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Learn: Children's Formation

Children's Formation

“And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:5

Children are a joyful and integral part of our community. They are always welcome and valued as full members of Epiphany! We nurture the spiritual lives of children through educational programs including our Church School, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, special family services throughout the year, participation in our worship as acolytes, lay readers and members of the choristers (our children and teen choir), and always, a valued members of our Christian community.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Our Church School program, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, honors the child's natural, pre-existing relationship with God. Rather than "teaching" about faith, this religious formation program protects the young child's sense of wonder and nurtures children's innate spirituality in a sacred environment that give access to liturgy, the Bible, geography and history.  Learn more about CGS.

How it works

Children are divided into age groups and meet in an atrium — a classroom as well as a sacred space — which honors the child's imagination and spirit. Each atrium is led by adults who participate with the children in listening to and responding to Scripture, liturgy and prayer. Children are given time to reflect and respond.

Prayer is modeled and encouraged with practicing quiet, listening to presentations, participating in individual and group reflection, and knowing the response work as a form of prayer. Response work includes: art, song, journal writing and collaborative celebrations and projects.

Email Carolyn Hughes, Director of Family Formation, if you have questions or would like to volunteer.


Age 4 - Grade 1

Children’s Worship -Good Shepherd Atrium
Location: Chapel 
Time: 10:00

Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep....I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me." John 10:11, 14

Age group and central image of Christ

Children who are four years old through kindergarten are introduced to the rich and layered experience of Catechesis in the Good Shepherd Atrium. The central image of Christ is that of the protective Good Shepherd. Children are introduced to the great gift of Jesus, the love of the Good Shepherd and his love for us, his sheep.

Approach

Good Shepherd scripture passages and materials respect that younger children have an innate need for protection and personal one-on-one relationship, and have a precious sense of wonder.

The building blocks of the chapel time are:

      • welcome and opening prayer
      • presentation and meditation on scripture or liturgy
      • music
      • closing prayers and reflection

Weekly schedule

Children come into church at the 10 am service with their families. They can either join the children at the back next to the baptismal font before the procession or sit with their parents and join the children as they process behind the children’s cross out to the chapel. Children are reunited with their families at the Sign of the Peace and celebrate the Eucharist together. Parents are always welcome to come to chapel with us!



Grades 2 - 3

True Vine Atrium
Location: Myra Higgins Educational Wing in lower level of Hadley Hall
Time: 9:45

Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower." John 15:1

Age group and central image of Christ

The True Vine Atrium welcomes students who are in 2nd and 3rd grade, who are ready to work both independently and cooperatively. These children are growing in writing skills and are ready for the cognitive challenges of cosmic education.

The central image of Christ is that of the True Vine, a constantly growing kingdom and a forgiving God. This image meets the spiritual needs of the elementary-aged child to understand his or her relationship with family, friends, the world and God and where they fit in with them.

Approach

As children are developing their sense of community and reasoning minds, they:

      • meditate on parables which offer moral guidelines such as The Ten Bridesmaids, the Wolf and the Hireling, and the Good Samaritan
      • explore the moral maxims of Jesus to learn how Jesus wants us to live.
      • explore the Holy Bible and its books
      • practice their developing analytical skills by comparing and contrasting Scripture passages as an introduction to bible study
      • wonder about the scope of God's Plan and our own place in salvation history.
      • consider the parts of worship and liturgy
      • practice in the atrium how to live as a Christian in community by taking care of their environment and becoming mindful of caring for each other

The building blocks of the atrium time are:

      • reflection work
      • prayer table
      • presentation
      • closing prayer and dismissal

Weekly schedule

Parents can drop their child off in the Myra Hubbard Educational Wing at 9:45.  Atrium meets from 9:45 until 10:40 when the children are reunited with their families at the Sign of Peace in the 10:00 service.

Grades 4 - 5

People of God Atrium
Location: Myra Higgins Educational Wing in lower level of Hadley Hall
Time: 9:45

Age level

People of God is an atrium for 4th and 5th graders. This age group looks to heroic figures as models on how they themselves fit into the world as faithful People of God, many of these models are seen in the Hebrew Testament.

As with all of our formation classes, the children the in People of God atrium help each other, and the rest of us, learn more about our Christian faith.

Approach

The children learn to navigate the bible and meditate on what they read and respond in writing, artwork and skits. Building upon what they have heard and read about their faith, People of God students ask "Why is this important to me?" in a peaceful and encouraging environment.

Children in the People of God atrium:

    • consider the gifts of God and God's gift of himself in Jesus
    • are introduced to the question "What is my place in the kingdom of God and Salvation History?”
    • participate in multi week bible studies of major works of the Hebrew Testament:
- Creation

- The Fall
- Exodus
- Abraham and Sarah
- The Call of the Prophets
- The Flood
    • continue to consider the parts of worship: the liturgy of the Word and the Eucharist
    • create their own Communal Prayer services

Weekly schedule

Parents can drop their child off in the Myra Hubbard Educational Wing at 9:45.  Atrium meets from 9:45 until 10:40 when the children are reunited with their families at the Sign of Peace in the 10:00 service.

Location & Contact

70 Church Street
Winchester, MA 01890
Phone: 781.729.1922
office@3crowns.org

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