At Irving Park United Methodist Church, we embrace families of all sizes and forms. We believe that families are the primary place where faith formation takes place. We are committed to providing resources and tools for parents and other adults to nurture the faith of their children and teens. Throughout the year we have special opportunities for children, pre-teens and teens to gather with their parents for times of fellowship, conversation and sharing. Our activities often include opportunities for families to volunteer and serve together. Growing Healthy Families includes workshops on practical issues families face and times for families to engage in spiritual practices together.
Children are always welcome to participate fully in our worship services. Children can stay with their families or attend our Sunday School program, Sprouts. Sprouts is designed for children 4 years old to 5th grade. Each Sunday there is a Bible story and activities to help kids engage in worship in ways that meet their needs. We are using Love in a Big World Jesus Storybook Bible to share Bible stories with our children and help them understand God's love for them.
We are committed to providing space and opportunities for teens to think and talk about their life and faith. Our activities encourage them to build strong and healthy relationships and to put their faith into action. Monthly meetings, fun activities, retreats, our summer Global Citizenship program, and service and volunteer opportunities help teens see God in the world around them. Our youth are also an active part of our church life as they participate in leading worship and serving on work teams that match their interests.
Confirmation is a United Methodist journey in which our students will spend time exploring our faith tradition and engaging in a dialogue with a variety of voices to grow in their own identity and belief system. Confirmation is an important part of our church’s Christian education program. Christian education is a lifelong adventure. Our goals are to provide the students with lessons and experiences that will equip them to understand more fully what our church believes, and enable them to make decisions about the ways that they want to partner with us on their journey. This is a time for youth to explore ideas and traditions as they make their faith their own.
CONFERENCES and RETREATS
Retreats and conferences are a regular part of our youth ministry. Conferences enable us to move away from the familiar in order to explore new possibilities, often with youth from other churches and places. This includes summer camps, summer mission trips, our Global Citizenship Program, the Christmas Institutes leadership conference, and SuperStart! for preteens.