Education at Good Shepherd
At Good Shepherd, learning is a fundamental way in which we strive to grow, nurture, and make disciples in Christ. We see learning as a lifelong process: in every chapter of life, God reveals new aspects of Godself, and our understanding of what it means to be disciples evolves and grows! Click through the descriptions below to find out more about the learning opportunities available at Good Shepherd.
The little ones
The littlest members of our community are learning a lot about what it means to be a disciple simply by being in church with us! We welcome children as worshipers in our congregation, and know that the praise they give to God includes lots of wiggles and whispers in the pews.
We provide worship bags for kids with fresh content in it each week so that they can engage with their faith in age-appropriate ways while in worship with us.
And if they (or their caregivers!) need a break from the sanctuary, the Nursery is located right next door to it, and is supervised every Sunday morning by an experienced caregiver:
September – June: 9:00 and 10:45
Mid-June – August: 8:30 and 10:15
Childcare can also be provided during congregational meetings, Wednesday evening learning programs and special events. Please contact the church office if you want to take advantage of this.
Children’s Sunday School
GSLC offers two identical sessions of Sunday School each week from the third Sunday of September through the first Sunday of June for three year olds through grade eight. Children can attend either the 9:00 or 10:45 session depending on their family’s worship schedule.
The Sunday School curriculum follows the lectionary, which means that the kids get to engage with the same bible stories their caregivers hear in worship. Our hope is that this fosters conversations about God’s word as a family.
“Midweek” is a class designed for fifth and sixth graders to get a solid grounding in the Old Testament and New Testament before entering confirmation. The two grades are taught together, and the curriculum alternates from year to year between the two testaments. This is a fun, approachable class that not only gives an overview of the Bible, but also gives the kids an opportunity to process their faith lives with peers.
Confirmation is a two-year program for seventh and eighth graders, and prepares them to take ownership of their baptismal promises by offering an overview of the Bible, of Christian doctrine, and or our Lutheran perspective. Upon completion of the class, students are eligible to be confirmed through a rite called the Affirmation of Baptism during a special Sunday morning service.
Teens at Good Shepherd
Opportunities for fellowship, service, and learning continue with TAGS, our program for teens at Good Shepherd. Monthly meetings from September through June are complemented by social gatherings (like escape rooms and corn mazes) and service opportunities (hosting a Halloween party for the littlest kids in the congregation, participating with a feeding ministry in Northampton). We also serve God and our neighbor through yearly mission trips during the summer. Email TAGS@goodshepherdcares.org for more information!
Sunday Adult Forum
Our adult forum meets on Sundays for identical sessions at 9am and 10:45am, and covers a range of topics and series._______
Word on Wednesday
Word on Wednesdays–WoW for short–is a midweek gathering formed around fellowship, learning, and worship.
The evening begins at 6pm with Midweek Singers, a 30 minute session with our Director of Music designed to teach middle-school aged kids about music leadership during worship.
At 6:30, we transition into an hour of learning time, with Midweek (5th and 6th graders), Confirmation (7th and 8th graders), and Adult Learning all gathering during this time.
At 7:30, we end our evening by gather for an Evening Prayer Service. The flavor of this vespers worship rotates regularly, and ranges from a contemplative, Taize-style worship to lively Camp Song worship.
Vacation Bible School
Each year Good Shepherd participates in an ecumenical Vacation Bible School hosted by several of the faith communities in town. Register via the form below!
Named in memory of Good Shepherd’s longest-tenured pastor, the Kenneth O. Bean Library houses a diverse collection of spiritual and theological resources that are available to check out and take home! Visit the library, on the second-floor education wing, whenever you come by.