Education for all at St. James

At St. James we believe that the aim of Christian formation is for the Church to be the family of God’s community that nurtures its members in the Gospel story, which explains our understanding of the world, our identity in it, and the way of life we are to lead in it.

We stand with the 3rd Century theologian Tertullian, who said, “Christians are made, not born.” Christianity is a way of life, the life of the baptized. As such it is an on-going, lifelong pursuit. Christian formation is critical reflection on what we participate in and practice, on our thoughts, feelings, actions, and experiences in the light of the Gospel and the life of faith.

This means learning about the Bible, about Christian theology and ethics, about the spiritual life, and about Christian service and ministry. It also includes learning the skills of biblical interpretation, theological thinking, ethical decision-making, the discernment of God’s will and ways of prayer. In our Anglican tradition, Scripture, tradition, and reason all inform this process.

The intent behind this work is to produce transformation, to aid us to reform and renew our personal and communal lives, to bring them into line with more Christ-like lives. This task is as much communal as it is individual, insomuch as the whole life of the congregation forms Christians in either positive or negative ways. We “teach” and we “learn” in everything we do together.

“You are never too old to learn or too young to teach.”

Join us as we explore together our life in Christ.

Youth Education

Youth in formation programSt James offers a variety of quality programs designed to engage the developing Christian. During the 10:30 service, all children age 3 and older may attend their age-appropriate education. The children then rejoin the congregation for the Eucharist.  Nursery care is available for children under 3.

The first Sunday of each month is Youth Sunday when regular formation programs are not held and the children attend the entire youth-focused service. On Youth Sunday, children and youth serve as lectors and the youth choir sings.

The 2017-18 program year runs through June 3.

Our Classes

Our classes meet in the education wing, which is connected to the main church through Chapel Hall. Godly Play meets upstairs. Shine meets downstairs. The youth choir meets underneath the main church.

Rosemary Caspar teaching a Godly Play story

Godly Play: Age 3 through 3rd grade
Through stories and wonder, Godly Play teaches children the art of using Christian language, helping them to become aware of the presence of God in their lives. Children experience the Old Testament desert stories, the parables, the Faces of Easter, and other stories of Christian faith. Storyteller: Rosemary Caspar.


shineShine: 4th – 6th grade and 7th – 9th grade
Shine teaches stories from the Bible, helps youth apply them to their daily lives, and promotes the development of spiritual practices. We have two groups following related age-appropriate curriculum. 4th-6th grade teachers: Casey McGuire and Kerry Durkin. 7th-9th grade teachers: Karin Spencer and Anne Sween.

Confirm Not Conform LogoConfirmation
We are in the second year of a two year confirmation program for high school students. The program helps young adults find their own voice on their faith journey. Youth will be eligible for confirmation in May 2016. Classes meet on 3rd Sunday evenings. Leader: Fr. Jim Young with help from other adult members.

Our Other Activities

formnightYouth Faith Formation Nights
Faith formation nights are on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. They begin with a soup and bread dinner at 6:00 PM, followed by a program from 6:30 – 7:30. The programs can be educational, service-oriented, or just for fun. Designed for 4th – 9th grade. Coordinator: Ed Burke


Youth choir singing in churchYouth Choir
The youth choir sings once a month on youth Sundays and on holidays. They sing classic and modern works that praise God and stretch their musical horizons. Rehearsal is held before church at 9:30 AM Sundays.  Director: Liz Athorn

 

pageantAdvent Pageant
St. James’ Christmas pageant is unique! We write an original pageant each year, so the children and adults all get to experience something new. This year’s pageant will be December 20. For all children and youth. Directors: Louise Robinson and Liz Athorn.

 

skatingSpecial Events
St. James hold several special events for children and youth throughout the year, such as an All Hallows’ Eve party, winter skating party, and a youth fun night. Events are coordinated by volunteers and staff and are announced in the bulletin and put on the calendar on the website.

Kick-Off Sunday

Sunday, September 13 is kick-off Sunday! Join us at 9:30 to make prayer flags, learn more about our programs including our new curriculum for the upcoming year, and register children and youth for formation. Everyone is welcome. Light refreshments will be served.