Pre-School & Elementary Programs
Nursery care for infants and toddlers is available during both the morning and evening services in room 211 in the undercroft of the chapel. We work hard to provide care for our children that is both loving and safe.
Children move from the nursery to the Lamb Center between the ages of two and three, where they enjoy small amounts of routine and structure and more organized play. Like the nursery, Lamb Center begins at the beginning of the worship service and concludes when the service is over. The children will join the Worship Center group for a singing circle, then return to their own room to hear a Bible story and enjoy a snack and play time.
Children from age four through second grade leave the morning worship service immediately after the children’s message and go downstairs for singing circle, worship, and response time. Our church uses the “Children in Worship” concept, developed by Jerome Berryman and Sonja Stewart, which appeals to young children’s sense of wonder about the mysteries of the Bible and prepares them for a lifetime of enjoying adult worship. While age appropriate, it also includes a very specific structure. The curriculum follows the church year and a liturgy that brings them into God’s presence, by hearing from God’s word and responding to it with wonder and activities. Children’s Worship concludes with “feast” time and a parting blessing.
Children from third to fifth grades attend the morning worship service with their families. Their Christian education time begins after the service in classrooms in Hiemenga Hall. Pilgrim Center meets for an hour every Sunday except the first Sunday of the month, which is reserved for teachers and students to enjoy fellowship in the undercroft. The classes follow a three year lesson cycle which is also structured according to the church year. A whole host of topics are covered in that three year period including an overview of the books of the Bible, the history of God’s action with people, and the Greek and Hebrew letters, the prophets, the stations of the cross, Biblical images of God, the names of Jesus, important figures in Church history and many other topics.
Elementary – Middle School Programs
The Joyful Voices is a choir comprised of singers from grades 1 through 5. The choir typically rehearses Sunday afternoons at 4:00, prior to Woodlawn’s Vesper service, and ordinarily sings once a month, often at our Intergenerational Service.
Kid Connection is a mid-week program for children aged 4-years-old through fifth grade. Meetings are held in the Ministry Center two Wednesdays each month, from 6:45 – 8:00 p.m. The program is designed to build faith, to foster community, and of course to have fun!
Middle School Programs
Middle school church education follows a discipleship model. Students learn in small, intimate classes where instruction is personalized and relationships are formed between teachers and their students. The curriculum is structured in six-week units during which the young people address topics such as Baptism, The Lord’s Supper, The Heidelberg Catechism, Prayer and Christian Service.
The middle school also meets monthly for social outings (miniature golf, picnics, laser tag, etc.). These outings focus on building community among the young people.
Ninth and tenth graders
Ninth and tenth graders meet together for class on Sunday mornings after church. These classes emphasize mature Biblical understanding and follow a two year cycle. In year one, students will survey the Bible, following its overall story and recognizing the different genres of Biblical writing. In year two there is a special concentration on the parables of Jesus.
Eleventh and twelfth graders
Eleventh and twelfth graders also meet Sunday morning after church. This class is taught by one of the pastors and it too follows a two year cycle. Year one is a survey of Reformed doctrine. We review the classical questions of theology (and some of the newer ones), and learn how our church answers those questions. Year two is a study of church doctrine and Christian life.
High School Youth Group
The High School Youth Group (grades 9 -12) meets twice a month at the Ministry Center on Sunday evening. The youth leaders are young adults from the congregation whose goal is to instruct the teens within the context of a relationship. Their activities include regular service projects, small and large group meetings, discussions of relevant social issues, retreats, and other social activities. There will be Bible study/discipleship where the young people have a chance to examine and apply Scripture. During the summer the group participates in week-long service trips and recreational day trips, and has the opportunity to attend the Youth Unlimited’s SERVE project.
Adult Education Class
The Adult Education Class meets Sunday mornings shortly after the morning service. We meet every Sunday September through May except holidays and the first Sunday of the month which is reserved for fellowship instead of education. We try to offer a variety of presenters addressing a broad array of subjects, such as current events, issues of social justice, cultural commentary, and Reformed Christian thought. Occasionally we will also use this time as a forum to educate the congregation about the latest developments in the ongoing ministries of our church.
MY Bible Study
MY (Middle Years) Bible Study meets from October until April on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room of the Ministry Center. MY Bible Study is geared toward people in their middle years who wish to connect with others in a deep study of God’s word. Each season a study guide is used to explore a book of the Bible, generally rotating between the Old and New Testaments. The lesson is then discussed in a group setting with an emphasis on applying God’s Word to our own lives.
The Reflection Group provides informal, free-flowing wrestling on issues and concerns faced by individual Christians and the church. Topics are suggested and chosen by participants. Discussion is open, insightful, and often spirited, challenging each other to re-examine and refine the views represented. Views are treated with respect and stopped only by the clock since we rarely achieve consensus. The Reflection Group meets in the Ministry Center at 9:45 until 11:00 a.m. on the two Wednesdays each month when the Wednesday Morning Bible Study does not meet.
Wednesday Morning Bible Study
The Wednesday Morning Bible Study meets in the Council room of the Ministry Center on two Wednesdays each month (September through May). The study begins with a coffee and fellowship time from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., and the Bible Study time is from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. This is an in-depth study led by Pastor Abma. In the past we have tried to go boldly where few Bible Studies have gone before! The season begins with a coffee social and introduction to the fall session. Nursery care is provided upon request.
Woodlawn’s XY Generation (WXY) Bible Study
The Woodlawn’s XY Generation (WXY) Bible Study meets once a month on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. in the Council room of the Ministry Center. The WXY Bible Study is geared toward those in their mid-twenties through mid-forties. This group looks forward to in-depth and exciting discussions with a fabulous group of people.