Faith Stepping Stones
There are many different steps along the journey of faith that begins at Baptism. At Trinity, we encourage and support our children and youth on this journey with Faith Stepping Stones presentations honoring and highlighting milestones and transitions in their lives.
With each Stepping Stone presentation, there is an education component for parents and children, teaching them about different aspects of their lives and faith. We also mark these steps and stages in worship when the children and youth come to the altar to receive special blessings and faith mementos.
Through water and God’s Word in Holy Baptism, we are called by name and welcomed into the family of God. Baptismal instruction is available throughout the year for parents of infants and children or for adults.
Starting school is a big step in life’s journey and we’ll help our young children entering Kindergarten get off to the great start with a prayer and blessing in worship on the last Sunday in August before school starts. The kindergartners will also receive a special pocket cross and pencil box to keep with them at school as a reminder that God is always with them.
Blessing of the Backpacks
At the start of each school year, those returning to school (regardless of age) are invited to bring their backpacks, laptop bags, lunch bags, and and musical instrument cases to receive a blessing.
Trinity presents Bibles to our kindergartners, second graders, and those starting Confirmation in worship at the start of the Sunday School year. The kindergartners receive the Whirl Kids Story Bible, a Bible with great pictures that highlight the great stories of the Bible. At third grade, the children will receive the Good News Bible, an easier reading Bible. Trinity marks the start of Confirmation by presenting new students with the New Revised Standard Version Study Bible.
Classes for 5th graders or others whose parents feel they are ready to receive Communion take place on Sunday mornings in the spring. The children will receive their First Communion in either of the two worship services on a select Sunday in May.
Weekly Confirmation instruction is held for 7th and 8th graders, generally on Wednesday afternoon or early evening. The Rite of Confirmation honors those who have completed the Confirmation program as they become adults in the faith and affirm their baptisms. Trinity celebrates the Rite of Confirmation on Reformation Sunday, the last Sunday in October.
In worship each year on a Sunday, Trinity will present all those who have earned their driver’s license with a special key chain. We will pray for them and their safety as they take on the new opportunities and responsibilities that come with driving. We always make sure we pray for their parents as well.
High School Graduation
We will honor our graduates on a Sunday in June, and send them on to college or to whatever lies ahead for them with our blessings and a snuggly blanket to remind them of our love. Of course, our faith journeys don’t end when we graduate from high school, and we want these young people to have a reminder of the congregation that continues to love and pray for them.
Other Education, Fellowship, and Service Activities for Children and Youth
Nursery care is available from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm for infants through three year-olds in our new Nursery room, adjacent to the Sanctuary. Parents may also stay in the Nursery with their children and listen to the live audio feed of the worship service. Parents are welcome to utilize the nursery in order to participate in adult Sunday School from 9:30-10:30.
From September through early June each year, we have Sunday School classes available for children and youth from ages three to high school at 9:30 am. We open each Sunday morning with combined music time and a message of the day for all children in the music room. The Sunday School classes combine to present an Advent Pageant in December and Youth Service in the spring.
Children’s Church & Ministry Time
Children aged 3 to 7 who don’t wish to sit through the readings and the sermon are invited to participate in a special activity outside of the Sanctuary. The topic is generally based on the lessons of the day or another Bible story. Activities may include praying, reading, acting out stories, crafts, and singing.
Kids’ Morning Out
Trinity hosts quarterly events at the church for Preschoolers and Elementary Youth to enjoy fellowship with other children. Activities include pizza making, movie nights, and service projects.
Trinity uses service projects to reinforce with its youth that through our hands we can complete God’s work. Our youth lead the projects with support from the congregation. Past projects included furnishing an apartment for a transitional housing project, collections for an animal shelter, serving a meal at Rainbow Place, providing welcome kits to refugee families, and food collections. We also host students from Tilden Middle School twice a year for Service Learning opportunities.
Trinity has a Youth Group (grades 6-12) and a Junior Youth Group (grades 1-5). Both of these groups meet monthly for fellowship, service, and prayer.
Shekinah is an annual weekend gathering event held the third weekend March for 7th and 8th grade youth from the Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod of the ELCA. Shekinah is a Hebrew word describing a time and place where God comes to be with the people where they are and as they are. The goal of the Shekinah retreat is to build up faith as we gather for fun, learning, fellowship, worship, and service.
Chrysalis is the annual weekend gathering of the High School Youth from the Metro Washington, DC Synod for Bible study, worship, fellowship, and faith development. This event takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend each year.
Service Learning Opportunities
Based on interest of Trinity’s youth, a week-long summer servant event/mission trip is planned for 7th-12th grade youth. Most years, it is a work effort centered on the housing and other needs of an underserved community either locally or out of state.
National Youth Gathering
This convention is the triennial gathering of the High School Youth of the ELCA.