Good Shepherd has many opportunities for children to grow in faith and connect with other children. Sunday School (SPARKS) is the primary program for children, but there are many fun opportunities throughout the year for your child, including an Easter Egg Hunt, Vacation Bible School, Fall Festival, and a night to celebrate Advent.

We have several serving opportunities available for group leaders (lessons and materials are provided), special event planning and service teams (tech, check-in, welcome, etc.). If you are interested in partnering with us to serve children as they come to know and love God, please click here to learn more about our opportunities.

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2yrs - 5th grade Sunday School SPARKS
SPARKS is our year round Children's Ministry opportunity geared towards children 2 years old through 5th grade (by September 1 of any given year). Offered during:
  • 5:05 Saturday services
  • 9:29/9:30 & 11:00/11:01 Sunday services
During SPARKS, your child(ren) will experience: hearing The Big God Story and responding to it, worship, small group discussion, prayer, blessing, and other crafts/activities. Children are grouped by age and school they attend to help foster Christian relationships even outside church. We aim to have the same small group leader, who is background checked, each week so children can build in relationship with the leader and peers. Click here to register. All are welcome! Church membership is not required to participate. Already Registered: Forms (downloadable pdfs) Important Information & Useful Tools (downloadable pdfs)  
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4th & 5th grade Club 45

Wednesday nights, September - April 6:30-8:00pm

  Club 45 provides a fellowship and outreach opportunity for 4th/5th graders.  It allows them to join together and bring friends to learn about Jesus, have fun playing messy games, eating creative snacks and joining in fellowship with one another. This is a great bridging opportunity for 5th graders transitioning into 6th grade ministry (FUEL). Click here to register online for all children's ministry activities. All 4th and 5th graders are welcome! Church membership is not required to participate. Already Registered: Forms (downloadable pdfs) Additional Information (downloadable pdfs)
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Nursery SPARKLERS
Children birth through 36 months of age are welcome in the nursery during the Saturday, 5:05 service, Sunday 9:29/9:30 and 11:00/11:01 services. There is an infant/crawler room and a walker/toddler room. We also have a room for nursing mothers. The nursery space is available for parent and child together during the 8am Sunday service.
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Children's Choirs Kindergarten - 6th grade
Children’s Choirs at Good Shepherd provide a fun, uplifting, spiritual environment for kids to experience group singing and learn about sharing God’s love through music together. Rehearsals teach basic vocal skills and the early fundamentals of rhythm and music theory. Both groups rehearse weekly and sing in worship quarterly with additional opportunities for service and fun throughout the choir season.
  • Grace Notes (Kindergarten -2nd grade)
    • Rehearses Tuesday evenings from 5:30-6:15pm
  • All God’s Children (3rd-6th grade)
    • Rehearses Sunday mornings from 8:30-9:15am
If you are interested in participating in either of these opportunities, please send us an email.
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First Communion
First Communion is a monumental time in every child's life.  Each January, all parents and their kids, ages 4th grade and older, are invited to join us on a 4 1/2 hour retreat, which focuses on the importance of the eternal gift Christ has blessed us with.
IS MY CHILD READY FOR COMMUNION?
Fourth grade is the age we begin to invite children to receive 1st Communion. We encourage you to determine if your child is ready. To help you make that decision, think about if your child:
  • Has an understanding of sin and knows the difference between right and wrong.
  • Recognizes that we are all sinners and that Jesus paid the penalty for our sin.
  • Desires to have an ongoing relationship with Jesus.
RETREAT INFORMATION
  • 1st Communicants will come with their parents, or other significant adult, to learn more about who God is and what Communion is.
  • The cost is $30 per child for the day. This includes lunch and materials.
  • Scholarships are available if needed.
  • Childcare is available for siblings for a $15 fee per child.
SERVICE INFORMATION
  • Invite family to a special 1st Communion Service
  • Optional cake reception following
  • If you cannot attend, your child can receive communion on the next Sunday your family comes to church. Please understand that 1st Communicants will only be recognized at the 1st Communion Service.
Registration for First Communion is in November.
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Vacation Bible School June 12-16, 2017

Registration now open!

Click here to register your child: Child Registration for VBS Maker Fun Factory!

Click here to serve: Join the Leader Team for VBS Maker Fun Factory!

 

What is VBS?

Vacation Bible School is a hands-on, Spirit-led week, which focuses on a different theme each year. Our theme is explored through prayer, singing worship, crafts, games, small group discussions, and so much more!

When is VBS?

Vacation Bible School takes place one week every June from 9am-noon.

Who can attend?

• Birth-24 months (children of FULL-TIME LEADERS ONLY) - nursery • Age 3 by 9.1.of given year (children of FULL-TIME LEADERS ONLY) - Early Childhood VBS • Age 4 by 9.1.of given year thru Kindergarten - Early Childhood VBS • Children entering 1st-5th Grade - Elementary VBS Accommodations are available for children with special needs. Contact special needs ministry for more information.

Who can be a leader for VBS week?

This is not only a transforming experience for the children attending, but also for the 200+ leaders! Adult and student leaders welcome!
  • A background check for adults 18 and older is required. If you do not already have a current background check on file, this will be emailed to you by our HR team.
  • It is mandatory for all leaders, even if you have served before, to go through the leader training.
  • 6th-7th grade student leaders must serve with a parent.
  • There is 5 year age gap between leaders 8th grade and up. (i.e., if you are in 8th grade, you will enjoy working with children 3rd grade or younger.)
  • 8th-12th graders will be partnered with an adult leader. 11th-12th graders are able to lead a small group with another 11th-12th grader. An interview with a staff member is required for both students.
  • For Special Needs (FUSION) buddies, 6th-8th graders MUST serve with a parent. 9th-12th graders will be paired one-on-one with a FUSION student at the director’s discretion.
Click here to Join the Leader Team for VBS Maker Fun Factory. Students entering 6th-8th grade, please consider signing up for Eternal Impact. Information will be available in Student Ministries.
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Special Needs Assistance One-on-One Buddies
We currently provide One-on-One Buddies during SPARKS (Sunday School) so children with special needs can participate in activities while their parents are in worship services. We also provide One-on-One Buddies during Club 45 (4th and 5th graders), FUEL (Middle School), and IGNITE (High School) so students can fully participate with their peers in all activities.
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Good Shepherd Preschool Weekdays
Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool is a Christian-based preschool with experienced, caring teachers in a friendly, safe atmosphere. Our curriculum based on the Illinois Early Learning Standards and includes Spanish and Musik Garten enrichment classes, monthly Sanctuary visits with the pastors for spiritual growth, and Handwriting without Tears®. Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool Offers:
  • A balance of self-directed learning and teacher planned experiences.
  • Curriculum that includes many opportunities to participate in a wide variety of interests.
  • Parent-teacher communication through monthly and weekly newsletters, e-mails, and parent teacher conferences.
  • A team of director, teachers and teacher assistants who exceed the qualifications of DCFS.
  • Field trips, Mom’s day, Dad’s day, parent informational programs and many other fun activities throughout the year.
For more information, visit the Preschool website.
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