Ministry to Children and Youth
On Sundays from 9:30 to 10:20 AM (during the school year), children in Pre-School (ages 3 and 4) through the fifth grade participate in Sunday School. The curriculum used is Weaving God's Promises, which focuses on "weaving our faith, weaving together the family of God and weaving God's beloved community." Middle School students spend time with adult mentors in the Youth House. They dig into a curriculum or have theme based discussions. High School Youth participate in Jesus and Java in the youth house with the Youth Minister and other adults. Once a quarter Middle and High School Youth participate in Living Your Faith Sunday when they experience faith outside this church. For example, they visit other churches, worship outdoors on a hike or serve as volunteers at Daily Bread or Miriam’s House or other needs based organization.
Children ages Preschool through 5th grade have their own Children’s Chapel during the 10:30 service on Sunday mornings. Chapel takes place during the Sermon. Children are invited to join the Procession during the Sequence Hymn and follow an acolyte to the Chapel. There they learn about the Church calendar and objects or symbols we use in worship, hear a Bible story, and say prayers and sing together. The children return to church at the Peace to participate in the Eucharist with their families.
Our choirs for young people are part of the Royal School of Church Music program. Children begin by participating in a Training Choir, where they learn to sing as well as to develop skills necessary to participate in worship services. When they are ready the children become full members of the Treble Choir. Children in the Treble and Training choirs usually sing in church twice a month.
Educational opportunities are provided in connection with sacramental ministries such as Baptismal preparation which is available several times per year.
We provide care for infants and toddlers each Sunday from 8 a.m. through the conclusion of the 10:30 a.m. liturgy. There is an infant room with cribs and a room for toddlers. Childcare is provided by our nursery attendant and assistants who have been trained in Safegaurding God's Children.
The Young Child in the Pew
Adults sometimes wonder why we bring small children into the church. Having them there is rather like having them eat at the supper table even though their manners are not elegant. They wiggle, poke and swing their legs simply because they are children; they also sing, pray and give with us. We do not want our children to be disruptive or hamper the church's worship; but on the other hand, we must remember that baptized children are members of the Body of Christ--the Church--and children should be among the worshiping people. They must participate in their own way, for they cannot participate as adults. They are growing in understanding and learning to take their place in the church family. Human beings, both large and small, attain meaning only after they have experiences to interpret.
We, as adults, can accept and perhaps even value the children's restlessness during worship, but they are learning:
• that it is important to come to this place on Sunday;
• that the sights, sounds and feelings of the church are good, though they aren't always understandable;
• that something is expected of them in this place; and
• that they respond with song and prayer and offering