EXPLORE! SEEK! GO!

Using these words as our guide, we invite and encourage you to engage yourself in Christian Education. We are in the process of extending church to the home with digital resources for you to explore your faith and seek greater clarity and understanding of God’s activity in the world.
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What We Do

Here you will find the specific ministries of Christ Lutheran. We have a variety of things going on each week. We also host multiple big events and trips each year. Scroll down to get caught up on how we make, nurture, and equip the next generation.

Chistian Education

Youth Ministries

Morning Worship: Youth gather together with the rest of the church family to worship. This is a time to Sing hymns, pray, hear God’s word, and partake in communion. Teenagers are not just a part of the Youth Ministry. They are treasured siblings in the larger body.

Sunday School: Each week Pastor Eckman will post Family Sunday School. Each post presents a lesson based on Lectionary readings that families can do together. We hope to host regular Sunday School in the Fall to provide youth of all ages the opportunity to grow together in faith.

 

Additional Youth Ministries

First Communion: Classes will be offered for all interested in receiving First Communion throughout the year. It is our practice at Christ that children receive first communion at the desire of their parents. These classes will be for parents and the students preparing to receive communion.

Classes are typically held at the church on three consecutive occasions. Classes will include videos, discussion time, tasting of the bread and wine, prayer, and answering children’s questions. Families are then invited to worship at a church service the weekend following class to participate in the celebration of communion together.

If a child is curious about and asking to take communion, we invite you to listen to that cue and consider enrolling in the communion class. Pastor Herr and Pastor Eckman always welcome a conversation if you have questions about your child’s readiness for Holy Communion.

Confirmation: a major milestone in the Christian faith journey. In baptism, we are washed clean of our sin through Christ’s death, raised to new life through his resurrection, claimed by God as his children, and receive the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit. When parents bring their children to be baptized, they promise to live with them among God’s people, bring them to worship at God’s house, share the Word of God with them, and teach them the foundations of the Christian faith so that their children may come to love, trust, and serve God and God’s world. After their childhood years are spent learning the stories of the Bible, experiencing the grace of the Sacraments, and becoming familiar with the congregation as a community of faith, it is time for them to claim the life of faith as their own. Confirmation is a process by which young persons, having been nurtured in the Christian life and teaching, prepare to profess their trust in the promises of God Christ Jesus made at baptism on their behalf, continuing the journey of faith toward spiritual maturity in Christ.

Building a Foundation for Faith through Christian Education: This Confirmation process relies on parents who are supported in fulfilling those promises they made at their children’s baptisms by participating in courses with them. Students and parents learn the basics of Christian faith from a Lutheran perspective taught by a Pastor. They will wrestle with questions in understanding what faith in Christ means in the real world. The “classes” take advantage of these cross-generational points of view and interactions to share in the discovery of how faith can be applied to our lives.

Youth Groups

Connect with a Group

Youth Group Christ’s Youth Group exists to walk alongside teenagers. We strive to provide a safe environment for our young people in all that we do. This is a time to be, to have fun, and to nurture their faith. We encourage our teenagers to invest themselves in the life of our church through Worship, Small Groups, Games, larger community gathers. and much much more. 

CELC Youth is open to all students in grades 8-12. Friends are welcome!

This year’s theme is:  We all have fears. Having fear is something we, as humans, must resign ourselves to having. Fear is a part of life. Fear can imprison us like a net and keep us from right relationships with others and with God. Fear can capture us like a net and hold us hostage causing us to miss out on this wonderful life we’ve been given. Fear can also sharpen our senses, making us more aware and therefore, safer. Fear can push us to improve. Each meeting we’ll talk about our fears as a way of building community (sharing our fears will make us vulnerable and give others the opportunity to support and help us), recognizing that we share a lot of the same fears, that our fears can be placed appropriately with prayer, scripture, and community. 

Club 95: Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. Club 95 is designed to help them explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Overall, we want to teach our children that they belong to a God that loves them. This ministry serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond.

Youth Groups

Youth Group Meetings During COVID-19

ABIDE

“You are not alone. You belong. God’s love abides with you, and we will abide in that love together.” 

Without a doubt, many of us are feeling anxious as we navigate the uncertainty of the coronavirus. As we live into our new reality, God calls us to abide. God calls us to abide in community, in our emotions and most importantly in God’s love. This is an invitation for you to set aside time to abide This will be a time for us to listen to one another, pray with one another, build community and try to figure out what it means to be in this moment.

COME AND ABIDE EVERY SUNDAY

JR High  Youth Group 6PM-7PM
SR High Youth Group 7PM – 8 PM

Email pastoreckman@christgettysburg.org

Yearly

ALiVE: This is our annual synod middle-school retreat, scheduled for September 25-27, 2020, at Camp Nawakwa. Congregations from across our synod gather with their adult advisors and youth for an early fall weekend that includes large group gatherings with singing led by our ALiVE Alumni Band, theme-centered videos and stories, and games, interspersed with small group gatherings, where youth gather with peers and a small group leader, to converse about the theme and it’s impact in their lives of faith. It’s a great event for your Confirmation students and classes.

The weekend also includes crafts, games, campfires, free-time, and community-building that allows youth and their adult counterparts time to deepen existing friendships, and create new ones. Congregational advisors can also count on the option of receiving some intentional continuing education. Plus, inspiring outdoor worship often highlights our last morning together at Nawakwa’s famous Upper Temple!

Winterfest: Winterfest has a long tradition of faith-formation with senior high and college students in our synod! Youth can look forward to a variety of social activities and games in addition to our faith-formation conversations and teaching. The community feel that has defined Winterfest for generations will also be a prominent part of this year’s event, alongside of inspired worship and time for reflection and sharing. In addition, we will once again offer “ELECTIVES” in the afternoon block on Saturday. Youth AND adult advisors will be able to self-select the elective options they wish to attend, based on their interests. This year Winterfest will be at the Lancaster Host Wyndham. Stay tuned for more information!

Vacation Bible School

After the craft glue dries and the snacks are just crumbs, the real purpose of VBS is that children leave knowing that they are loved by God. Realistic but contemporary themes provide a bridge for kids to connect to scripture to their life while having fun. Adult volunteers help lead activity rotations: crafts, games, science, and storytelling. A nursery is available for adult volunteers with young children.

Grow at our Camps

The Lutheran Camping Corporation of Central Pennsylvania operates three unique outdoor ministry sites on the territory of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, each affording the participant the opportunity to experience God in Creation, in powerfully interactive and faithful ways.

Camp Nawakwa: Arendtsville, PA

 Camp KirchenwaldColebrook, PA

The Wittel Farm: Elizabethtown, PA

 

Confirmation Camp

The All Saints Confirmation Camp, is a partnership of 20+ synod congregations, held in June, many from the Gettysburg, Hanover, and Chambersburg Conferences. Pastors and youth leaders from the various member congregations comprise the staff who lead small group teachings and conversations on a variety of topics related to Confirmation faith formation, Topics include, but are not limited to:

 The Creeds
Prayer Practices
The Ten Commandments
The Sacraments: Holy Communion & Baptism
Service in Jesus Name

 Youth in the first two years of Confirmation participate in these small group conversations held each morning and gather with their friends and leaders from their home congregations for conga-time, or “congregation-time,” each day after lunch. Afternoons are spent participating in traditional camp activities like swimming, games, crafts, with cabin groups, and Nawakwa staff. Evenings are community activities like campfires, skit nights, outdoor camp games, and inspired worship often held in the beautiful natural chapels dotting the Nawakwa countryside.

Youth who have been confirmed are also welcome to attend for third and fourth-year tracks, focused specifically on leadership development, what it means to be a servant leader in the manner of Jesus. In 2019, for example, participants spent a day at First Fruits Farm, a non-profit Christian farm in northern Maryland that grows fruits and vegetables to help those facing food insecurity issues in the Baltimore area. Youth worked alongside volunteers, who help maintain the farm year-round. For many, it was one of the highlights of their week, and these powerful “off-site” service opportunities are one of the things that make All Saints Confirmation Camp unique.

If you are interested in All Saints Confirmation Camp contact Pastor Eckman, pastoreckman@christgettysburg.org

Occasional Events

ELCA Youth Gathering

“I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.” – Ephesians 3:19 CEV 

What is the ELCA Youth Gathering? Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives. 

Where is the gathering? Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a great host city and has excellent venues for all our Gathering program needs. It’s a diverse, Lutheran-dense city, nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River in the heart of the Midwest. This will also be the city’s first time hosting an ELCA Youth Gathering!  

Who can attend the Gathering? Youth who are in 8th to 12th grade at the time of registration (Fall 2020) are eligible to attend. 

After much prayer and consideration, the leadership team has decided to postpone next summer’s ELCA Youth Gathering to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering will be held July 24-28, 2022, in Minneapolis, with the two pre-events, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) and the tAble, scheduled for July 21-24, 2022. 

We give thanks for your prayers and patience as we have worked through the details with our partners in Minneapolis and across the country. The hope that by postponing the Gathering for a year, individuals and congregations will feel more comfortable and prepared to attend the Gathering in 2022. 

Music

Share Your Gift

Cantor, Cameron Wentz served at St. John the Divine in Richmond (in southwest London), England where he also studied at King’s College.  Cameron was born and raised in the Hanover (PA) area and is a graduate of South Western High School.  A graduate of Westminster Choir College and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Cameron will be continuing his education in a doctoral program at the University of Maryland.  He brings thirteen years of experience leading congregational music with an extensive background in organ and church music.  His degrees are in music composition and has composed numerous vocal and instrumental pieces.

Of the Lands and Seasons Band…Four times a year, at both Sunday morning services, instrumentalists are welcome to accompany and lead “Of the Land and Seasons,” our folk-song based liturgy used once each season of the year: winter, spring, summer and fall. All instrumentalists are welcome. Advanced beginners and up are welcome.

Please contact us at cantor@christgettysburg.org.

 

For Adults

Adults Need Nurturing Too

Bible Study: During the Easter season we will explore the appointed text for each Sunday, along with Pastors Herr and Eckman, seeking to understand how they might be a faith resource to us in this challenging time. As we cannot come together in person at the church just now, we will convene online, using ZOOM, each Wednesday morning at 10 AM.  

Pastoral Check and Congregational Check In:  In this time of social distancing we long for opportunities to connect and share conversation and support. Since it will be some time before we are able to do so in person, we hope to provide the next best thing and facilitate conversation time together in a virtual meeting using “ZOOM.” ZOOM enables those who have the capability (using computer or phone) to see and hear others in the meeting, and to be seen and heard themselves. One or both of your Pastors will be available to facilitate a conversation at two different times during the week – one in the evening and one during the day.

For Caregivers

Faithfully Follow Gods Words

Our youth ministry directly serves our young people, but we know that we are only one aspect of their spiritual development. Scripture gives adults the task of raising and passing on their faith to their children. We hope to partner with you as you faithfully follow God’s Word. We want to supply you with tools, encouragement, and ideas to help your family’s love for God grow.

Adult Forum on The Great Reformation Treatises of 1520

Martin Luther’s On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church and On the Freedom of A Christian.

by Dr. Vince Evener, Associate Professor of Reformation and Luther Studies at United Lutheran Seminary