Children

There are four main Christian Education groups during Sunday services for the younger students. The nursery, for babies to toddlers, the K-2nd grade “Followers” class and the 3rd and 4th grade “Faith Questers” class.

Nursery Care (under 3yrs) | Sundays, 8:45-11:30pm (and other times as announced)
Our youngest children under the age of 4, are of course always welcome in worship, but we do offer nursery care by fingerprinted and Safe Church trained providers.  The Nursery is located in the Kindergarden classroom on the first floor of St. Matthew’s Day School.

Godly Play (K-2nd Grade) | Sundays, 10am
Children gather in the foyer of St. Matthew’s Hall, outside the Religion Classroom.  This class uses the Godly Play method of Bible teaching. Each student is welcomed into the room by the Godly Play doorperson by name, and once everyone is settled, the storyteller will tell a Bible story using the Godly Play materials.

In an age where we feel we need to meet children in their high-tech world, Godly Play is a unique way to present the beautiful and eloquent truths of the Bible in a very simple, natural form. “In most religious education, children are told who God is. In Godly Play, children discover who God is” (Rev. Jerome Berryman, curriculum founder).  Using the principles of learning in the Montessori method, Godly Play responds to the child’s request to ‘help me do it by myself.’ It shares spiritual education in a beautiful, peaceful, intimate manner, demonstrating the power and richness of God through meaningful and intentional presentations of His Word. This puts the teacher in the role of spiritual supporter or guide who understands each child has his or her own relationship with God already.

Godly Play Bible stories are told gracefully and beautifully using simple hands on figures made of natural materials. The storyteller, serves as a “guide” to the story, then, sits back and asks, “I wonder . . . ?” encouraging the children to explore their thoughts, ideas and feelings about the story through expressive art following the presentation.

Students also have the opportunity to augment the Godly Play stories by use of a large felt board and felt story figures. Students may use this to retell the story to each other, add additional elements to the story or cover the stories in between the traditional Godly Play stories.

Children return to the Sanctuary during the passing of the Peace, and are able to receive communion with their parents.

To learn more about Godly Play and all it has to offer visit http://www.godlyplayfoundation.org.

Faithquesters (3-4th Grade) | Sundays, 10am
Children gather in the Conference Room, located in St. Matthew’s Hall.  This class is a Bible based, age appropriate curriculum which encourages discussion and inquiry, preparing students to be active and thoughtful members of the parish community. Students deepen their faith by exploring and developing issues that have come out of the Godly Play materials they learned in the lower grades. The class atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, yet students are encouraged to think about and digest important and complex issues.

Children return to the Sanctuary during the passing of the Peace, and are able to receive communion with their parents.

For more information about programming with nursery and school age children, please be in touch with Janine Gerzanics at children@episcopalstmatthew.org.