Christian Education Ministry
We are all learners and disciples. We have one teacher – Christ the Lord. From pre-school through adulthood, it is the duty of every parish to provide the opportunities for religious formation. This begins with the parish’s programs for children, continues through the Confirmation program for young teens and also the prayer and other formation programs offered to our middle and high school youth. Finally there are opportunities for adult education, guest speakers and our parish Lenten program. We are always in need of those willing to give their time to the children and youth programs as teachers/mentors. All are invited to the adult sessions.
The Church School
If you are looking for a safe, welcoming space in which your children can learn about Christ, where they can pray, grow and mature as believers, then please call us or come by on a Sunday to visit our Church School.
Church School meets every Sunday (except for the first Sunday of each month, when children worship with their parents as a family and experience the entire service). Drop-off is at 9:20 a.m. upstairs in the library. This gives the children a chance to chat, put on their name tags, and to put a sticker next to their name for attendance.
At 9:25 a.m., we begin our CIRCLE OF PRAYER. The children meet with the rector, receive a short instruction, pray together and then begin their lessons:
Preschoolers and Kindergarteners (ages 2 ½-6):
The youngest children take part in an enriching program of Bible story telling and crafts.
We use the Bible-based Episcopal curriculum that follows a three year cycle of Old Testament and New Testament stories so that most of the Bible is explored over the course of the entire program. At about 10:15 a.m., (just as the Liturgy of the Word has been completed in the church service) the teachers escort the children into the church where they sit together in the front pews for the remainder of the Mass.
Middle schoolers are given the opportunity to study the Bible and learn with children from the Presbyterian Church in a program of scripture, song and discussion appropriate for their age.
Registration takes place in late August and Early September. For those who are not on our mailing list, registration forms are available in the Parish House.
Please note that if children wish to participate in St. John’s annual Christmas Pageant, they must participate in the Church School.
Any young person who has reached high school age and is willing to commit themselves to a program of prayer and study with the rector is welcome to be a part of the Confirmation program. Holy Confirmation marks that moment when a person takes ownership of his or her Baptismal Covenant.
Teens meet weekly and cover areas of scripture, the sacraments, worship, church history and Christian life. The material is presented in a relaxed fashion and covers topics found in My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church.
Confirmation may only be administered by the Bishop, and so the actual ceremony is always set up in accordance with the Bishop’s schedule.
Youth/Teen Christian Education
The mission for the middle school and high school youth groups is to involve as many young people as possible in fellowship activities, including meetings and church events, to instill a sense of community by inreach and outreach activities (meals to parishioners in need, midnight runs, volunteer opportunities at the community center, for example) and to be a safe, non-judgmental area to gather and express ideas with peers. We plan to offer a few activities each season and to give young people an opportunity to make a connection to the church in a new way. In order for the youth group to thrive, we need parents to be involved as well, to help plan events and to help youth make time in their busy schedules to be able to do activities. We are joining the South Salem Presbyterian Church middle school and high school youth groups and have opened both youth groups to all middle school and high school students who are interested in joining.
Since education is a lifetime process, our parish offers adults a variety of programs for intellectual and spiritual growth. Guest speakers are brought in from time to time. A special program for spiritual growth is provided each year during the season of Holy Lent. There are other opportunities for lectures and discussions and Bible study. Please see the parish events page for information regarding the next series of event.