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 Children's Education

 

Ages 3 through 5th Grade:
10:15 a.m.

Children’s Choir
10:15 a.m.
Children’s Choir Room.
Choir Director:  Nancy Anderson.

Children perform periodically during church services and children’s programs. 

10:15 AM to 11 AM:  Class with Laura Powell and Jamie McCornack (and assistants).

10:15 AM - Worship and Wonder (see below)

For those children who do not attend choir:  Bible lesson, crafts, activities and snacks. 

New Program for 4th & 5th Grade boys!
For the first ten weeks of the Christian Education year, 4th and 5th grade boys are being offered the opportunity to participate in a Boys Advocacy and Mentoring (BAM!) program facilitated by Alan Brandenfels and other adult males from our congregation.

The sessions are one hour long and will start at 10:15 a.m. each Sunday morning.  At the end of the ten weeks, the boys will rejoin the peers in the Worship & Wonder Center.  All parents of 4th and 5th grade boys will be receiving information about this wonderful opportunity for their sons.

 

Children Worship & Wonder
10:15 a.m. through 11:00 a.m.
Children 3 years old through 1st Grade

Children Worship & Wonder curriculum is designed to help children experience worship apart from the congregation so they become able to worship meaningfully with the congregation. The process is designed to quiet and slow down the pace so that children can experience the presence of God with a sense of awe, mystery, imagination and wonder. 

The Worship & Wonder teaching process is based on Montessori principles and utilizes the oral tradition of storytelling, using carved wooden figures.  In the two Children’s Worship Centers, the children have the opportunity to respond to the story through hands on work with the wooden figures or with creative activities such as painting, drawing, sculpting with play dough, collage making and so forth.

A child who has participated in this curriculum will learn every major story of the Old and New Testaments, including the parables.  S/he will learn the meaning and symbolism in the sacraments of communion and baptism.  Additionally s/he will learn “how the church tells time” as they experience celebrating the Christian year of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter Pentecost and Ordinary Time.   S/he will also learn other elements of Christian worship such as The Lord’s Prayer, The 23rd Psalm, The Doxology, common Responses and hymns.

The rhythm of signing is an important part of the Worship and Wonder Centers.  This is because signing communicates meaning, imagination and memory just as words do.  It portrays feeling and stirs emotion.  The signing also tends to quiet the child and enables s/he to worship with their whole being.


The Way of the Child
Children 2nd through 5th Grade

Children 2nd through 5th grades are taught a curriculum entitled "The Way of the Child." This curriculum resembles Children Worship & Wonder in that it utilizes contemplative and experiential materials to provide an environment that nurtures spirituality. However it provides more dialogue and interaction to engage the more developmentally advanced older child. In the Way of the Child, the children engage in general dialogue with the teacher about such spiritual practices as the use of scripture, prayer, music, celebrating the seasons of the Christian calendar, communion, baptism and so forth. The children not only discuss these practices but also engage in these practices during classroom time. Children are taught ways to incorporate these practices into their daily lives. They also attend the 11 AM Worship Service once per month, with their teachers to participate in these practices in corporate worship once each month. The second part of the class, the children chose a "reflection station" and engage in a reflective activity centered on the focus of the session. The reflection stations used each week include: Gazing (contemplation and reflection); World (social justice), Sand (art, sculpting); Art; Journaling and Reading. The children then return to a circle where they have a "feast" (an introduction to communion) and close with prayer and a blessing for each child.

The cultural bombardment of noise and activity leaves no space for children's imagination to flourish, no space for thinking and wondering, no space for knowing themselves as unique creations connected to God. In our Worship & Wonder program and in The Way of the Child, it is our intent to provide our children with one hour of such time each week. The goal for both the Worship & Wonder curriculum and The Way of the Child curriculum is for children to absorb a spiritual way of being and doing and to cultivate it in their lives.


For information about our Children's Ministry, please contact Jamie McCornack.

 


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