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

    (No nursery at this time as we resume some normal worship times) 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.

    Rally Day 2021, when Sunday School begins a new year, is September 19, 2021.

    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 (VBS)

    August 2-6, 2021
    K4 – 5th Grade (Fall 2021) 8:30-11:45am

    We are excited to announce that we will be having an in-person Vacation Bible School!!!

    Due to Covid-19, there will be limitations to how many participants we can safely accommodate. We are so excited to gather in-person but want you to be aware that Covid precautions will be taken. Masking in the building will be required. We will email a full set of instructions to participants a couple of weeks before VBS begins.

    Things will be run a bit differently this year…

    1st thru 5th graders will meet Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri. (NOT WEDNESDAY)

    Jr & Sr. K will meet ONLY Wednesday. (cohorts of 12 children)

    Virtual Option: We will offer an at home virtual option (if there is enough interest.) If you’d prefer the virtual choice, mark the virtual option box instead of selecting the child’s grade.

    Participants will be organized into small groups/cohorts (20-25) to minimize exposure to Covid-19. We will organize by grades but may have some mixed aged cohorts depending on sign ups.

    Registration will be open to St. Matthew’s members until June 30 and we will open up to non-members on July 1st. Once slots are full, we will close registration.

    Volunteers are needed, but again spots will be limited, and preference may be given to experienced helpers.

    Register Here

    Sign up to be a volunteer here (Adults & Youth needed, experience preferred)

  • 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)