We love to give our younger children a special place in our church family, and begin to nurture them in matters of life and faith. Our Sunday school program is designed for children three years old through those students going into 3rd grade. Excited and talented teachers work alongside these students to nurture faith and encourage exploration of the Bible and our Christian faith. Sunday school, now called Kids' Church, takes place during our 9:00 am worship service around approximately 9:30 am. Upon the conclusion of the children's message and before the Pastor's sermon, students three years old through 3rd grade will be dismissed for Kids' Church and will head downstairs to the Lower Level Fellowship Hall. These students will remain downstairs until worship is completed. Students 4th grade and up are encouraged to come and help out our younger students during this time to assist with projects and learning, though they will be dismissed from Kids' Church to join their families in communion and continue in the worship service. Every third Sunday of the month, however, during our nontraditional worship, we will not hold Kids' Church and instead encourage our families to worship together and get involved in the service as much as possible.
Our Youth and Family team will put together different events throughout the year that cater to this age group. We will often have Christmas activities, events at Currents Aquatic Center, and summer events such as Vacation Bible School and fun at Splash Montana. Be watching the newsletters and calendars for the next upcoming event for young families.
GROW (Growing Relationships on Wednesdays) is structured for students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. We meet every Wednesday, from 5:30-7:00 pm throughout the school year, either here at church, or out in our community. Each Wednesday, we share a meal together, share a time of learning together, and then share a time of fun and play. This is a fun-loving ministry that prepares these students for service in our church and community, as well as prepares them for middle school youth group and Confirmation.
Elementary students through 3rd grade participate in Kids' Church each Sunday (except the 3rd Sunday of the month) which takes place between our worship services, and meets in the Lower Level Fellowship Hall each Sunday during the 9:00 service, beginning around 9:30. 4th and 5th graders are encouraged to join in Kids' Church to assist our younger students in their crafts and lessons. See the "Early Childhood & Early Elementary Students" section above for more detailed information.
Middle School Youth Group is for Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade and their friends. We meet once a month, typically falling on the second Sunday of the month, from 5-6:30 pm. Our middle school youth group will do a variety of activities throughout the year: from fun at Missoula’s HUB to volunteering at the Missoula Food Bank.
Confirmation classes are held for (but not limited to) students in 7th and 8th grade. Our Confirmation courses prepare our young people to live Christian lives, and lead up to the presentation of their Affirmation of Baptism, which takes place in the fall of their freshman year of high school. Confirmation classes begin in October and end in May. Class typically meets every 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month here at church, from 5-7 pm. There is a time of instruction and a time to share a meal. Parents are asked to help provide the meals throughout the year.
Fun events throughout the year are planned for our middle school students with other local churches. We love to host fun game-nights (such as the ever-popular Alien Tag) as well as middle school overnights for this age group. We understand that this church is just as much theirs as it is the adult’s, and we get excited to provide middle schoolers a special time to engage with each other in shit space. We team up with other churches each year to host both a fall and spring overnight event.
Every First Tuesday of the month at lunch during the school year, St. Paul Lutheran opens its doors to the local high schools. We encourage our high school students and their friends to come over for their lunch hour. We provide lunch for anywhere from 30 to 115 students on these Tuesdays as an outreach to our high schools. This ministry takes a lot of support and volunteer work, so don’t hesitate to join us for one of these first Tuesdays of the school calendar.
We team up with other churches for a “City-Wide” youth group for our high school students called Youth Pack. This youth group will take place every 2nd Sunday of the month, from 6:30-8:00 pm. The location will vary from month to month, so be sure to check the youth calendar for more information.
Youth Gatherings! We are so blessed in the ELCA to have wonderful Youth Gatherings that take place almost every summer. This past summer, the National Youth Gathering was held in Detroit, MI, and 30,000+ high school students rallied to make a difference in the greater Detroit area. The next Western States Youth Gathering will take place this summer June 28 - July 2 in California (see right), and the next National Youth Gathering will take place in Houston in 2018!