Children & Youth

Children are welcome and valued at St. Matthew’s. We encourage children to participate in Sunday worship, attend Sunday School, come to youth group events, and attend Vacation Bible School in August. Friends are always welcome at St. Matthew’s.

  • Nursery

    St. Matthew’s nursery is ideal for children ages 6 months – 5 years old. Volunteers are available in the nursery from 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon on Sunday mornings to watch children during the 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services, as well as during the Adult Education hour from 9:45-10:45 a.m.

  • Sunday School

    September – May
    3 years old through 8th grade
    9:45 – 10:45 a.m.

    Sunday School ends for the 2018-2019 school year on May 19, 2019.  Rally Day 2019, when Sunday School begins a new year, is September 8, 2019.

    CLICK HERE to access our online enrollment form. (If your child attended Sunday School at St. Matthew’s last year, no need to re-enroll.) St. Matthew’s has a vibrant and comprehensive Sunday School program led by dozens of dedicated volunteers. Sunday School is offered Sept-May of each year for 3-year-olds through 8th graders.

    Pre-schoolers and kindergartners use the child-centered Spark curriculum from Augsburg/Fortress.

    1st – 5th Graders participate in Rotational Sunday School, offering a unique rotation of five sites focusing on a variety of learning styles. Students in grades six through eight study a Bible-based curriculum which examines such themes as forgiveness, service, peer relationships, and world religions.

    The Sunday School Director is Gretchen Haugse. If you would like your child to attend St. Matthew’s Sunday School, call the church office, 414-774-0441. Classes are open to all children; non-members and friends of members are welcome.

  • Kids for Christ (Grades 1-3) & Disciples of Christ (Grades 4-5)

    Our children’s ministries Kids for Christ (KFC, grades 1-3) and Disciples of Christ (DOC, grades 4-5) come together for fun, fellowship and food. Friends can also come along. The next dates for these events will begin in September. Click here for the full calendar of events.

  • Vacation Bible School

    August 3-7, 2020
    K4 – 5th Grade (Fall 2020)

    “On Earth As In Heaven”

    It’s different, but it’s going to be fun!! It will be an online event to keep us all safe, with take-home activities to pick up from church.  Each child will still get a tie-dyed t-shirt specially designed for them!
    Although we can’t meet in person, we’d like to invite your children to this year’s VBS experience, “On Earth As In Heaven.”  We will travel around the world learning how the ELCA World Hunger Organization is helping people every day.  We will have a craft for each day–these kits will need to be picked up from church.  Details will be emailed to you. We Need You To SIGN UP NOW so that we can begin to plan.
  • Middle School Ministries & Confirmation

    The middle school ministry revolves around learning, service, and community building.  Sunday School and Confirmation classes provide the content, and several service opportunities are woven into the Confirmation curriculum.  The kids serve in worship, as well, as acolytes and during Lent as readers.

    A variety of relationship-building events are scheduled approximately once a month for 6th-8th graders.  Examples are trips to an apple orchard, rollerskating, water fun, trips to Wisconsin Dells and Great America, and in-house events such as cookie-baking for seniors and capture the flag games around the church building.  Volunteer parents are always appreciated for their help!

    Confirmation is an affirmation of baptism, publicly declared after a course of instruction, participation, and service, when the member is ready to participate fully in the community of faith.  The confirmand promises “to continue in the covenant God made in holy baptism, to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”  (from Evangelical Lutheran Worship)

    Confirmation Classes are offered for 7th and 8th graders with Pastor Chris Manke September through February.  The content includes The Lord’s Prayer, The Apostles’ Creed, Baptism and the Ten Commandments.  Following a small group model, students meet with a group of their peers with a small group volunteer leader, as well as in a big group teaching session with Pastor Chris.  Fellowship nights with their small groups and three service projects round out the curriculum.

    An additional eight weeks of Confirmation are offered for 9th graders at the end of which a Confirmation service is held in November. This class focuses on living out our faith and real-world discussions.

  • High School Ministries

    High School youth are an integral part of the St. Matthew’s family.  Each Sunday during the school year, they may attend a youth forum, which focuses on integrating faith and life.  The kids serve in worship as acolytes and communion assistants, and the drama group presents Gospel skits several times a year.  Service and awareness projects throughout the year culminating in the annual mission trip. Relationships are important, too.  The high school kids are invited to attend a variety of events throughout the year to promote community and to provide a safe place for fun with friends.  A team of volunteer adults makes these events happen. Contact Gretchen Haugse for further information,

  • Mission Trips

    St. Matthew’s high school mission trips are the lynch pin of our youth ministry. These experiences can be life-changing and lead to growth toward serving in our own community. Each year a group of 60-70 persons travels to a U.S. location where our youth can serve and grow in their faith through interactions with others. Recent trips have been to New Orleans for rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina, North Carolina for working with impoverished people, and Colorado to work at Harvest Farm for men in recovery. For the most recent information about upcoming Mission Trips, visit the latest The VOICE newsletter and contact the church office, 414.774.0441 or

  • Choirs & Bells

    St. Matthew’s has an exciting music ministry and opportunities for every age group and skill level. Visit our Choirs & Ensembles page for full details about:

    • Choirs:
      • Praise Kids! (4K and 5K through 2nd Grade)
      • New Creation Choir (3rd – 6th Grade)
      • New Generation Choir (7th – 12th Grade)
    • Handbell Ensembles:
      • Godsbells (4th – 6th Grade)
      • Righteous Ringers (7th – 12th Grade)