A Vital Ministry!

Children and youth are a vital part of the ministry at Church of the Good Shepherd! Scroll down to learn more about our programs and opportunities for children and youth to grow, learn, and serve!

There are no Sunday School classes during the Summer Session which  runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  During the Summer, there is one worship service that begins at 10 am.


Regular Worship Services: 9:00 AM and 11 AM

All Sunday School classes start at 10 AM  

Sunday School

Sundays, 10-10:50 a.m., Downstairs Classrooms
Will not meet Summer Session (Memorial Day thru Labor Day)

Our children and youth Sunday School emphasizes the teachings of Jesus, inclusion, selfless love for others, peace, social justice, love of creation and life-long learning. Classes are divided by grade level and are lead by teams of three trained teachers who have received background-checks. Classes include breakfast and a lesson, followed by a closing worship time with children of all ages.   There is no Sunday School during the summer.  Near the end of August, you may register your child for the program.

Infant and Toddler care

Sundays, 8:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Top Floor, West End of the Building
Summer Session Hours:  9:45 to 11:15 am.

Our childcare center is operated by a loving staff that cares for our babies and toddlers, ages 0-3. We have age-appropriate toys, cribs, and changing stations. Parents can make use of a pager system that will notify them in case of emergencies. See a virtual tour here.

Children and Youth Choir

Children and youth choir is a key piece of our Christian Education program, and it includes much more than just singing. Linda Gilmour, our Minister of Music, teaches Bible stories, public speaking, acting and teamwork, while building Christian community. There are also opportunities for solos for practiced and new singers alike.  Contact Linda Gilmour, our music director, for details on rehearsal times.

Youth Group

Sundays, 10-10:50 a.m., Downstairs Classrooms
Will not meet Summer Session (Memorial Day Weekend  through Labor Day Weekend)

Our sixth through 12thgrade youth group is our fastest-growing class at Church of the Good Shepherd. In addition to gathering for special outings, they meet regularly during the Sunday School hour at 10 a.m. They also participate in service projects, including a week long summer pilgrimage.

The youth group does not meet on Sundays over the summer although there may be special outings.

Worship

9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., Sanctuary
10:00 am during  Summer Session (Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend)

Our youth participate in worship in many ways:  running the sound system, working the slides in the early service, playing music, ushering, offering prayers, and reading scripture are all ways our children and youth participate.

Confirmation Class

The Confirmation Class is open to students in grades nine and above. The Confirmation program emphasizes personal faith, discovery and exposes students to scripture, church history, theology, and world religions. The class meets alternate years on every Sunday from 10 AM – 10:50 AM from September to May. The most recent session ran through Pentecost 2015 and the next session begins in September of 2016. Contact Pastor Sarah for more information.

Summer Pilgrimage

Each summer, our youth embark on a pilgrimage, which includes service work as well as relationship building. The summer pilgrimage takes our youth, grades six through 12, to El Paso, TX, where they partnered with our sister church, Iglesia Congregacional la Trinidad. In 2013, they painted, built shelves, made the church facilities more wheel chair accessible, installed a new door, and even hosted a week-long arts camp for local children. Service activities in 2014 included more painting and some gardening.  In addition, they built relationships with church members and other community leaders who taught them about Chicano culture, civil rights, poverty and border issues, and community organizing.  After they return, the youth create a worship service wherein they tell about their experiences and what the pilgrimage meant to them.

National Youth Event (every 4 years)

In July 2016, our youth attended the National Youth Event which included service work as well as relationship building.

       Believe in God, Yourself and the UCC

See how the young people of the church embraced their ministry and each other during several faith-filled days at the National Youth Event at Walt Disney World.

After their return, the youth created a worship service wherein they told about their experiences and how the National Youth Event changed them.

Events and Outings

Our children and youth regularly participate in intergenerational church events, including picnics, trips to the zoo, Isotopes baseball games, girls’ night at the Lobos women’s basketball games, tours at the museum, hikes, miniature golf, rock climbing, campouts, movies, bike rides, and park clean-ups. Scholarships are available for all events, and no child will be turned away for an inability to pay.

Service and Outreach

We believe that serving the community is an integral part of developing Christian faith. Our children and youth regularly participate with our partners in service: Family Promise, CROP Walk, Project Share, and East San Jose Elementary, cooking meals, raising money to stop hunger, tutoring students, and hosting homeless guests. They also do special projects like cleaning up parks and making treats for Rainbow Ranch animal shelter.

UCC Camps

Church of the Good Shepherd enthusiastically supports the camping program of the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. Click Here to read more about the Youth and Outdoor Ministry of the Southwest Conference.

Safe Church Policy

The members of Church of the Good Shepherd are committed to creating and maintaining a safe place in which members, friends, staff, officers and volunteers can worship and work free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and exploitation or bullying. In addition to training and supporting our teachers and leaders, we also hold the pastors, staff and congregation accountable to our Safe Church Policy which provides guidelines to prevent physical abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual misconduct/exploitation, bullying behavior, staff misconduct, and any behavior that puts others at risk of harm. To learn more about our policy and practice, contact Pastor Sarah or the Ministry Team Lead for Spiritual Education and Development.