“If we want to help the child grow near to God, we should, with patience and courage...seek to go always closer to the vital nucleus of things. This requires study and prayer. The child himself will be our teacher if we know how to observe him.”
At St. George’s, our deep commitment to respecting and valuing all persons extends joyfully to the youngest members of our congregation. In partnership with the child, we help them find ways to know God, to ask questions, and to explore how they can live their faith in their lives.
St. George's encourages children of all ages and abilities to participate in the life of the larger community and believes that children have much to teach us. We need only listen. Our youngest parishioners are indispensable parts of our life together.
ON SUNDAY MORNINGS
While we have many options available for children on Sunday mornings (see below), all children are always welcome in worship services. "Buddy baskets" filled with crayons, paper, and sensory-friendly items are available at the back of the sanctuary to keep children busy if you'd like to use them. The crying, laughing, and joyful "amens!" of children are often heard throughout the service. There is no expectation that children should be silent. Our youngest parishioners are welcome and valued.
Infants and children up to age five are welcome in the church nursery. The nursery is open from 9am-12:30pm and is staffed by warm, caring adults.
CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based faith formation program for children in preschool to third grade, allowing children to work with materials that enable them to explore their own faith, drawing upon the stories and traditions of the church. It begins at 9:30 and runs until the Peace in the 10:30 service.
Catechesis of the Good Shepard is built upon the belief that God and the child have a unique relationship deserving of respect and proper nourishment.
We believe that there is a deep bond between God and the child which produces in the child the desire to draw nearer to God. The catechist’s role is to prepare the environment and to give selected presentations from scripture and liturgy that “call forth” the child’s response rather than “pours in” information. The catechist listens with the child and together they ask, “God, who are you? How do you love us?” The adult reflects with the child on the questions generated by the presentations with the materials offered to the child to aid the child’s reflection. -from National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepard
We invite you to visit our Atrium (a prepared environment)!
Sunday School meets from late September through early June from 9:30 to 10:15 AM and is available for children and youth of all abilities in grades fourth through twelfth. Through Sunday School, children and youth learn in age-appropriate ways what it means to be a Christian, and how we express our faith in the Episcopal tradition. Sunday School teachers strive to create a warm, theologically rich environment in which children can feel comfortable discussing issues of faith and grow closer to their peers, the larger community, and God.
KIDS' GOSPEL TIME
During the summer, all children ages four through nine are welcome to join together during the 10:30 service in the parish hall for Kids Gospel Time, which is generally available during the summer, when Sunday School doesn't meet. Kids Gospel Time is a simplified presentation of the Gospel. Kids Gospel Time allows children to examine the Gospel story and reflect on how it impacts their lives. Kid's Gospel Time leaders will lead children out of the sanctuary during the 10:30 service - just look for the purple and gold banner!
DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS?
All children are welcomed and embraced at St. George's. Please bring your child to any and all activities hosted by St. George’s. If you would like to talk to another parent about how special needs children are integrated into St. George’s programs, please contact our Associate Rector John Shellito. St. George's is committed to creating a comfortable experience for everyone in your family.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN & YOUTH
CHILDREN AND YOUTH CHOIRS
Saint George's offers a variety of choirs for children ages 3 through grade 12. We welcome anyone to be a part of our fun, fellowship, and music-making. For more information see our choirs page.
SERVICE AS AN ACOLYTE
EPISCOPAL YOUTH IN COMMUNITY
St. George’s has an EYC (youth) group for middle and high school students, which meets periodically throughout the school year to share the goals of fun, fellowship, and service with their own age groups in Christian community. Last year's activities included the annual lock-in and movie night, a tour of the National Cathedral complete with a picnic lunch in the Bishop's Garden, a trip to Flight! Trampoline Gym, cookouts, and plotting against hunger. We invite you to contact EYC leadership - Haley Shellito & Parks Gilbert - for more information.
St. George’s sponsors a Sea Scout troop and thus has it own “navy.” The troop is for girls and boys ages 14-20 to learn sailing and water and boating safety. Find out more about St. George's own Ship 1942 on their website.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH COMMITTEE
The Children and Youth Committee provides support for St. George’s ministries to children and youth, including Sunday School and the Episcopal Youth in Community (EYC). The Committee also sponsors other children and youth related activities and encourages fellowship among parents. Anyone interested in working with or on behalf of our children and youth is encouraged to talk to our Associate Rector John Shellito about getting involved. You don't have to be a parent to be part of this group!