COLUMBIA — No matter where you are in at Alive in Christ Lutheran Church on Wednesday nights, you hear laughter.
In the children and youth wings of the building, there are giggles and the sound of feet running. Around the adult study rooms, there are chuckles and murmurs of discussion.
The church’s fusion program began Aug. 31 as an eight-week evening program. It is designed to involve a range of people from kindergarten to adults.
Fusion is open to the community, and the pastor, Tim Morris, encourages people to come and see what it’s all about.
“Everybody’s welcome,” he said. “We wanted a program for really focusing on our children.”
Programs are offered for kindergarteners to high school students. For the K-5 crowd, 25-minute rotations of crafts, games and Bible lessons are available — guided by adult leaders called shepherds. The children learn a different Bible story each week, and this week it was the creation story.
“We want them to have a relationship with our church locally and our people here,” said Amy Kollmeyer, developer of music and children’s ministries.
While the K-5 students made “creation cubes” with six sides corresponding to the six days of creation in the Bible, the youth, grades 6 to 12, videotaped themselves making human water fountains and doing scenes from "Mission Impossible" for a scavenger hunt.
“Christians like to have fun,” said adult helper Cheri Stoffer. “We’re responsible while we’re having a good time.”
This is apparent in the youth-aged students, who can easily name off the ideals that they are taught will shape them — “the media you watch, the books you read and the people you’re around,” according to one group of youth-goers.
But children’s programming goes hand-in-hand with another group: parents. There are three class programs available to adults during Wednesday night Fusion: “Thinking Like a Christian,” “Faithful, Purposeful Finances” and a book study.
During Morris’ discussion in “Thinking Like a Christian,” members discerned whether or not they thought certain news articles from different papers related to the Bible.
“Ultimately, the idea of this class is to get a bigger picture,” Morris said, and that seems to be a theme throughout all of the programs.
“Speak the truth and love,” Kollmeyer said to the adult “shepherds” as they prayed before meeting with the children. “That’s what we’re all about.”
Contact information, directions and an event calendar may found on church’s website.