Middle School Faith Formation
All the Info
Curriculum (what they'll learn and explore)
Retreats & Summer Camp:
We focus on relationship-building here. We absolutely include worship, Bible study, and conversation about all the good stuff that happens throughout the year. But the focus is on the people, not the content.
Each of the 4 boxes contains 5 projects, which are centered on the 5 baptismal promises found in the ELW:
LIVE among God's faithful people
Hear the Word of God and share in the Lord's Supper (WORSHIP)
PROCLAIM the good news of God in Christ through word and deed
SERVE all people, following the example of Jesus
STRIVE for justice and peace in all the earth
Each project also includes a Bible story, a "typical" confirmation topic, a "commit to the heart" (memory) piece, and some materials to complete the project with.. Topics include things like: Jesus, OT/NT, catechism, Abraham, Paul, Prophets, vocation, biblical interpretation, Luther/Reformation, etc. The first box also includes a journal for the year (which includes both blank pages and templates for worship notes) and a letter for mentors and parents.
For the most part, projects can be done in any order at any time. Some projects may line up with specific times in the church year (e.g., Advent, Holy Week). The tag on each project tells you what additional materials you'll need, how much time it takes, and whether you need to plan ahead.
All projects can be done at home, with mentors, or as a group, giving a lot of flexibility. Some projects suggest connecting with others at church, and some require the help of the pastor. Our suggestion is that the pastor looks at the projects first to think through if you have any special requirements or help you'd like to give for any individual project. Many pastors choose to do some projects with their youth and give them others to do at home.
If you'd like to receive a sample box, just let us know and we'll be happy to send one to you.
Note: We love the program we've created. Just know that it's not the "Mt. Cross Confirmation Program". We set no requirements for that. We give you the resources and then you (as the pastor/church) decide how much and what is necessary to be confirmed. Maybe they just do this program; maybe you add on mentors or worship notes; maybe they do whatever track they want except one year they have to do Track 1, etc. If you need help thinking through the best way to do this for your church, let us know. We're happy to help!
Participate (how to join in the fun)
Typically, we'll have different "tracks".
It includes options that either increase the flexibility or decrease the cost and allows you to build the program you want.
But for 2020-2021 the pandemic is altering our methods a bit.
Everything will be a-la-carte. So we still recommend figuring out which things you'd like to have your youth participate in before the school year starts, but ultimately, it'll be easy to add and subtract as you go along to allow for maximum flexibility this year.
Our Project Boxes are the heart of the program and, without the boxes, you won't be able to add on anything else.
(within this program - clearly, you can register for other retreats or summer camp on your own, just not the ones listed below!)
For more information on what a project box is, see the above category on Curriculum.
If you'd like a sample box, email us and we'd be happy to send you one.
A full set of boxes (4 boxes/20 projects) for one student for the whole school year is $150.
A full set of boxes for a pastor/youth leader for the whole year is $50.
The first box is sent out in late September and they arrive every 8-10 weeks after that.
Fall Zoom & Spring Retreat
We normally have two retreats, but this fall we'll stay socially distanced and hope to gather at Mt. Cross in the spring. These times are focused on building a peer cohort for participating youth. We LOVE inter-generational ministry and doing these projects will allow for a lot of that. But we also need peers with which to figure out faith, and these times are meant to help create that community. We focus on relationship-building and doing all the fun things that camp allows us to do! These retreats are only available to those who participate in the program, and each church is responsible for also sending a chaperone for the spring retreat.
The Fall Zoom gathering is currently scheduled for Saturday, September 26 and will be complimentary, but registration will be required.
The spring retreat is currently scheduled for April 23-25 and will cost $100/youth and $50/chaperone. Pastors may attend for free and, if you'd like to help lead, talk with Sarah ahead of time.
Any youth can sign up for a week of summer camp anytime on their own. And/or, you may sign up your church youth to all come the same week. However, during our confirmation camp week, we create a special group made up just of program participants. They function exactly like a church group would that week. By doing this, you get a discount on the price of camp, and all the relationships that were built at the retreats can become stronger by spending a week together. To take advantage of this, you must call into the camp before registering your youth for summer camp.
For a downloadable list of options and costs, you can download a page here.
Resources (for pastors, parents, and councils)
Handout for those wanting basic info (e.g., parents and councils)
Packet for those planning (e.g., pastors and youth leaders)
This resources has our pre-pandemic rates! The information generally holds, but please also download our 2020-2021 rates here as an addendum!