First United Methodist Church of Ventura
Monday, December 18, 2017

 

Christian Education

 
Adult Classes . . .
Disciples Forum
    This is an on-going class that always welcomes new participants.  It meets on Sunday mornings at 10:15 a.m., soon after the first worship services ends.  Bill Zinn is the leader and focuses the class on religious themes through book or video studies. It takes a break during July and August.
 
Lenten Study
    During the season of preparation for Easter, we have Lenten studies on Wednesdays. Subjects have ranged from spiritual disciplines, Handel’s Messiah, to personal faith stories.  
 
Small Groups
    Currently, we have small groups studying comparative religion, discussing the weekly sermon, a prayer group meeting weekly for prayer and also reading a book on prayer.
 
Other Studies
    Throughout the year, usually in the fall prior to the holidays and in the spring following Easter, other short-term adult studies are offered.  These classes will be Bible studies or religious book studies. Occasionally, these classes will be prayer groups or spiritual growth experiential groups, depending on the interest expressed by participants. 
 
Classes for Children and Youth . . .
Sunday School
    Sunday school classes are held for preschool through high school during the 9:00 a.m. service. Children and youth participate in the traditional worship and are excused after the blessing to spend the remainder of the service time in Sunday School.  There is a "One Room Schoolhouse" class offered during the 11 a.m. service for children ages preschool-fifth grade. Childcare is provided during both services.  During July and August the middle school and high school classes take a break and the youth are encouraged to attend worship with their parents at that time.
 
    Classes for children age preschool-middle school use the Cokesbury curriculum, which is lectionary based. The curriculum for elementary ages is "Deep Blue."

    The middle school class uses the "Submerge" curriculum, which is a youth-led, discussion based curriculum.
 
Children’s Worship
     In addition to Sunday School classes, our children participate in regular activities to learn the traditions of Christian worship. This includes taking Communion in Walker Chapel, under the supervision of their teachers, on the first Sunday of each month, as well as a full Children’s Church with all the elements of worship each quarter.

“Safe Gatherings” Program 
     All Sunday School teachers and other adults who work with children and youth on a regular basis have voluntarily submitted to a criminal background check, to assure the safety of our young people. There is ongoing supervision of the classes by either the superintendent or assistant superintendent. Students fifth grade and younger are released at the end of Sunday School only to a responsible adult.
 
Our Mission Project
     The children select a project each year as a focus of their offering and then make a pledge to give so much each year. This is to teach the value of “giving” as a regular act of Christian kindness. This year the Sunday School children are supporting Ventura's Project Understanding.
 
Special Events
     In addition to the regular classroom, music and worship programs, the children also participate in activities at the time of major Christian holidays. This is to teach the traditions as well as to celebrate joyously the deeper meaning of the holidays. We're looking ahead to observing Advent with a Children's Church for Advent, making Christmas decorations for shut ins, and a Happy Birthday Jesus Party, at which we will dedicate "gifts from the heart" for Jesus.
 
Children’s Music Program
     Ages fourth grade and up may participate in the Joyful Noise Handbell Choir. During July and August the Handbell Choir does not meet.