On the Emmaus Road: Milestones for our Journey with Jesus
Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? – Luke 24:32
To create intentional opportunities for children and their families to explore these key areas in the Christian faith, we have placed milestones throughout the years of each child’s journey at Emmaus. Each milestone is designed for children and their parents to begin a conversation together at church, and for children to continue their exploration under the guidance of their parents within the context of their home.
CHILD AND FAMILY DEDICATION Parenting is the most challenging and rewarding responsibility that many of us have undertaken, and the support of the community of faith is invaluable. Dedication is an opportunity for parents to pledge publicly their commitment to raising their children within the framework of Christian faith, and for the church to pledge its support to the family in this commitment.
FAITH COMMITMENT (all grades) Personal commitment to Christ as our Savior is the gateway to salvation, and parents are central to leading their children to faith. We consistently invite students to ask Jesus into their hearts, and we offer resources and classes to help parents bring their children to faith in Christ.
DISCIPLESHIP (all grades) Jesus affirmed that the path of salvation involves loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves (Luke 10:25-28). We teach the discipleship milestone through the spiritual disciplines of prayer, devotional Bible meditation, worship and service.
THE LORD’S PRAYER (K/1st grade) Jesus taught us to pray this prayer in Matthew 6:9-14. Children will learn the importance and meaning of this prayer.
BIBLICAL GROUNDING (2nd grade) In Colossians 3:16 we are exhorted to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in [us] richly,” and this milestone is focused on equipping students to encounter the living Word in the written words of the Bible. 2nd graders will receive their Bibles during the 9:00 am worship service on Sunday, September 29, 2013.
COMMUNION (3rd grade) The sacrament of communion is one of the richest, most profound practices of the Christian faith, and this milestone introduces students to what is hopefully a lifetime of contemplation. Children and their parents explore the biblical roots of this sacrament and the rich symbolism of the bread and cup individually and the feast as a whole.
BAPTISM (4th grade) Baptism marks out members of the covenant community, signifying personal acceptance of Christ’s cleansing forgiveness and public identification with Christ’s death and resurrection. This milestone introduces families to the biblical perspectives on baptism and Emmaus’ practice of believer’s baptism.
SERVICE (5th grade) Christian faith and love express themselves in service. This milestone introduces the biblical foundation of service and mission and culminates in a service project planned and completed by students and their families.