New after-school Christian education program being offered to area kids

CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER The Rev. Elliott Malm of Mabel First Lutheran Church is one of three Mabel-area pastors who have organized an after-school Christian education program.
Charlie Warner

A new after-school Christian education program is being offered to Mabel area youth. The sessions will be held every Wednesday, beginning in October, starting right after school and concluding at 5 p.m.

Many area churches have been finding it difficult to attract the children of their congregations to Sunday morning education sessions, most commonly referred to as “Sunday school,” according to the Rev. Elliott Malm of Mabel First Lutheran Church. So a number of churches in the Mabel area have gone together to develop an alternative, which will be held at Mabel First Lutheran every Wednesday during the school year.

Mabel First Lutheran, Scheie Lutheran and Mabel/Newburg Methodist churches are partnering in the program. But Malm was quick to note that any and all youth, ages kindergarten through seventh grade, regardless of their church affiliation are encouraged to attend. The sessions will be held at First Lutheran, which is just a half block from the Mabel-Canton Public School.

The Wednesday afternoon offering is called “All That’s Good.” ATG is a cooperative ministry being organized and staffed by volunteers from the four Mabel-area churches.  

“Our churches are seeing a change in memberships and our Sunday school classes have been dwindling,” Malm noted. “This program will probably replace our traditional Sunday school program. We plan to hold it through May to coincide with the school year. The program will include basic Bible lessons, Bible stories and music. And snacks will be provided. We hope to have area musicians to stop by to perform for and with the kids. And we will probably conduct some service projects, do Christmas caroling and other activities.”

If all goes well, Malm said they may even present a Christmas pageant to the public during the holiday season.

Malm said he has received positive feedback from the community concerning the program. He added that residents feel it is nice to see cooperation between the local churches to offer a program like this for area youth.

The ATG planning team is made up of the Revs. Malm, Mary Waudby and Pam Seebach, Deb Marsden and Rhonda Schmeizer. For more information and/or to register online, log onto: