Children's Formation events are at this link.
The nursery is staffed by an adult Caregiver. Children of all ages are very welcome to be with their parents in worship. There are rocking chairs, a soft space for play on the right hand side of the church, lots of beautiful windows to gaze at, and plenty of space to walk around if needed. We know it’s not easy to be in church for 75 minutes and we know that children take in far more than we realize. We are all blessed by the presence of young children.
If we want to help the child draw nearer to God, we should with patience and courage seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer. The child will be our teacher if we know how to observe."
At Grace, we are proud to offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as our children’s faith formation program. The program has a strong, twenty-year legacy at Grace. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is inspired by the Montessori principles of education and is based on the conviction that each child is already in relationship with God. The program is led by adult "catechists," who wonder with the child, rather than trying to "pour-in" information. Our catechist have over 80 years of experience with this program! Materials in the classroom or "atrium" invite children to explore and deepen their experiences at their own pace.
Scripture, tradition and prayer are part of the nucleus that is the core of each lesson. Within the community of each level our children experience the richness that informs our liturgy, our history, and our life together as Christians.
In Level One (The Good Shepherd Atrium) the 3 yr old – Kindergarten child experiences the loving gift of Jesus the Good Shepherd. In the quiet of the Atrium, we listen together to the words of the parables and the story of the life of Jesus in the Gospels. We work with a wealth of sensorial materials - including scale maps of the Holy Land and the City of Jerusalem, a miniature altar and font - and sit together, learning to draw and write simple prayers. We ponder together the essentiality and richness of the scriptures as the child grows in understanding and skill of self-expression.
In Level Two (The Word Atrium) the 1st – 4th grade child starts to find spiritual guidance in the Maxims and Moral Parables, while learning more about the traditions and liturgy of our church. We wonder together about the immensity of the Gifts of God – the breathtakingly beautiful world we live in, the unfolding of Sacred Story over time, the Gift of Jesus himself to us - and we learn to honor our own place in that story. The children develop important people skills through leading communal prayer in our small group every Sunday.
Our goal in each level is to assist the child in seeing their relationship with God, to nurture its depth and provide them community for its growth and expression. Please join us on Sundays to share and learn about these beautiful gifts of our church! The program runs from 9:30 – 10:15 am on most Sundays. The atria are on the first and second floors of the Parish House.
We have a volunteer Catechist to Families. The ministry of the Catechist to Families, Suzanne Haraburd, is focused on facilitating the community of Catechesis families at Grace and supporting families who desire to practice their faith in their home. You can read more about Suzanne here.
A registration form may be found at this link.