REGISTER for children’s ministry programs


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.

REGISTER for children’s ministry programs

PDF Download 2017-2018 Children’s Ministry Calendar

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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. All are welcome! Church membership is not required to participate. Register on the main children's ministry page. 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). All 4th and 5th graders are welcome! Church membership is not required to participate. Register on the main children's ministry page. Already Registered: Forms (downloadable pdfs) Additional Information (downloadable pdfs)
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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.R Register on the main children's ministry page.
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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
Register on the main children's ministry page.
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First Communion 4th grade and older
First Communion is a monumental time in every child's life.  Each January, all parents and their children, 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. THIS IS A TWO-PART EVENT. In order to participate in the First Communion worship service, FULL participation in the entire retreat is essential.
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.
  • 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 $35 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.
  • 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 begins in November for the next First Communion Retreat and Service. 

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Special Needs Support In Children and Student Ministries
Our goal is for all children and students to be able to successfully participate in all ministries with their peers. Based on each child’s individual needs, we provide:
  • One-on-one buddies
  • Coordination with staff and small group leaders
  • Accommodations (visual schedules, fidgets, etc.)
These supports are available in all children and student ministry opportunities and special events. If you have any questions, please click the "Email Leader" button below. Register for children's ministry activities on the main children's ministry page. Registration for student ministry activities coming soon.
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Vacation Bible School
Registration for VBS 2018 is now closed. 

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 - 36 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.
Students entering 6th - 8th grade can consider signing up for Eternal Impact. Information will be available in Student Ministries. Full-time leaders do not pay for nursery-aged registered children (birth - 36 months). A VBS T-shirt included in registration if registered by early deadline. Payment through online registration. For more information Roseanne at Registration for VBS 2018 is now closed. 
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Family Worship Events
All of our family ministries work together to create a worship experience geared towards the ENTIRE family (parents, kids, teens and grandparents, too). In addition to the service, family worship events may include an optional meal, encouraging fellowship time with our community. Watch for details on upcoming events.  

Purpose/Vision of Family Worship:

Connect families in community to engage in activities that foster a heart posture toward God in everyday life.  

Upcoming Events: Save the Date!

  • August 25, 2018: Back-to-School Family Worship, including annual Blessing of the Backpacks. Details coming soon!

Annual events:

  • Ash Wednesday
  • Summertime Family Worship
  • Back-to-School Worship
  • ADVENT Night
Dates and details will be posted as events are coming up.
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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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Preschool Camp 2018 Summer Offerings

Good Shepherd Preschool Camp For ages 3 - 6


Week #1: June 4th – 7th, 9:00 – 11:30am

- Camping Adventures: Join fellow campers as we prepare for all things camping! We may hunt for treasures, follow wild animal tracks, dig for fossils, go hiking or go fishing. At the end of our daily adventure, we will return to the safety of our tent for stories around our indoor campfire. - Cooking with Science: Come and mix it up this summer. We will be reading, creating and mixing all week long, from blueberry muffins to designing and flying rockets! - Sticky Slimy Fingers: Come and enjoy a bunch of sensory fun with gooey, slimy, hands-on activities.

Week #2: June 11th – 15th, 9:00 – Noon

- Vacation Bible School at Good Shepherd Church: Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. Register here.  

Week #3: June 18th – June 21st, 9:00 – 11:30am

- Scientific Discoveries: Discover new things as we do science experiments, crafts and games themed around dinosaurs, gardening, outer space, and more! - Under the Sea: Calling ALL divers! We will explore the wonderful world of fish, sharks, jellyfish, and crabs during this fun-filled week at sea!

Week #4: June 25th – 28th, 9:00 – 11:30am

- Adventures Around the World: An African safari, Mexican fiesta, the Australian outback and more await us as we explore the world! We’ll do crafts, play games, and learn songs themed to a different country every day. - Camp ROBOT: We will be learning about robots through science, technology, engineering, and math!

Please click here to download and print the Summer Camp: Application for Admission form. Please submit application forms and check, made payable to "Good Shepherd Preschool", at the Connect Center, label envelope "Summer Camp 2018."

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