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Everyday Encounters

Fostering Faith Through Everyday Encounters

As a valued member of our church body at Immanuel, it is our hope to come alongside you in each stage of life that you journey through. We will provide you with resources and encouragement to help you not only weather life’s storms, but thrive along the way and celebrate God’s blessings.

Here’s a look at life’s major milestones and how we endeavor to meet you where you’re at, each step of the way:

Event-based Everyday Encounter Engagement

At Engagement: Congratulations are in order! When you let us know you are engaged, you’ll receive pastoral contact and care, including information outlining premarital procedures, and a devotional gift to strengthen your relationship with God and your intended. The parents of the bride and groom also receive a letter of congratulations and suggestions for nurturing the engaged couple.

At Premarital:   Couples readying for marriage meet with a pastor for premarital counseling and coursework.

At Marriage: A pastor and a wedding coordinator works with you to arrange a meaningful and memorable marriage service.  The officiating pastor will also give you a devotional gift to help you form a strong foundation for your marriage.

After Marriage: 1-year Check-up: A pastor meets with you and helps you celebrate your anniversary with a devotional gift to grow your relationship and work through any kinks that may have surfaced in your first year of marriage.
5-year Check-up: A pastor checks in with you to provide resources to help you prosper together for the long haul.

After Marriage: Every two years, we’ll host or direct you to a local marriage retreat to help you take time for each other and strengthening your relationship.

Pregnancy:  As you eagerly await the arrival of a new baby, we’ll help you prepare for this momentous change with a pastoral visit and devotional resource and other books to help you become godly parents to your child and supportive spouses to each other.

At Birth of Grandchild: As you anticipate the birth of a new grand-baby, we’ll send a letter of congratulations and a resource to prepare you for your new role.

Birth of Baby: Shortly after you bring home your new baby, a pastor will visit to discuss baptism arrangements, and present you with resources to foster your young child’s faith. Pastor will also encourage you in your marriage with additional resources for your relationship and family planning (such as establishing a will).

At Baptism:       A pastor will officiate your child’s rite of baptism, welcoming him or her into the Lord’s family. The child will receive keepsake gifts. Sponsors will get handouts encouraging them in their new responsibility to nurture the young one’s faith. Your family will also be the recipients of a family faith chest in which to store spiritual treasures, devotional materials, etc.

Time based Everyday Encounter Engagement

1 year: Your young toddler will receive a Bible geared to young children and other resources, and a quilt celebrating the anniversary of their baptism. As a church family, we will have a baptism blessing and renewal time annually to celebrate all those baptized in the previous year.

2 year old: To welcome your child into our Sunday School ministry, Kingdom Quest, we will have an event to prepare them for this transition. We will also host a Family Blessings workshop to assist parents in learning to bless their children. Families will receive a blessings book as a resource to aid their home efforts.

3 year old: To encourage families in home Bible study, we will host a Family Devotions (Family Altar) parenting workshop and provide families with a devotional resource and other books to foster faith.

4 year old:  At this age, we’ll focus on worshipping with young children in a My Church workshop. Families will receive books on parenting during the preschool years, a divided bank to help children practice tithing, and other handouts with suggestions for worship.

Backpack Blessing: As a new school year begins, we will have a Blessing of the Backpacks for school-age children and teachers, including a small gift to remind kids of their faith while at school.

 Kindergarten:  For five-year-olds and their parents, we will have a Family Prayer workshop to aid parents in teaching their children to pray. Families will receive examples of prayers to use at home.

First grade:       For families of first-graders, we will have a special evening prior to a congregational day of service to discuss ideas for and the meaningfulness of family service projects.

Second Grade  Second-graders and their families will be invited to a Family Worship event, which will include the presentation of a Bible to each child.

Third Grade     Third-graders will be invited to a First-Time Campers milestone event, where they will receive a special gift to remind them that God is with them as they embark on their first adventure away from home.

Fourth Grade   Fourth-graders will learn the basics of financial management at a Money and Me event, and take home materials to help them put the principles they learn into practice.

Fifth Grade       Fifth-graders and their families will be invited to a Computer and Technology Safety workshop to help parents and children navigate the latest advances and determine guidelines for their use.

Sixth Grade      Sixth grade marks the beginning of confirmation instruction, kicked off by a Confirmation Brunch, with handouts focused on helping parents transition to raising their young child-turned-teenager. Teens will also enjoy an Imago Dei (Image of God) workshop to remind them that they are each a child of God and about how He sees them, a timely topic during the sometimes socially turbulent middle school years.

Seventh Grade           Once again, parents and teens will be invited to a Confirmation Brunch, this one centering on communication and conflict resolution at home. Parents and teens may also participate in a retreat about tough teen topics such as dating, sex, and puberty.

Eighth Grade   As students enter the final year of confirmation instruction, they will join their parents in a Confirmation Brunch about missional service. Eighth-graders will also complete the PLACE workshop to learn more about how God has designed their personality, spiritual gifts, and abilities and how to take steps to put these attributes to use to further His Kingdom. Eighth graders will be invited to experience an Evening of Honor to celebrate confirmation, including a Seder meal to understand the background of Passover.

Ninth Grade     Ninth-graders will be encouraged to participate in a Faith Mentoring program with a mentor of their choosing, who will meet with them for at least six weeks to foster their spiritual growth. Students will receive a youth study Bible as well.

Tenth Grade    As students enter into the precarious adventure of learning to drive and taking a drivers’ education course, we will host a Driving milestone event covering  automobile safety, a parent-child driving covenant, financial considerations, and bestow a gift on the young drivers to remind them of their guiding faith in God.

Twelfth Grade As students approach high school graduation, they will engage in a Sticky Faith workshop and graduation banquet, enjoy recognition of their graduation in the bulletin, and receive a gift to remind them of the congregation’s support of their future plans.

Time based Everyday Encounter Engagement (non Parent-Child)

Young adults:  Young adult between the ages of 18 and 25 will be shepherded with monthly letters and bookmarks from Pastor Dan to encourage them in their faith. Young adults will also be encouraged to check in with a church staff member during the summer.  We will host a retreat for young people every fourth year.

Empty Nest:     Empty nesters are encouraged to participate in small groups such as the Grandparents LINC group. We will host an Empty Nest Retreat every four years.

Retirement:     Retirees are invited to fellowship and serve together through groups such as Young at Heart. The church will provide a retiree’s retreat every four years.

Single Parents:           Single parents will be encouraged at a retreat every four years.

Loving Neighbor: Annually, training and servant day events will be coordinated to encourage neighborhood outreach. Supplies will also be provided for Matthew Parties to that end.

Faith@Work:   We will host annual workshops for sharing faith around the workplace, e.g. schools, health care, police, office, cleaning company, manufacturing, etc.