Church School for Children and Youth

Education after the 10a Sunday service

Our Preschool Community | Our Primary Community | Our Intermediate Community | Our Tweens Community | Our Middle School Community | Our High School Community



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Our Preschool Community
birth to age 5 (not yet enrolled in Kindergarten)

Preschoolers receive a structured yet playful lesson from our lead caregiver. The curriculum for their lessons is a collaboration between the St. Matthew’s Library and online resources. Librarian Kathy Bowling selects books that correspond to monthly themes. The themes for the 2016-2017 school year are

  • Friendship
  • I Am Special
  • St. Francis and Pets
  • Fall: Saying Thanks and Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Sharing
  • St. Valentine and Love
  • Spring and God’s Creation
  • Easter
  • Flowers

The use of quality children’s literature ensures that young ones are engaged in learning what Jesus said was most important, to love God and love others. They also play with the age-appropriate toys and have time to sing, make crafts, and make new friends at church. The goal for our preschool community is to provide a safe, loving, nurturing environment that children want to participate in.


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Our Primary Community
Kindergarten-1st Grade

The Godly Play curriculum is used for our primary community. This curriculum requires a storyteller and a doorperson. In this community, early learners hear stories about Old Testament people such as Abraham, Sarah, and Jonah, as well as New Testament stories about the life of Jesus.

The goal of Godly Play is to provide an environment that fosters discovery learning in which children feel safe and welcomed; where they can learn the art of using religious language to encounter God and to find meaning in their lives. MORE ABOUT GODLY PLAY


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Our Intermediate Community
2nd-4th Grade

Godly Play serves as our core curriculum for our intermediate community as well. The curriculum requires a storyteller and a doorperson. In this community, older elementary students explore longer stories about Old Testament people such as Ruth and Jeremiah, as well an entire series on “Knowing Jesus in a New Way.”

The goal of Godly Play is to provide an environment that fosters discovery learning in which children feel safe and welcomed; where they can learn the art of using religious language to encounter God and to find meaning in their lives. MORE ABOUT GODLY PLAY


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Our Tweens Community
5th-6th Grade

Being a “tween” is just that: that time “in between” childhood and adolescence. In this community the stories they heard in church school as young children are manipulated and made their own. They take turns working individually, in small groups, and as a whole to tell each other the stories as they remember them. Their teachers guide them to ask new questions of the texts and to look at the scriptures themselves in order to connect deeper understanding to the knowledge they already possess.

Tweens gather in the youth wing of the church immediately after worship for a light breakfast and time with the community of young people. They then split into various rooms and spaces for their lesson.


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Our Middle School Community
7th-8th Grade

Our middle school community gets a weekly dose of food, fun, and foundational theology – a combination of preparatory work toward Confirmation and lessons about life and faith in these weekly classes. Students gather in the youth wing of the church immediately after worship for a light breakfast and time with their community of young people. They then split into various rooms and spaces for learning.  (Learn more about Confirmation in the Episcopal Church.)

Seventh and eighth grade students who want to work toward Confirmation attend only on the Sundays when Confirmation preparation sessions are taught. Once they complete all of the sessions, they are eligible to attend the Confirmation retreat [WHAT IS THIS?] and be confirmed when the Bishop comes, usually on Pentecost. Even for students unsure about being confirmed, these sessions provide meaningful lessons.

On Sundays when Confirmation sessions are not taught, students engage in lessons from the Journey to Adulthood program’s “Rite-13” classes, for “young people as they begin to take the first steps of independence from their families into their own lives.

“During these two years, the community acknowledges the gift of gender, celebrates the amazing creative power and potential of these young people, and creates a safe haven in which to explore new ideas, new interests and new abilities.” (From Journey to Adulthood Leader Resources)


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Our High School Community
9th-12th Grade

Students gather in the youth wing of the church immediately after worship for a light breakfast and time with the community of young people before starting their classes.

Our high school educational program uses the Journey to Adulthood curriculum.

“The Journey to Adulthood (J2A)…encourages relational ministry and uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities to underscore the two guiding principles of the program: 1) Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned. It includes in-depth exploration of Self, Spirituality, Sexuality and Society. J2A helps teens create and understand the importance of Christian community as they develop critical thinking and other skills they will need in adulthood. During the J2A phase, teens learn and practice six basic skills for adulthood:

  • Active listening
  • Negotiation
  • Assertion
  • Research and information management
  • Partnership
  • Leadership

In addition to the skills listed above, teens learn different methods of Scripture reading, prayer and community-building.” (From Journey to Adulthood Leader Resources).

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