Christian Education Special Events
Throughout the year, Christian Education (CE) offers special programs and events for all ages. We encourage everyone to participate! If you’re not sure where to begin, , Associate Pastor of Educational Ministries. View the Summer 2013 Youth Calendar for more activities.
Vacation Church School
VCS 2013, June 24-June 28
Mark your calendars now for ELPC’s Vacation Church School, which will be held from June 24-28. Once again, we’ll have an all-day program from 9 AM-3 PM. (Registration starts at 8am.) VCS is open for children age 3-1/2 (must have turned 3 by January 1 2013) through children who have completed grade 5 and is offered free, no charge, to the community at large. Our theme for 2013 is “Breathe it In: God Gives Life.” View or download the registration form. Our program caps at 100 students, so we ask that people register early to ensure that your child has a spot in the program.
“Breathe It In--God Gives Life!” is all about the life-giving breath of God, and the wind that teaches God is with us. From stories of the God breathing life into creation to the wind of the Spirit at Pentecost, children will explore how God’s life-giving purpose appeared in Bible stories about air and wind. Through each of these stories, children will be assured of God’s loving, transformative, life-giving presence with us always.
View or download the registration form. One form per student, please. For more information contact Gloria Knopp, (412) 441-3800 x22.
Youth in grades 6 and up and adult volunteers are needed to help make our week a success! View or download the volunteer form. One form per volunteer, please. For more information contact Gloria Knopp, (412) 441-3800 x22.
The success of Vacation Church School rests in the capable hands and hearts of our dedicated volunteers. We are seeking the assistance of men, women, and youth who are willing to volunteer at least 3 hours of their time (a half-day) or as much as the entire week to help nurture our children and share God’s love during VCS. This is a wonderful way to participate in God’s mission for those who are unable to do mission work outside of Pittsburgh! Please note that all adult volunteers must have current Act 33/34 clearances and pass a PA Criminal Background check. (ELPC will pay for and process these forms.) Volunteers will attend a training session at 9am on Sunday, June 16th, which will include a review of our Child Safety policies. If you cannot make this training, Rev. Schoenewolf will do a make-up session on the 23rd following worship. Youth volunteers (those who have completed grades 6-12) are required to attend a training session on Sunday, June 23 after the 10am worship. Contact Wil Forrest for details.
Please prayerfully consider sharing your gifts in service of God and of the children of our church and community! For more information contact Gloria Knopp, (412) 441-3800 x22.
On Rally Day, we resume our regular worship schedule and full array of Church School classes. Join us for our fall kick-off event, as children get reacquainted with their teachers, youth catch up after the summer break, and adults find opportunities for fellowship and learning through our Christian Education (CE) programs. See the main CE page for a full listing of classes for infants through adults. Please plan to join us on the 8th for a time of hospitality at 9:30 am, with classes following at 9:45 am.
Jesus said, “That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight…” – Matthew 13:4, The Message” Mark your calendars now for a Church Family Retreat, this October 25-27 at Crestfield Camp and Conference Center. This intergeneration retreat is open for persons of all ages and stages of life. Now is the time to mark your calendars for a special event coming up this fall. ELPC will be hosting an all-church retreat at Camp Crestfield from October 25-27. Our theme for the weekend is “Why We Tell Stories…” Together we will explore together the importance of stories to our shared life of faith. Through worship, workshops, study, and games we will delve deeper into The story (The Bible) at the center of our faith, and explore how it impacts the stories of our lives. Our weekend together will include time to rest and relax, time to enjoy the great outdoors through hayrides and hikes…and we will host another Square Dance to cap off the fun! Join us for this intergenerational weekend of worship, workshops, fellowship and fun! Registration Fees vary based on accommodations selected, and scholarships are available.
Advent is a special season of preparation. We ready ourselves, not only preparing our homes for the festivities of the Christmas holiday, but preparing our hearts for a joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus. As a gift to you this season, the Christian Education Committee has purchased devotional materials for persons of all ages--some geared for individuals and some geared toward families--and invite you to join in a spiritual practice of preparation. We hope that these materials may assist you in carving a few moments out of the hustle and bustle of your day to focus on God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. May these devotionals open the door to conversations between you and your loved ones about the true meaning of this season. Devotional materials are available on the Second Floor Christian Education Table (at the top of the steps, below the CE bulletin board).
In December, we often feel like we are running in a million different directions: rushing from stores to parties to relatives’ homes. But, no matter how far we travel in anticipation of the Christmas holiday season, we remember that others had a far distance to travel on that first Christmas day! Each December, on a Sunday in Advent, the children and youth of the church will give us an opportunity to remember, with joy, the journeys to Bethlehem, of Mary and Joseph, the angels, shepherds and Magi, and how each one of these journeys allows us to more fully realize the miracle of Christmas and the gift of God’s love for us in Jesus.
Join us for our Winter Rally Day! This inter-generational event is held in lieu of our usual Christian Education hour and and offers everyone a chance to gather together again after the holidays. Epiphany is a season of light, new beginnings, and discovery into which we are invited as we draw near to the Christ Child. On Sunday January 6, we celebrate Epiphany, remembering the joy of the Magi, the dedication of their following, the generosity of their gifts. Learners of all ages are invited to learn investigate God's Word by attending any of the various activity stations as an opportunity to deepen our understanding our scripture as a community of faith. Several activity stations will be a part of our 11 AM Worship Service.
Various learning stations will allow you to explore this story of our faith, and the activities featured here will be a part of our 11 am Worship Service. We will share a light breakfast together as well. The Christian Education Committee will provide fruit and beverages, and the congregation is asked to bring breakfast breads to share.
Christian Education is providing weekly Lenten devotionals to persons of all ages, which will be available on the Second Floor Christian Education Table following each of our Sunday services. These devotionals will include an invitation to pray, reflect, and engage in a spiritual practice that connects with each weekly theme of the Lenten sermon series, entitled Lenten Life Lessons. There also will be an opportunity to engage in meditation, as a prayer station will be set up in the Sanctuary throughout Lent. Learn more about the prayer space in our weekly bulletin.
You are also invited to draw deeper into your own personal “Lenten Life Lessons” with our Lenten Life Lessons Journal. Each section follows along with the weekly worship theme, and has spaces to write your thoughts, to draw pictures, and to write out prayers--either as an individual or as a family. View the PDF
More devotionals: Presbyterians for Eco-Justice have also made Lenten devotionals for 2013, available online, for which Rev. Bush contributed the Easter devotional, “Resurrection – A Miracle is Waiting to Unfold.” View the PDF
CE Teacher Appreciation, June 2 2013
On Sunday, June 2, the last day of Church School for the summer, we will be celebrating the ministry of our Church School teachers as part of our 11 AM worship service.
Throughout the school-year many gifted and loving men and women have shepherded persons of all ages along their faith journey as Church School Teachers. With dedication, preparation, and prayer our talented teachers have faithfully offered their time and talent in service of God and of others. As the Church School Year comes to a close, we give thanks for all who served in this vital ministry of our church. We thank God for: