Saturday, January 14, 2017
Discipling our ‘Young Saints’
Many exciting things are happening this Fall in Children’s Ministries at St. Andrew’s! Our Young Saints ministry is not a mundane Sunday “school,” but an experience of God’s grace through hands on learning and becoming true disciples of Christ.
Paul writes in Ephesians about equipping the saints, and that is a highly important value for children’s ministry at St. Andrew’s.
Children & Godly Play
This school year brings a return to Godly Play, which fits the Anglican tradition well. Godly Play is a Montessori-based approach to religious education. Bible stories and lessons about the liturgy of the church are told using multi-sensory materials, followed by a period of wondering together. Each child is then invited to respond individually to the story through play (or work) with the lessons materials, an art response or in other activity.
This year, we’ll be focusing on “Bible Heroes,” and studying the lives of some of the great people of the Old Testament. Lessons on the Calendar of the Church Year; Advent and Lent; the great feasts of Christmas and Easter; and the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism will be woven throughout the year.
Godly Play is offered between our Sunday services, at 10:15 a.m. Classes are offered for four age groups, and the second session will be a single multi-age class to accommodate the smaller number of children who attend that service. Nursery is offered at both the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services for children ages 4 and under who are not in Godly Play. Children join the congregation to participate in the Holy Eucharist.
Helping our children grow in relationship with Jesus
Children’s Ministries at St. Andrew's seek to teach our children how God’s Word revealed in Jesus Christ is relevant to their lives today. Bible classes are offered for toddlers through 6th graders, with memorable stories from both the Old and New Testaments and activities designed for varied learning styles and ages. The teaching methods used are designed help children apply timeless Bible truths to their lives.
Our Christian formation program for children ages 2½-years-old through 5th Grade employs an approach to religious education that allows children to enter into sacred stories from the Old Testament, the parables of Jesus and the liturgy of the church in order to help them discover God, their place in salvation history, and their role in Christian community. Our goal is for each child to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus, and to learn to hear his voice so that they may live their life according to his will. Rather than simply helping them come to know about Jesus, we want to help them grow in relationship with him as their Lord and their Savior.
About Godly Play
Godly Play was developed by the Rev. Jerome Berryman, who studied under Sofia Cavaletti, the developer of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and a pioneer in Montessori-based religious education. Bible stories and lessons about the liturgy of the church are told using multi-sensory materials, and a period of wondering together about the stories follows. Each child brings to the wondering time a unique perspective and a different response each time the stories are told, and their responses are deeply honored.
Following the wondering time, children are invited to respond to the story in a prayerful way. In Godly Play, a child's response is personal, not prescribed. While a variety of art materials are available for them to use in the response time, there is not an organized craft. Neither is there a "right" response. Some children will play (or work) with the lesson materials; others will create a piece of art or write in a journal. Some will choose a different activity each week; others will work on the same activity week after week.
Because Godly Play is concerned with a child's long-term growth, the core lessons are presented in all three years at each of the three levels of Godly Play, beginning with children 3½-years-old through Kindergarten. Children will discover deeper meaning in the Scriptures and the liturgy of the Church at each age level. This will empower them to apply the lessons to their own lives as they grow deeper in relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Enrichment lessons are available for older children, which provide for a deeper understanding of the core lessons, moving beyond the stories themselves to allow children to incorporate them into their life experience.
For children 18-months-old through 3½, we offer a simplified curriculum to meet their needs.
To learn more about Godly Play, click here.
A nursery, staffed by volunteers, is provided on Sundays for children age 4 and under during our 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. worship services. Parents are welcome to take advantage of this service, or to keep their children with them during the liturgy. Children in the Nursery join their parents for communion.
Your children’s teachers are volunteers from our parish who have a heart for Jesus and a passion for passing on his love to our children. Because we want to do all that we can to ensure the safety of our children, we do a background checks on all volunteers who work regularly with children. You may join the Children’s Ministries team by volunteering as an room assistant or a nursery aide. It is only through the dedicated efforts of more than 30 Children’s Ministries volunteers that we are able to provide these vital ministries to our children.
Parents Role in Children’s Ministries
We are partners with you in your child’s religious education, but you have the greatest influence on their lives and the greatest impact on their faith. We encourage you to bring your child to church each Sunday, and ask them what they are learning in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Parents are also welcome to visit their child's atrium at any time, and we encourage you to take an active role by volunteering in an atrium or with any of the special activities we have throughout the year.
St. Andrew’s participating in Ministry Safe Training
Volunteers in Children’s and Youth Ministries at St. Andrew’s, as well as staff members, participate in in Ministry Safe Training through the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes. The online training is another step in maintaining our quality education ministries, while doing our part to help assure the safety of our children. Click here to learn more about this program. If you are a volunteer at St. Andrew's, please click here to learn about the steps you need to take to complete these training requirements.
Please feel free to email us you want to learn even more!For information about Children’s Ministries at St. Andrew’s.