Friday, July 6, 2012

Weaving Christian formation into the fabric of our lives

One of the strengths Redeemer possesses is our love of and devotion to our children, and right now, the Holy Spirit is moving among us in a big way, leading us to act on a very important part of our call as a community of faith: the formation of our children as Christians. As we welcome new families into our community, we are experiencing a renewed desire to provide structured and meaningful programs and activities to help form our children in their faith and life.

One of the curricula available this year for children ages 3 years through 5th grade is called "Weaving God's Promises." This is a three-year, lectionary-based program which teaches children how God's promises of salvation weave throughout our lives, not only in church but in the world. This curriculum gives children a strong foundation for a lifetime of faith.

"Weaving God's Promises" is Scripturally-based and tells stories from the Old and New Testaments with a focus on the life and teachings of Jesus. A second focus is on the Episcopal Church itself, teaching about church practices, how to use the Book of Common Prayer, and the principal sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. Finally, the program covers Christian living, including the practices of prayer, service, and outreach. There are lessons on Advent, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter, as well.

With online accessibility, individual teachers and parents can download activity pages and student pages for each weekly lesson. The curriculum offers age-appropriate lessons for pre-school through 1st grade; 2nd-3rd grade; and 4th-5th grade. These age ranges can easily be arranged as best fits our needs.

A presentation/demonstration of this program will be offered at a breakfast gathering between the services on Sunday, July 29. At that time, an opportunity will be given for questions, as well as a chance to volunteer to teach and/or assist with any grade level. Please join us as we show how "Weaving God's Promises" can help us to live into our passion for bringing God’s little ones among us to a real-life experience of faith and service.

We will also be discussing a bit of restructuring for ourselves in order to pursue our call to lifelong Christian formation. We offer up the option of moving our second service from 10:30 to 11:00, allowing enough time between the services for a bit of coffee hour together, then ample time for Christian formation to take place. This would also enable those who are serving at the later service as well as those who are in the choir, to participate in Christian formation. As it is now, one has to choose between choir and Christian formation.

The new schedule would look like this:

8:30 am: Holy Eucharist (said)
9:30 am: Coffee hour (Main Parish Hall) and/or Choir rehearsal
10:00 am: Christian formation for all ages (runs till 10:45)
11:00 am: Holy Eucharist (sung)

This structural change is offered in response to many of our parents who said that getting their young children up and ready by 9:30 was stressful and often impossible. In addition, the older youth and some of their parents have expressed an interest in meeting later in the day. This change would allow formation for older youth (grades 6 and up) to begin with lunch, immediately following the later service.

This change is also is in response to choir members who expressed an interest in participating in and/or leading the formation discussions. Finally, it is in response to those who regularly attend the early service, but would like time to meet and get to know those who attend the later service – which is when most of our newer members attend.

Please share your thoughts and ideas on this with Mother Valori, Deacon Pam, RoseAnn Evans, or Matthew Kiggen and remember to MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR SUNDAY, JULY 29! We look forward to seeing everyone, sharing breakfast, and planning our life of formation together!

Joyfully yours,
Mother Valori and RoseAnn Evans

No comments: