“Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me.” –Mark 9:37
The goal of Emmanuel's Children's Ministry is to partner with our children's families to build fellowship and community, and to nurture the Spiritual development of each child by learning about the teachings of Jesus.
Child care may also be provided during certain other events that are held at Emmanuel. Please call the church office, 815-963-4815, for confirmation.
The Children's Ministry Calendar of Activities can be found below.
To find out more about Emmanuel's Children's Ministry, contact the church office, 815-963-4815, or email the Children's Ministry Committee Coordinator.
“Jesus Loves the little children, all the children of the world…” –Anonymous, song lyric
Emmanuel's Nursery is for children ages birth through pre-K. Your toddler and pre-K aged children are invited to join in a wonderful, Christ-centered experience in a safe and nurturing environment overseen by caring volunteers and a professional director.
The children love the large room. It is bright and cheery with lots of windows, a skylight, and several murals portraying pastoral scenes. Your child will enjoying playing with the Montessori toys.
The Nursery is one of the activities that is offered during our regular Sunday schedule.
Our Sunday School for children grades K through 5th is in a Montessori-style setting which gives children the freedom to learn at their own speed, and within the boundaries of their own current knowledge, setting the foundation for a lifetime quest for a greater understanding and experience of God. As the children hear Bible stories they become more comfortable with Spiritual language, and after hearing each story they are encouraged to “wonder” their way back through the story helping them get a better idea of how the story relates to his or her everyday life.
A Montessori-style class supports teachers who create the space to think big. Who respect children’s Spirituality. Who build a safe community. Who enable children to make connections on their own. Who are open to the unexpected. Who listen as much as they talk. Who slow down the pace. Who allow each child to find his or her own answers. A classroom that promotes Biblical knowledge, empathy, and Spiritual growth, while providing each child time for deep reflection, at creative stations of Godly play which help bring the words of traditions that have been passed down through the ages alive.
Emmanuel uses the Godly Play books by Jerome Berryman. This Montessori program focuses on Biblical stories or themes. Each individual story, poem, or prayer is taught through many different learning centers which include reading, art, music, drama, sensory play, and community service. This encourages the children to thoroughly understand each lesson while increasing their retention of the story. The program is a multi-age, multiple intelligence model following Howard Gardner's "Theory of Multiple Intelligences" which uses a variety of learning styles, or multiple intelligences, through which the children's knowledge and understanding develop.
Each of Emmanuel's Sunday School classes begins with the children at the Worship Circle where they participate in a community prayer. Then the children will sing a song and hear a story, after which each child chooses a workstation. This is where the programs differ depending on the time of year. However, Sunday School always ends with a “feast” (healthy snack). During this social time the children have the opportunity for sharing and fellowship, just like the grown-ups during their coffee hour in the Celebration Room. On their way out the door, each child is given a joyful blessing.
Emmanuel's Sunday School follows two formats:
- Project Summer Seeds – from June through August
- “Yes you can have Sunday School during the summer.” The purpose of Project Summer Seeds is to have the children “plant the seeds for a life-long relationship with God.” Chosen themes for each Sunday are centered around: parables, creation, the universe, psalms, global concerns, community, self-care, and relationships with friends and family.
- Joy Tree Workshop – from September through May
- During the school year, Joy Tree Workshop encourages each child to Celebrate his or her own Spirituality and relationship with God—in their own way and at their own pace—with a sense of Creativity. Sometimes we work as individuals and sometimes as a group, but we always work creatively.
Other Children's Events
Emmanuel's Children's Ministry also offers events outside of the Sunday School curriculum. Some of these events are co-sponsored by one or more of our many church ministries and committees.
One such event, co-sponsored by Emmanuel's Membership Committee, was a Butterfly Release on September 11th, 2011, to honor the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. It was held in our Labyrinth Garden, and parishioners purchased one or more Monarch butterflies. Each butterfly released honored a child or other loved-one. Friends, families, and neighbors of Emmanuel were invited to join in the ceremony.
World Music Camp
World Music Camp will be held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in July for beginners and juniors, ages 5 through 12. Camp begins at 8:30 a.m. and goes until to 12:00 p.m. (noon).
This camp is for children who are interested in starting music, or who are in their first couple of years of instrument study. Experience rhythm, melody, and jamming in a group setting. Make simple instruments, find your groove at drum circles, and learn about the nature of vibration. Listen to stories about the origins of music. Scholarships, internships, and early drop-off available.
There is an optional afternoon visit to the Alpine Park (950 South Alpine Road, Rockford, Illinois, 815-987-8800) pool:
- Each child taking part in the pool visit will need to bring $5.00 for the entrance fee.
- We suggest each child also brings $3.00 per day for the snack bar at the park.
- Parents will need to pick up their children at 4:30 p.m. at the Alpine Park pool.
- On rainy days, when the pool is closed, there will be a movie shown at Emmanuel, and parents will need to pick their children up at the church by 3:00 p.m.