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 http://laparkan.com/buy-vardenafil/ 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.

Godly Play

Godly Play Old Testament story shelves

Godly Play meets during church on Sundays from 10:30-11:15 on the upper floor of the education wing three Sundays per month. (The first Sunday of each month is Youth Sunday, and children are in church).

Godly Play calendar of the church yearGodly Play offers a creative, child-centered way to enter into and experience the biblical story. In Godly Play, we play with the language of God and God’s People: our sacred stories, parables, liturgical actions, and silence. Through this powerful language, through our wondering, through the community gathered together, we hear the deepest invitation of all: an invitation to come play with God. At St. James, most children in Godly Play are between age 3 and 3rd grade. Rosemary Caspar is the storyteller.

Godly Play meets in the upstairs of the education wing. When your child arrives, the storyteller will be sitting in the story circle. The children will join the storyteller on the floor.

exodusThe storyteller slowly and deliberately brings out the story figures, arranging them as she tells the story. The children’s eyes focus where the storyteller’s eyes and hands focus” on the materials in the story.

After the story, we wonder together. The storyteller asks open-ended questions, respecting each and every answer. The wondering sinks into silence.

After the storyteller puts the materials away, she invites the children to respond to the lesson. This child might choose to create art, retell the story, read a book, or talk to the storyteller.

Godly Play concludes with a feast: a simple celebration with water and crackers.

eastertide

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 classes. The children then join 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.

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. (See full description below.) 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.

 

 

Confirm Not Conform LogoConfirmation
Confirmation classes are offered as appropriate.

Our Other Activities

formnightYouth Faith Formation Nights
Faith formation nights 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.

 


Youth choir singing in churchYouth Choir
The youth choir sings at the 10:30 worship service on the 1st Sunday of each month, and also on holidays. They sing classic and modern works that praise God and stretch their musical horizons. Rehearsal is held at noon on Sundays and at 9:30 a.m. on Youth Sundays.  Director: Liz Athorn

 

pageantThe Pageant

The St. James’ pageant is unique! We write an original pageant each year, so the children and adults all get to experience something new. Pageants may take place during Advent, Pentecost or Epiphany. For all children and youth. Directors: Louise Robinson and Liz Athorn.

 

skatingSpecial Events
St. James holds 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.

Adult Education

Sundays 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

The Adult Forum at St. James is an informal but focused opportunity to explore, question and better understand Christian practice today. We’re known to study Scripture, doctrine, and church history; learn from neighbors of other faiths; and struggle with questions of justice and love. We usually start with something familiar in church tradition, then poke and probe it for meaning and relevance in our daily lives. 

Coffee and treats are part of the curriculum. A discussion leader guides the always spirited conversation, but the model is to learn from each other — which will work even better if you take part!

The Forum meets from 9:30-10:25  in the Gallery on most Sunday mornings.