Youngster Program Mission

The mission of the House of Mercy youngster Program is to point youngsters to the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ by the following means:

·       Learning the story of Jesus, and other Biblical stories

·       Exploring & experiencing the classic elements of Christian worship

·       Celebrating God’s gifts of creativity by making songs, images and stories

·       Fostering an ethic of care and a sense of responsibility for each other and for all of creation

Motivation: Free Faith Instead of Religious Manipulation

At its best, the Church in its history has been moved by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus Christ as the Good News of God’s radical love and engagement with the world. But at its worst, the Church has used tactics such as manipulation, fear and shame. Since children are especially vulnerable to such tactics, we believe that we must pay great attention to what motivates our attempts to teach our children about Jesus Christ. While our community is far less than perfect, our aim is to create a climate of trust and to foster a receptivity to the love of God as revealed in Christ and experienced in worship. That is, we aim to have no other agenda than simply pointing to the free, radical and life-changing grace of God that is shown to us in Jesus Christ.


How that plays out

Here at House of Mercy we have a nursery for kids 0-3 years old which is open during the church service. Youngsters 3-11 years stay for the first 10ish minutes of church, for prayer, announcements and a song; and then a led out to the tune of “Youngsters Parade” to their respective classes. Our Youngster classes are divided by age (currently 3-5 yr old, K&1st grade, 2&3rd grade, 4-6th grade). Classes are taught by adults from the church, 3 volunteers for each class, who do a three week rotation from September-June. In summer we have youngster programming with a play, art and service focus. Elder Youngsters (12-18 yrs old) meet with an adult leader as well, but their schedule is a 4 week rotation: 3 weeks a month with their teachers, and once a month they attend the complete church service. Throughout the year we have youngster family events as well. Kristine Bjerkaas Friese, our youngster programs coordinator can be reached at

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