Children & youth
Every Methodist community in Austria has its own children’s department. The main focus is the children’s hour and/or Sunday School which takes place on Sunday mornings during worship. The children are present at the beginning of worship. Moreover, it is important to us that the children see themselves as members of the community, attending worship on a Sunday together with everyone else. At a certain point during the course of worship, the children go to their children’s hour. As a general rule, the children’s hour begins with a song and a prayer. Afterwards, the children are divided into groups by age and they read a bible story. The meaning of the story is illustrated through games, drawing, painting and collage work and other handicrafts.
In addition, some churches offer children’s bible days, children’s afternoons and special activities together with the children such as excursions.
In nearly all churches, family worship is a regular occurrence. Children remain in worship for the duration of the service, which is particularly tailored to suit them.
The department for children and youth organises training for people involved
Once a year during the summer months, a children’s camp takes place. The children work through a prearranged theme, although they have plenty of time for friendship, fun, games and sports, too.
» Teenager & Youth
» Having teenagers in our church communities is vitally important to us. «
Many of our communities have a teenager or youth group , strengthening contacts and friendships while at the same time, enabling an atmosphere in which faith is discussed as well as social and society issues. Games, fun and community are also vital elements of the meetings.
Themen- und Aktionstage“ (TAT) (Theme and activity days) are relatively new (since 2003) for 12 – 15 year olds. The concept is educational and is specially adapted to this particular age group. Life and faith themes are discussed in a manner suited to the age bracket and information on the profile of the Methodist Church also is provided. Ideally, these afternoons are prepared and carried out by a team from the community together with the pastor, thus intensifying the contact between the individual and the church community. As a general rule, these afternoons take place 3 – 4 times a year. Once a year, the department for children and youth arranges a weekend for all teenagers in line with the theme and activity days.
The department for children and youth invites the teenagers to take part in the annual youth camp, which takes place at Pentecost / Whitsun. A prearranged theme is also discussed here, although there are plenty of sport and games as well. Community is a major focus.
Meetings are arranged approximately once a year in the various cities. The teenager / youth group from one church community acts as host. The programme includes thematic discussions as well as societal questions.
The department for children and youth arranges training fort he work with teenagers and youth from time to time.
VolunteersThe department for children and youth is only possible thanks to the work of many volunteers, providing love, commitment and expertise, as well as their time.
Pastor Wilfried Nausner is Officer for Children’s Work, while Pastor Anke Neuenfeldt is Officer for Youth Work. Both positions are additional to pastoral work.