Children & Youth Ministry

Sunday School (preK-6th grade) & Youth Group (7-12 Grade)

Sunday school programming is back with the start of school, and all are welcome to join! Please complete the following registration and medical release form prior to the start of programming:

Online Registration & Medical Release Form

Helpful Information about Youth Programming at Good Shepherd:

  • Sunday Youth Programming happens after Sunday worship under the leadership of 1 teacher, and 1 adult helper per classroom. 
  • Students, Sunday school teachers/volunteers, are dismissed for Sunday School at 10:30am even if the worship service has not yet concluded. This provides students an opportunity to socialize and get a treat before Sunday School starts. By 10:45, students (accompanied by a parent for children younger than 6th grade) proceed to designated classrooms.
  • A check-in and check-out sheet are in each classroom. Parents need to sign in/out their children younger than 6th grade.


CALENDAR for 2022-23: 

  • Blessing of the Backpacks: August 21st during the 9:30 am worship service: All students and school personnel will receive a special blessing during church for the upcoming academic year.
  • Sunday School and Youth Group: September 11th – May 14th.  Class is 10:45 AM – 11:30am. Sunday School and Youth Forum will generally follow the Decorah Community School calendar with a couple of exceptions. There will be no programming: Oct. 16th, Nov. 6th,  27th, Dec. 25th, Jan. 1st, 15th, Feb. 19th, April 9th, and May 7.
  • Christmas Program: December 18th, 5:00 pm. Simple dinner provided, with each family sharing cookies.. Rehearsal dates: Dec. 4, 11, 18 during Sunday School.

These classes are a way for students to explore and grow in faith and then affirm their faith publicly. Classes also provide community, connection with caring adults, and the opportunity to affirm their baptismal identities as God’s beloved children. Here is a general overview:

  • Classes are taught by Pr. Amy. Youth Director, Kelli Gapinski, and other adults also help with Confirmation.
  • Students explore the Bible, the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments as well as Lutheran teachings about them.
  • Class is held most Wednesday nights in the school year from 7-8pm except during Advent and Lent. During Advent and Lent, students are expected to attend midweek worship with their family. During Lent students meet with a mentor during Lenten Soup Suppers.
  • Most students do regular Confirmation classes in 7th and 8th grade but students can start later as well.
  • During the fall of 9th grade, students meet two additional times to prepare for Affirmation of Baptism. 9th graders are asked to write a brief faith statement.
  • The Affirmation of Baptism service happens on the last Sunday in October on Reformation Sunday during the 9:30am worship service.

Here are specifics for the 2022-2023  year:

  • There will be no class or midweek worship: Oct. 12, Nov. 23, Dec 28, April 12
  • During Advent and Lent, Wednesday worship at 5:30 pm takes the place of class, students are expected to attend with families.
    • Advent: Wednesdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 21, 5:30pm
    • Lent: Wednesdays Mar. 1- Mar. 29, 5:30pm
  • Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22), Maundy Thursday (April 6), Good Friday (April 7) worship services are at 7pm and take the place of class. Students are asked to attend with families.
  • The last class of the year will be May 10.

2022-23 Sunday School Programming Support 

Awaken your faith by helping with Good Shepherd youth classes!

 Our Sunday School & Youth Group classes are growing and we need helpers. The teachers do all the prep and leadership. We are in need of other adults to be a second, supportive presence in the room. This requires just 45-60 minutes of your time a few times a year and a very brief background check for new volunteers. Sign up HERE or under the Sign-Ups Tab. 

Child and Youth Abuse Prevention Program

At the Annual Meeting of the Congregation on February 4, 2018, a Child and Youth Abuse Prevention Program was formally adopted by the Good Shepherd congregation.  The program was recommended by the ELCA as well as Church Mutual, the Good Shepherd insurance company, and ratified by the Congregation Council.  Legal counsel was also consulted.

Abuse Prevention Program


First Communion/Confirmation