Mission Statement for Christian Formation
To help us know God in Christ as the fulfillment of our deepest desire; and to provide guidance, inspiration and support in our journey with Christ so that we may incorporate our faith in all aspects of our daily life.
The above mission statement for Christian Formation at St. Paul’s, suggests three critical elements of our program and ministry: enabling the experience of God, living into Christian community, and connecting our faith with our daily lives. We hope that our liturgies, ministries and programs enable people to have authentic, personal, transforming experiences of the mystery of God. In this way, people will come to know God, not just know about God.
Through all we do together, we hope people experience authentic community – that koinonia – or deep sense of Christian fellowship available through the Holy Spirit. For it is in the space in between two people that we find God’s grace and love. None of this matters unless we find ways to incorporate our faith into the experience of our daily life. Christian Formation must ask the question, “Now what?” as we grapple with the truth of the Gospel and help people make the connection between faith and life.
This is an exciting challenge, made even richer by the people who choose to become involved! We hope you will find a place to share, learn and grow with us!
CHRISTIAN FORMATION FOR CHILDREN
Church School Classes for Grades 1-6 (Sept.-May)
Godly Play for Kindergarten – Second Grade
Sundays, 10 to 11 a.m. in the Bride's and O'Hear Rooms
Godly Play was designed by Episcopal priest Jerome Berryman and is modeled on the Montessori approach to education. Godly Play engages our children’s imagination about the mystery of God’s presence in their lives. We provide a safe setting in which we enter into sacred stories, parables, silence, and liturgy in order to discover God, ourselves, and the world around us.
Some of the Godly Play stories include: the Circle of the Church Year, Old Testament stories, New Testament stories, Jesus’ parables, the Eucharist, and the early church. These cycles of stories are designed to repeat and expand from year to year, inviting children to enter more deeply into the art of knowing how to use the language of the Christian people to make sense of being human and being faithful.
Workshop Rotation for Grade 3-6
Sundays, 10 to 11 a.m. in the South Wing and Sanders Room
Third through sixth grade children are using an innovative Episcopal story-based curriculum called WorkshopCycles. This rotation-style curriculum is designed to engage children through multiple learning styles.
Workshop Rotation allows children to work on the same story or concept for four weeks, using different learning approaches in each workshop room they visit. The workshops include: art, games, music, dance, geography, cooking, movie clips, drama, and research. These provide imaginative spaces where children learn about and experience God and time for reflection and deeper learning. This approach builds community with four grade levels sharing a common learning experience.
Some of our cycles include: All about the Bible, the Moses Chronicle, When Jesus Was a Child, The Good Shepherd, Our Common Mission with Neighbors Near and Far, and 101 Ways to Pray.
CHRISTIAN FORMATION FOR YOUTH
Sunday Morning Youth Forum, 10 to 11 a.m.
High School students (Grade 9-12) meet each Sunday morning at 10 a.m. to reflect on where their faith and the issues of the day intersect, and they think theologically about the world. Teenagers choose the topics for the year. Time is spent learning how people have interpreted the Bible over the years; there is debate on hot topics – all of this in order to develop a personal theology.
SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS, 10:00 a.m.
The Adult Forum meets in the Dining Room and examines current issues through a theological lens, seeking to connect our beliefs about God and creation with situations in our own lives and in the world around us.
Our Apostleship series highlights specific ministries that connect our faith with hands-on opportunities for mission, both locally and globally.
Occasional bible studies, courses on liturgy and church history, and groups to engage in prayer and different forms of spiritual nurture are offered in the Chapel of the Cross.
Weekday Programs for Adults
St. Paul's has a number of regular offerings for adults during the week and we offer special programming throughout the year as well. Click here for more information on weekday formation programs for adults.