Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs. (Matthew 19:14)
At Good Shepherd, we place high priority on education and forming the newest generation of Christian disciples. Children are an integral part of our community and are invited to participate in all aspects of the congregation’s life. The children participate in worship in a number of ways: as readers, torchbearers, gift bearers (bread and wine) and singing in a special children’s choir. The following educational opportunities are available to our children:
Sunday School for children begins at 9:45 a.m. every Sunday from September until May. In 2014-2015, we will be using the Whirl curriculum, a new curriculum that follows the lectionary (the readings for each Sunday). We will have two age groups, beginning with children age 2. Every Whirl lesson follows a four-part sequence: Welcome, Hear, Respond, and Launch (WHRL!). Each week, kids and leaders start their time together by identifying where they are in the church year and watching an animated video to set up the lesson. Next, they dive into the Whirl Story Bible or Whirl NRSV Bible together, respond to the scripture lesson with creative leaflet activities, and circle up to review the lesson and pray before being sent out.
Vacation Bible School
In the last week of June, we host a morning Vacation Bible School for children in preschool and kindergarten. The program is full of games, art projects and music. The theme in 2014 was “What Time is It?”–a closer look at the church year. We also welcome the staff of Camp Agape who run an all-day program for older elementary school children.
Throughout the year, children are invited to participate in special education events, often at special holidays or festivals. Regular celebrations include: “Trunk-or-Treat,” an Advent/Christmas service, Easter Egg Hunt and other exciting activities.