We treasure kids!
Sunday School at St. Matthew's
St. Matthew's is a church for all ages and children are welcome at our services. St. Matthew's also offers a complete Sunday School program for children nursery to fourteen years of age.
The Mission of St. Matthew's Sunday School
To receive, nurture, and treasure each child as a gift from God
To proclaim the Gospel to children in ways that empower them to receive and respond to God's love
To love, shelter, protect, nurture and support children and their families
Sunday School Groups
The Latin root for the word educate means “to draw out, or to uncover.” Christian education is as much about drawing out our faith as it is about imparting information. This is why we use the Godly Play system, a program specifically designed to draw out students own spiritual nature.
There are four main Sunday School groups. The nursery children, babies to toddlers, stay with Katherine Arthurs and her helpers; children K-3 are in The Kreb’s Room; 4-6 graders study in a St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School (SMEDS) classroom and the 7-12 graders meet in the Library. There is also a Confirmation class for students 8th grade and above held once a month in St. Charles House.
In the Nursery students have story time, music, snack time and plenty of space for play and art projects. Weather permitting, students can also go outside to play on the structures and other playground activities. This is a safe and secure environment for babies and toddlers who want to explore, bond and learn about Jesus with their friends.
This class uses the Godly Play classroom model, which allows students to connect with the material in a personal way and respond to the Biblical stories using whatever medium they prefer. After being greeted by a doorperson at 10 o’clock, students meet for Circle Time, say a prayer and prepare for Story Time. The Godly Play stories are either liturgical in nature, a sacred story from the Old Testament, or the teachings of Jesus. Each story has tangible materials for students to focus on while they listen to the story.
Students are then asked open-ended questions that encourage them to think, while still retaining a sense of their mystery. Students are then helped to response materials, and after Response Time they clear away the materials themselves and at 11:00 proceed into the church for communion with their families.
4-6 Graders (Faith Questers)
This group, following the Godly Play model, is deepening their faith by exploring and developing issues that come out of their Godly Play materials. The class atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, yet students are encouraged to think about and digest important and complex issues. Students also participate in their own activities outside the classroom, as well as taking part in some of the church services by writing prayers and performing small skits.
7-12 graders (7UPS)
This group, which meets in St. Charles House Attic, uses an up-to-date syllabus specifically designed to engage and focus teens as they deal with important theological issues that impact their everyday live. Students also work on their own group projects and participate in the service of the parish in a variety of ways.
Confirmation class, led by Reverend Beth Parab and Katie Meger, is held every other year and alternates with the Youth Engaged in Service Program. Confirmation classes meet once a month in St. Charles House, culminating in a ceremony at Grace Cathedral. Y.E.S., a year long service project determined by the class, is a concrete example of what the confirmands pledged in their Confirmation ceremony. YES is open to all 7-12 graders, confirmed or not, but is coordinated by the post-confirmands.
Youth Group, led by Katie Meger, meets once a month in the St. Charles House Attic and is open to anyone in grades 7-12
Sunday school students participate in many fun activities during the semester, both as a large group and as individual classes. Some activities take place on Sunday morning, while others are scheduled outside class time. During these activities, students grow, learn and develop their faith and friendships in a supportive and loving environment. Such activities include: Central Park play-dates, treasure hunts, church safaris, movie nights, paintball, and many other field trips.
Sunday School Outreach
There are always lots of exciting outreach projects going on at St. Matthew’s. Some involve all of the Sunday School students, and others involve individual classes.
Some Examples are:
Back to School Supplies Project
Thrift Shop Fashion Show
Making & delivering Sandwiches for Samaritan House
Writing letters to soldiers overseas
Helping with Toys for Tots
Making Easter Baskets for the Shelter Children
Collecting Halloween Costumes for the Shelter children
The St. Matthew's Sunday School runs from September through July. During the summer, the program changes to Summer Sunday Fun, which consists of fun events and activities run each Sunday by members of the Vestry. A week long summer camp also provides the students with more focused activities that provide an opportunity for spiritual growth in their fellowship.
fun in the Nursery
©2005 Tom Hammer
The St. Matthew's Sunday School works well because of the faithful group of volunteers who offer up their time and energy each year. We encourage every adult in the congregation to help nurture the spiritual growth of the children of our parish.
We have recently instituted the new Godly Play curriculum at St. Matthew's; the teachers and students love it. It uses a real hands-on approach and challenges and encourages the students to use their imagination and engage in the material.
The Sunday School teachers are well trained and work together as a team. There are at least three primary teachers with the students during their Godly Play Sunday School sessions.
If you would like to know more about St. Matthew's Sunday School program please contact Janine Gerzanics, the Sunday School Superintendent by email at Sunday School Director or call the Church Office at 650-342-1481