This year we’ll be offering three different classes for our children’s Christian formation. Learn a bit more about them and discern what will be the best fit! They are broken up roughly by ages, but it may make sense for some children to jump up or down, depending on their temperament, readiness, the presence of siblings, and so forth. We’re flexible, and want to help each child find the best-fitting place to explore these sacred stories and their faith!
Classes meet most Sundays, from 10:10 to 11:05. Please support your child in getting the full experience by bringing them on time, so they don’t miss the story, and help your teachers make it to church afterwards by picking your child up on time!
Godly Play (roughly ages 3-8)
This is a very carefully honed approach to opening up sacred story and tradition with children, leaning heavily on the Montessori approach. The goal is to have everything designed and accessible to young children, honoring the belief that they already know God, and would simply benefit from having some language and stories to express and expand the experience they’ve already had. Stories are told in a circle using beautiful carved wood, felt, and other items that grab children’s imagination without being too directive. There is time after the story for the whole circle to wonder aloud together, reflecting on how they’ve experienced it and how they may recognize connections to their own lives. (Take note that this is very different from testing for comprehension or recall — the storyteller doesn’t know the answers, either… indeed there are no “right answers” to these questions!) After the story, the children engage in “work,” in the Montessori sense: playing with the story pieces, building new connections, play-acting, and working with all kinds of art possibilities to respond to what they’ve heard. Finally, they gather to share a feast, which is small in quantity but robust in heart, connection, and their engagement with each other as a community of peers.
This year we’ll be holding “Work Days” roughly once a month, with all the ages together, (including the 9-11 year old crew!) giving them more time to take a deep dive into the stories on their own terms, and respond through a wide range of media and supplies.
Classes are organized as Godly Play Junior (roughly ages 3-5) and Godly Play Senior (roughly ages 6-8). To begin in the Junior class, it’s ideal that children be able to join in a circle to hear the story. If this is challenging for child, but you feel like they are ready and eager to participate, let’s talk together about strategies or accommodations to make them welcome! Typically parents are not part of the circle in Godly Play, but it can be helpful for kids just getting used to this new setting, or if they need additional support. Both Godly Play classrooms are located in the basement beneath the Sanctuary.
Seasons of the Spirit (roughly ages 9-11)
Last year we did a trial run of this new curriculum, and are eager to dive into it again this year! For our older children, roughly ages 9-11, we use this program to work with the lectionary (the calendar of scripture that we hear on Sundays). The curriculum asks big questions of these maturing children, looking at issues of social justice and often through the lens of art. The class meets in the Crow’s Nest – up the back stairs and at the end of the hallway, above the Parish Hall.