Mile Markers of Faith is a ministry of MLC in which we bless the child, gift the family, and call the parents to the promises of baptism by providing family educational opportunities at specific milestones in a child’s life because we believe the family is the primary nurturer of a child’s faith. But it doesn’t stop there, we feel we are lifelong followers of Christ. To that end we offer to you these opportunities from Baptism to being “called home” by Christ. This all comes to us with the inspiration of Isaiah 55:
“Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!... Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now,
listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. So you’ll go out in joy,
you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.”
-Isaiah 55 (MSG)
Below is a list of the Mile Markers as well as an explanation for each of them:
What is Baptism?
Baptism is not water only, but it is water used together with God’s Word and by His command.
What is the meaning of the word “baptize”?
The word baptize simply means to “apply water”.
Why is baptism more than just water?
Baptism is more than just water because the water in baptism is connected with God’s Word when it is applied in “...the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...” according to the special command of Christ. Here at MLC we believe it is God who does the work in and through baptism. So, we baptize people of all ages when the Holy Spirit impresses on parents and or individuals that now is the time.
Opportunities for Children and Youth:
LET'S PRAY! (kindergarten +)
This two-session workshop for kindergarteners and their parent(s)/guardian(s) introduces and explores the gift of prayer; why we pray and how we pray. Parents will be encouraged in ways they can pray for their child and make prayer a vital part of their family life. The kids’ workshop is filled with family fun… games and activities… kindergartner style! Offered once per year on Sunday mornings at 9:30, in February, and culminates in a special service of blessing following completion of the workshop.
MY NEW BIBLE WORKSHOP (2nd grade +)
This three-session workshop for students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) explores the Bible, God’s love letter to the world. Discussion, games, and activities teach Bible basics: how it was written, organized, how we use it, and highlights key stories and truths found within it. The workshop is offered once per year on Sundays at 9:30a, in January and highlighted by a time during church services when parents place a Bible (a gift from MLC) in their child’s hands.
SACRAMENT WORKSHOP, First Communion (4th grade +)
In order to be prepared to receive the sacrament of holy Communion and all of its benefits, 4th grade students and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are invited to participate in this five-session workshop, normally held during Lent. Older students who were previously unable to complete the workshop are also encouraged to attend. Hands-on activities help families grow in their understanding of God’s coming to us in and through the sacraments of both holy Communion and baptism. Offered once per year on Sunday mornings at 9:30, the workshop culminates in a special First Communion service on Maundy Thursday (just before Easter).
HEAD2HEART WORKSHOP, Owning my Faith (5th grade +)
Parent(s)/guardian(s) who attend this evening workshop will receive an introduction to MLC’s Confirmation Program. The objective of this time is to outline expectations of participation for both parents and students as well as create a parents’ network of support by sharing experiences of raising pre-teens in today’s world. This workshop is usually held at 6:30 pm on the last Wednesday night in April. While parents and pastors meet, students get to have fun with the current H2H group as they transition from the H2H program to our awesome summer youth ministry.
CLAIMING MY FAITH, Confirmation/Mentor Sunday (typically fall of 6th & 9th grade)
Emphasizing the beginning of the faith journey we will bless 6th grade students and their mentors during this service. Service takes place on Reformation Sunday, during the 11 am service. Friends invited over the years are able to confirm their faith as well as those who have been on this three-year journey. Use the summer and fall going into 9th grade to have those conversations with friends and their parents.
FREEDOM TO SERVE, Blessing of the Keys (10th grade +)
Much in the same way that your families walked through baptism, first communion and confirmation together, this milestone event helps parents find the words to mark this special occasion. Gathering around the breakfast table on a Sunday morning in June at 9:30 am, we will share open conversation about service, responsibility, and trust.
This will be followed by a time of blessing at the 11:00 am worship. Each teen will receive a symbolic key to put on their key chain. It has a cross on the front and the word “trust” on the back.
Oh LORD our God, guardian of all, we give you thanks for your Holy Spirit who accompanies us on all journeys, short and long, for work, for school, for relationship, for family, for service, and for all destinations. We give you thanks for your constant presence and guidance. May these new responsibilities help us find reasons to trust each other more deeply. Even in the midst of worry let there be trust, patience, peace, and faith. Amen.
GRADUATION BRUNCH (12th grade)
Graduating seniors and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are invited to attend this special brunch where they are recognized for their achievements in school and contributions to the life of the congregation. Gathering around the breakfast table on a Sunday morning in May at 9:30 am, this is a time of inspiration as MLC’s pastors and other guest speakers encourage the graduates to lead God-pleasing lives. The students are also recognized at a Sunday morning service.
Opportunities Beyond High School:
CALLED TO CAMPUS/CAREER
MLC wants to equip and bless students before they leave for campus or launch into their career. It’s the next chance to invest in them and to commission them as disciples. All it takes is 15 minutes during the first Sunday in August.
MOSAIC, Called to Connect. Called to Serve. Called to Lead.
A “next level” Life Group ministry for 20-30 somethings, aka Mosaics or Millennials. Mosaic not only describes the diverse age, status, and backgrounds of this group but also the many ways to live a life of worship. Mosaic focuses on a life of worship through service, fellowship, prayer, and music all while discussing biblical truths. We’re currently meeting Sunday mornings at 9:30 in room 101. This Life Group doesn’t just focus on meeting but leading through serving in the community.
THE NEXT LOOP, New Parents & Parents-To-Be) Workshop
Christian parenting classes for today’s Christian parent & parents-to-be). No matter your community, you know that the families around you need the hope and wisdom offered by the church. But parents are often more worried about the concrete practical problems of navigating each day than instilling spiritual wisdom and theology in their kids.
Parenting workshops bring the spiritual into the practical. We meet once a year at 6:30 pm for three Wednesday nights in September. Our goal is to meet parents exactly where they are, in the struggles that affect them daily. We seek to bring the latest in brain research, trauma research, and biblical truth together. Parents will learn practical ways to model their faith during day-to-day interactions (especially when things get messy!). https://connectedfamilies.org/
INSIGHT, Continuing to be Disciples who make Disciples
Insight meets year-round for Bible study on Sundays at 9:30 am. Many topics and styles of presentation. Sometimes we even let the pastors join in! But Insight is so much more than just Sunday mornings. We have fellowship & service opportunities throughout the year. Get connected with us to find out more. email email@example.com to get connected.
ENCORE, The Other Side of 55
This is a group for “active retirees” and those over 55. We gather at least once a quarter to play games, enjoy meals, do service projects, and even take trips to places like The Ark Encounter, Shipshewana, Door County and more!
O.W.L.S., Older Wiser Loving Seniors
Feeling like the church doesn't give a hoot about retirees and seniors? Well, you couldn't be more wrong! There comes a time in life when we shift from physically serving others to giving the gift of allowing others to serve us. That’s what O.W.L.S. is all about. We hold a luncheon the second Tuesday every month, at noon, from September to May. Entertainment, entrees and beverages are provided. If you can bring a salad, side or dessert to share, please call the church office or sign up in the Narthex.