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Focus on Children

Kinder

Children are a gift from God! Parents and guardians have a pre-eminent responsibility for the development of the faith of their children. They pray with them, foster their first trust in God and his Son, and show them how to respect creation and love their neighbour.

To support parents in this task, various courses of teaching are open to children in keeping with their age.

Sunday Pre-school

Cover: Vorsonntagsschule
Picture source: Verlag Friedrich Bischoff [Friedrich Bischoff Publishers]
During the Sunday service, children aged from 4 to 6 can attend Sunday pre-school. This does not involve teaching in the traditional sense. Instead, a solid foundation of faith is laid in an entertaining form appropriate to children. The teachers are able to make use of a teaching manual based on the most recent educational insights. Its content relates to stories from the Old and New Testaments. These are explained to the children with the appropriate materials, in words and pictures, through painting and craft activity. All the themes bear a clear relation to the lives of the children. Through their shared sense of community, the love and understanding they experience from the teachers and their shared experience and sensation of the protection of God, the children come to the realisation: ‘God loves me, I can always trust him.’

Sunday School

Cover: Sonntagsschule
Picture source: Verlag Friedrich Bischoff [Friedrich Bischoff Publishers]

School on Sunday? It’s something that for most children would hardly bear thinking about. But in the New Apostolic Church it’s a different story. Children of primary school age are enthusiastic about attending ‘their’ Sunday school, which takes place during the Sunday service. The object of the instruction is to stimulate and encourage the joyful sense of community, to enable children to find out about God and his works in the light of the Bible and to strengthen faith in his promises. Sunday school follows on from Sunday pre-school. Here again topical teaching materials are available for use. Together with the rest of the congregation, the children take part in the Holy Lord’s Supper on a regular basis. 

Communal leisure time activities are also offered. These may involve meetings bringing together children of different regions, or activities within the congregation.

Depending on local circumstances, children attending the Sunday school and Sunday pre-school may contribute musical performances to special services or to the annual Christmas celebration.

Religion Lessons

Cover: Religionsunterricht
Picture source: Verlag Friedrich Bischoff [Friedrich Bischoff Publishers]
Religion lessons in the New Apostolic Church are offered to children between the ages of 10 and 13. The basis of the teaching is a three-volume textbook published by the New Apostolic Church. The instructors are educationalists and trained teachers from the church congregations. Designed to be full of contemporary interest, the teaching should help the children to develop into responsible and joyful Christians and give them a deeper understanding of biblical history and God’s redemptive plan.

Confirmation Courses

Cover: Konfirmandenunterricht
Picture source: Verlag Friedrich Bischoff [Friedrich Bischoff Publishers]

Confirmation courses are concerned with the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church, and prepare the children for confirmation. Since the year 2012, the confirmation services of the New Apostolic Church have been taking place on the last Sunday in April and the first Sunday in May. The one-year course of preparation starts after the Easter holidays.
The content of the New Apostolic faith is discussed in depth between confirmation candidates and their teacher. Here decisions based on free will are the crucial element.  This is likewise expressed in the title of the textbook ‘Auch ich will...’ [‘I want it too...’]. As the process of decision cannot be viewed in separation from life in the family, the parents are invited to the first and last lessons of the course.

Children’s Services and Children’s Days

Special services for children take place at regular intervals – in the local congregation, at church district level or under the auspices of the entire regional church. In addition, children’s days and children’s festivals may be organised in keeping with the needs of the local community. Children’s days generally start with a children’s service, and after that offer plenty of time for playing and romping around together.

Sonntagsschule in der Gemeinde
Picture source: F-Eschersheim
Kindergottesdienst in Wiesbaden 2007
Picture source: Marcel Felde
Communal leisure time activities are also offered. These can involve children coming together from different regions, or may be restricted to the local church community.