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. Our goal is for each child to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd, 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.
Our Christian formation program for toddlers through 5th Grade features Godly Play, a Montessori-based 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 to help them discover God, their place in salvation history, and their role in Christian community. 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 individually to the story through play (or meaningful and reflective work) with the lessons materials, an art response, or another activity.
For children 18-months-old through pre-school, we offer a Young Lambs class, with a simplified curriculum to meet the needs of younger children.
Working with children or youth?
Please make sure you’ve completed your Ministry Safe Training and background check forms!
More 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.
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.
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.
Children’s Chapel is offered during the Liturgy of the Word at the 9 a.m. service. Immediately after the reading of the Gospel, children in pre-school through elementary school follow a wooden cross to a classroom off the Gathering Area, where they worship God in a way that is meaningful to them, and which mirrors what the adults are doing in “big church.” Children will hear a sermon, often participatory in nature, before joining together in the Nicene or Apostles Creed, the Prayers of the People, and a general Confession. Children re-join the congregation at “The Peace” 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 check on all volunteers who work regularly with children. Volunteers also complete an online Ministry Safe training.
You may join the Children’s Ministries team by assisting in one of the classrooms, volunteering to help with materials preparation, volunteering as a room assistant or a nursery aide, or in a variety of other capacities. It is only through the dedicated efforts of our Children’s Ministries volunteers that we are able to provide these vital ministries to our children.
Parent’s 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 Godly Play. Parents are also welcome to visit their child’s classroom at any time, and we encourage you to take an active role by volunteering in a classroom, helping with materials preparation, or assisting with any of the special activities we have throughout the year.
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.
If you’re a Children’s Ministries volunteer, we ask that you read our Children’s Ministry Handbook available here, and complete and sign the paperwork in the back of the handbook.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive an e-mail from MinistrySafe@ministrysafe.com with a link to access the online training course, and instructions on how to complete the training. If you do not receive an e-mail, please check your junk mail or spam box to see if it landed there. If it’s not there, please let us know so that we can have a new one sent to you as soon as possible.
The training takes about an hour, including the 25-question quiz at the end of the video. There are nine segments that are self-contained, so if you don’t have time to complete the entire course in one sitting, you can watch just one or two segments, and pick up where you left off later.
Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive a Ministry Safe Training certificate, a copy of which you should turn in to the Parish Office.
This training does not replace the background checks we run on people who minister to children and youth. Rather, it is another step toward ensuring the safety of children and young people in our care.
To learn more about Ministry Safe Training, log on to www.ministrysafe.com.
Please feel free to email us you want to learn even more about Children’s Ministries at St. Andrew’s.