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Family Milestones

FAMILY MILESTONES

We celebrate eight milestones with families that mark significant events in a child’s spiritual journey. Click on each stone to find out more detail about the event.

MILESTONE 1: Birth of a Child

We love to celebrate the miracle of birth with every family and offer them support right from the start!  We deliver a special gift bag and a meal, and wrap the new baby and family in prayer and love.

Gifts include a personalized burp cloth, information about Baptism and Baby Blessings, and a gift card for a dinner. We also place a rosebud on the altar as a way announce the birth of a baby to our congregation and to bless and pray for them.  Parents are given the flower as a remembrance.

MILESTONE 2: Baptism

When parents who regularly attend AHUMC are ready to make the commitment to raise their child in the Christian faith and decide to have their child baptized or blessed, we want to come along side them and partner with  them throughout their journey.

Prior to having a child baptized or blessed, parents who are not members must attend the AHUMC Come, Grow, Go Growth Track series.  This 4-week series is offered in February April, June, September, and November.  Register here for GROWTH TRACK.

All parents must attend the Baptism and Blessing Milestone session led by the Senior Pastor and Director of Children's & Family Ministry. This class helps prepare them for the Sacrament of Baptism and the Baby Blessing Ceremony. If previously attended, parents do not need to come again for another child.  

During this session we also discuss the role of parents and church in spiritual development of children, what makes a home Christ-centered, and blessing your child. Register for an upcoming BAPTISM/BLESSING CLASS.

Families are presented with a Faith Chest as a keepsake for their child as part of the Baptism and Blessing ceremony. 

MILESTONE 3: Toddler's 1st Bible

When children are two years old, we present to their parents a copy of The Beginner’s Bible to read with them. Toddlers love to hear the stories, over and over and over...  Eventually, the children will learn to read the storiesto their parents!

At this milestone we discuss with parents the importance of laying down a biblical foundation early in a child's life, and parents are encouraged to take Parenting: The Early Years to help equip them to build faith in the home.

MILESTONE 4: 3rd Grade Bible Blast

It is s important to help kids develop a biblical worldview to help them make right choices in their lives. They need to understand that God's Word is their compass to guide them and how relevant it is to our "everyday" lives.

We present to the students in 3rd grade a copy of The Hands On Bible on a  Sunday morning that has a special message written inside from their parents. Then the kids and parents come back on Friday night for the Bible Blast — an action-packed adventure in the church which gets the students digging  into their new Bibles.

MILESTONE 5: Communion Discovery

Holy Communion is one of two sacraments in the United Methodist Church. While we believe the table is open for all who follow Christ, we feel that 3rd grade is the perfect age developmentally for children to begin to partake. If parents choose, they may wait until after this event for their child to participate in Communion, and before this event they may bring their children forward to receive a blessing.

On a Friday night during Lent, 3rd graders and their parents learn all about this sacrament through a series of dramas that reeanct the first Passover, a Jewish Seder Meal, and the Last Supper. This dramatic look back at the history of the sacrament of Communion is powerful; parents and kids gain a whole new perspective on what Jesus did for them.

The next Communion Sunday, the children attend one of the worship services with their family to take Communion, many for the first time.

MILESTONE 6: 7th Grade Bible

Students in the 7th grade are presented with a new Teen Life Application Bible, NLT version.  This Bible is packed with features designed to meet the challenges and needs of today's high school students.

MILESTONE 7: Confirmation

During this milestone students, 9th grade or above, are confirming the vows their parents made on their behalf at baptism, or are making a decision for themselves to be baptized, and are beginning the journey to become full members of our church.

We begin with a retreat in the fall, participate in the life of the church and "confirm" healthy habits and faithful participation, and bookend the process with a spring overnight, Confirmation banquet and Confimation service during worship in the spring.

For more information about joining the church through our confirmation process, contact the church office and/or the Director of Student Ministry.

MILESTONE 8: Graduation

In this last milestone, we recognize and honor the accomplishments of our seniors.   In late May, we take a moment during the worship services to congratulate them and present them with a small gift; a token of our support.

During the summer, we encourage the graduates to participate in one of our core classes based on a book entitled, How to Stay Christian in College.

 

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