “holy, catholic church” consisting of all believing Christians.  Each family that brings a child for baptism commits to raise them up in the faith, to bring them to worship, to teach them to pray and serve God and others, and to help them understand the basics of the faith.  If that sounds like a tall order, just remember --  we are here to help!  As your family of faith, we at Atonement are here to stand by you and help you raise your children to live out their baptisms. 

Living Our Baptisms
 

Couple with Daughter

Faith Formation
 

We are here to provide you with a caring, praying community of support

and Faith Formation for each stage of your child’s growth. 

In addition to Sunday School, that includes

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL for elementary aged children,

FIRST COMMUNION instruction, usually for children around fourth grade,

CONFIRMATION instruction on the “basics” of the faith for middle schoolers, and

YOUTH GROUP. 

Happy Children

Vacation Bible School
 

Our typical Vacation Bible School is a week-long “Day Camp” program

led by trained camp counselors from Luther Springs camp (see below). 

There may be a charge, but this is kept to a minimum

thanks to scholarships provided by members of Atonement. 

The counselors bring with them unique crafts, songs, games and Bible lessons

gathered around a different theme each year. 

Kids Playing Tug of War
Kids in Church

First Communion
 

Our First Communion program includes an evening workshop led by Pastor Scott

on a Wednesday in the season of Lent. 

Candidates learn about the Sacraments and the background behind

each of the terms for Holy Communion (Eucharist, Lord’s Supper, and Communion). 

The candidates also decorate their own Communion goblet, which they get to use

for their first communion and take home with them afterwards. 

First Communions are scheduled to take place each year

at the evening service on Maundy Thursday. 

If your child is younger than fourth grade but you feel they may be ready

to begin taking communion, contact Pastor Scott.

Confirmation is a two-year program, typically for 7th and 8th graders,

led by Pastor Scott with help from volunteers. 

The program centers around bi-weekly meetings with discussions, Bible readings,

music, games, and regular sharing of “highs and lows” for the week. 

Each year we cover major sections of Martin Luther’s Small Catechism,

the children read through a graphic novel version of a whole book of the New Testament (The Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts),

and they finish the year with a “faith project”

which they present in worship just before the summer break. 

Confirmation
 

Children in Church
Teenage Group

Youth Group
 

Children in 6th grade or older automatically become part of our Atonement Youth Group.  Jane Gamble is our adult youth leader, who organizes and leads

events, service projects, fun outings, and youth meetings. 

Youth at Atonement are encouraged to get involved

in helping others at church and in the community. 

Special seats on the church council are reserved

for a youth member (confirmed-18 years old) and a young adult (18-30). 

Youth and Family
Ministries

Atonement offers many events for youth and their families to enjoy.

They are encouraged to be part of Atonement’s annual LIVE NATIVITY,

a live depiction of the Christmas story straight from the New Testament. 

We also promote the many faith-building

and fellowship events at Luther Springs Camp north of Ocala,

and have sponsored family outings to Luther Springs. 

Local events like Winter Jam in Tampa or Rock the Universe

at Universal theme park in Orlando offer fun ways

to get acquainted with current Christian music. 

High School youth are also eligible to attend the amazing ELCA National Youth Gathering, held once every 3 years in a major US city. 

We have also sponsored various mission trips for youth and for whole families

Family Portrait 5

Scouting

Atonement also supports scouting. 

Scouting is a great way to bring youth together to help them

build character and a variety of life skills. 

We charter two scout groups – Cub Scout Pack 148 and Boy Scout Troop 2

We also host Girl Scout Troop #1208. 

If you’d like information about how your kids can join one of these scouting groups,

call the church office.

Cub Scouts