Christian education and spirituality are important elements of the Congregational Church of Austin’s ministry. We do not dictate specific doctrines, creeds, or beliefs. Rather, we encourage one another to bring traditional expressions of Christian faith into open-minded dialogue with contemporary forms of knowledge, to reflect deeply on our religious beliefs and spiritual experiences, to acknowledge and wrestle with our questions and doubts, to bring our faith and spirituality to bear on the world’s most pressing issues, and to continuously grow and mature as human beings.
We introduce children to key Biblical stories, faith concepts, and the church’s ministry. With older youth, we continue building on the basics, but include more opportunities for personal reflection on beliefs and spiritual experience, and encourage reflection on the relationship between faith, daily life choices, and contemporary events. Adults focus on the interpretation of scripture, theology and spiritual practice, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in today’s highly complex world. The following describes our various Christian education ministries.
Children’s Sunday School We offer a weekly Sunday School program for children. The program includes Bible stories, faith exploration, and hands-on projects. Children participate in the opening of our worship service and then proceed to the Sunday School program. The church provides professional childcare services for infants and toddlers.
Youth Reflections We offer a weekly reflection group for older youth (middle school and high school). The youth reflect on scripture, faith and spirituality, contemporary events, and other issues relevant to their daily lives.
Confirmation Class We offer a confirmation class for teen-aged youth who wish to reflect in some depth on their faith and spirituality, and their membership in the Christian church. The class helps youth better understand the Bible, the church’s ministry, and faith as an on-going relationship with God and God’s creation.
Discipleship Group We offer a Discipleship Group that provides on-going support to adults as they seek to follow the way of Christ. This group provides people the opportunity to share personal aspects of their lives, openly reflect on the challenges of following Christ in our contemporary society, share spiritual experiences, and feel they are truly heard and supported by people who love and care for them. This group meets once a month.
Special Christian Education Series We offer periodic after-worship classes, discussion groups, and forums on a range of topics. Topics include the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, Christian theology and spirituality, contemporary issues like climate change and immigration justice, and more personal issues like death and dying.