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Christian formation for children at All Saints’ is both informational and experiential. Our task is to develop a sense of the ongoing nature of Christian formation and to provide parents with tools to encourage such formation at home. In addition to Sunday School classes, all children are actively involved in aspects of the 10:15AM service during Advent, Lent, and on most major feast days. Throughout the year, special family-oriented activities take place after church. Parents are encouraged to participate in their children’s formation both at All Saints’ and at home through specific purposeful activities and forums. The Sunday School program as a whole is coordinated by the Directors of Christian Education.
Sunday School takes place in “The Haven”. This welcoming space, directly below the sanctuary, is decorated in rich, warm colors and the large central area has couches for relaxation and socialization. The various classrooms surround this central space so that each age group has a space of its own. Sunday School is small enough so that there is a natural sense of community and large enough to offer diversity.
For the 2017-18 school year:
- Mary Bostock, seasoned teacher of Godly Play, will continue to offer Sacred Stories to grades Kindergarten through 3rd. Lessons are told by way of felt figures, so that the students are able to visualize the Bible story in felt figure form. After the lesson, the students have time to reflect with Mary on the story through crafts, games and hands-on play with the figures. At the end of each class, Mary offers them candle time, leading them in prayer and peace.
- Fourth grade through eighth will begin to study the Psalms, using the Episcopal Children’s Curriculum which is very good and which successfully links stories with liturgy, explaining why we do what we do in the sanctuary on Sundays. Each class will include an introduction, some exploration of theme and mood, a connection to current events if appropriate (particularly after the anniversary of 9/11) and opportunities for hands-on artistic and creative responses to the lesson.
- In January we hope to have a third teacher for older students on Genesis, reading familiar stories with a new and keen ear for God’s intent in creation for us humans. We will analyze the text as literature in the hope of opening our hearts and minds to the mystery of God. We may do some crafts around the creation stories; we will certainly attempt to act out the stories to get a handle on the feelings and responses both to God and to each other that the actions and their consequences are meant to engender.
For younger children, childcare is available in “The Haven” throughout the 9:00AM adult forums and the 10:15AM service. Nursery care is always available for infants and toddlers.
During the school year, the Youth Group meets on the first and third Sunday of the month, directly after church services, for 60-90 minutes, depending on the scheduled activity, and at other specially scheduled times for fellowship, outreach, lock-ins and service projects.Youth Group is open to all students who are currently in 6th through 12th grades. There will always be food, either a simple meal or a bag lunch.
Outside of Youth Group activities, the youth of All Saints’ also frequently serve as acolytes, which participate regularly in Sunday morning and feast-day worship services.
To stay up to date on upcoming Youth events, join the All Saints’ Youth Group facebook page HERE. Friends and newcomers are always welcome at our youth events. We’d love to see you soon!
KidsKlub will meet after church on the second Sunday of each month, for about 60-90 minutes, depending on our activity. KidsKlub is open to all students in 1st through 5th grades. We will share a simple meal, or a bag lunch. Parents are invited to attend if they choose. Our first outing will be Sunday, October 8th to Terhune Orchard’s Apple Day, from noon to 5:00 p.m. You are free to leave the farm whenever you need to do so.
Summers typically see the youth group involved in outreach or mission trips. Since 2009, the youth have traveled to Wenham, Massachusetts for Passport Camps, where they take part in various mission projects around the area. Previous trips have taken the youth to Mexico to build a house for a family and down to Florida for a Faith in 3D conference.
We will schedule a one-week mission trip this summer, either the last week of June or during the first two weeks of July, with GroupMissions or some other organization that specializes in offering young people the opportunity to encounter Christ through mission and service to others. We will go to a site within a day’s drive from the church, for 5 or 6 days, to a mission camp that will include service work, meeting youth from other churches and non-denominational praise and worship with music and messages especially designed for teens. Any youth who has completed 6th through 12th grade by June 2018 is eligible to join us. The cost to individual campers will depend on Vestry support and fundraising, but should not exceed $100 per camper. As we firm up plans, we will have more information for you.
One key aspect of our Christian Education program is our Confirmation Class. This is a weekly class, offered each year, for all, young and old alike, to explore the different dimensions of the Christian Faith in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition. Led by one member of the clergy or staff, the class offers an overview of theology, Bible, and liturgical and worship practices in the church. The class’s curriculum is very accessible, and mentors are assigned to each confirmand for nurture and growth in their respective faith journeys.
While the “typical” age for Confirmation for membership is around 7th grade, all those who are interested in joining All Saints’ are encouraged to attend and get in touch with the rector (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Christian Education Director (email@example.com). Above all, we will be excited to have you join us and thrilled that you are considering All Saints’ to be your church home.