IMG_0492Learn at St. Mary’s: Children ages infant through 5th grade

At St. Mary’s we offer Christian formation for children from preschool age through high school age. Children’s Sunday School classes take place on Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. through approximately 10:40 a.m., when the children join their families in Church at the “Exchange of the Peace. We celebrate a special Joy Mass for children in the Parish Hall on the fourth Sunday of every month beginning at 9:30 a.m.. Following Joy Mass the children report to Sunday School and parents are invited to join us for coffee, conversation and forums for families. We use curriculum carefully designed for each phase of childrens spiritual development. The nature of each age group’s plan is listed below.

Nursery

Newborn through age 3: in the St. Bartholomew

Nursery Care is available in a cozy, sun-filled room full of age-appropriate toys, books and art supplies. Please know children are always welcome in the church! However, Nursery is a wonderful option for little ones who are more content to play on Sunday mornings. All people, regardless of age, are welcome to receive Holy Eucharist. Many families using the Nursery bring their little ones up to Church in time to receive the bread and wine on Sunday mornings. All families are encouraged to pick up their children immediately after the service in order to participate in fellowship during coffee hour.

Godly Play

* Age 3 – Grade 1: in the St. Simon-John Room·

* Grades 2 & 3: Godly Play in the St. Andrew Room·

Godly Play is a reflective and imaginative way of working with children which explicitly recognizes and respects children’s innate spirituality. The curriculum was developed by Jerome Berryman but, is largely based on the work of Sofia Cavaletti and Maria Montessori. Godly Play uses lyrical storytelling accompanied by beautifully hand-crafted wooden figures to bring the sacred stories of the Bible to life for children. The children are invited to gather on the floor in an intimate circle around the storyteller to hear and see the story each week. When the storyteller has finished, the children are asked “wondering questions” designed to help them reflect on the story and make their own meaning. Godly Play helps children become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives by, encouraging curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God. Children are then given free time to create artistically in any manner they feel inspired.

Connect

* 4th – 6th Graders: Meet in the St. James Room

Our preteen group graduates from Godly Play to a curriculum designed specifically for them. We use a combination of Rite 13 lessons as well as a curriculum entitled CONNECT. Our goal is to meet these kids where they are spiritually. The resources are developed specifically for preteens and use a combination of videos with witty humor, their very own workbook Bibles and lots of physical activities. A lot of time is devoted to helping the youth recognize the narrative arc of the Bible.· Our primary focus with this group is to help them recognize the gifts God has given them, celebrate their own creative potential and learn how to act as a community of faith.

Club 46

Our 4th through 6th graders meet one Sunday evening a month for Junior Youth Group activities that focus on outreach and fun. The goal of Club 46 is to have fun while serving our community and to establish a sense of community with one another. Club 46 seeks to be a place where youth feel supported and at home.  We remind young people again and again that the Episcopal Church is their church, and that they are active, valued members who are safe and welcome within it.