At St. Peter’s, children are at our center. Jesus taught that children are at the center of Christian spiritual life. They bring to us unique spiritual gifts: their ability to love and trust without reservation, to listen imaginatively, to question and to speak with candor. Their playfulness brings joy and life into our midst. In grateful response, we strive to help children fulfill their individual spiritual promise with a variety of programs designed specifically for them.
Children’s Chapel, ages 3 to 6 provides worship and learning opportunities for our youngest church members. Children ages 3 to 6 are welcomed (for a short time) to the Chapel room during church services, which is located on the lower level in the rear of the church. Stories, activities and discussions that children can enjoy support the lessons, scriptures, and sermon for the day. Children learn songs and prayers, and are introduced to the routine of a service. The goal of Children’s Chapel is to facilitate learning and understanding while cultivating curiosity and an interest in faith. Children are accompanied back to the main service in time to offer peace to their families and church members.
Godly Play is for children age 3 (able to say goodbye to parents at the classroom door, toilet trained, and able to sit for a story) through grade 5. This outstanding religious education curriculum tells the Biblical story in its purest form: face to face and heart to heart to a listening circle of children. Montessori-based, Godly Play uses beautiful hands-on materials and simple, elegant language to make stories understandable to even the youngest child. In Godly Play, children of all ages learn the Christian story in a way they understand and find personally meaningful. It invites listening children to connect these stories with their personal experience through open-ended questions and creative arts. In this way, Godly Play invites children into a direct experience of the Christian story.
A Godly Play session includes time to:
• get ready (enter into listening silence, the first building block of prayer)
• experience a wonder-filled Biblical story with all five senses
• personally explore the story using rich classroom materials
• enjoy a simple shared meal
To learn more, visit the Godly Play Foundation Website: www.godlyplayfoundation.org.
To see a specific Godly Play story in action, check out this video:
Sunday School at St. Peter’s is a vital program for children between age 6 and 6th grade that teaches them how to live their faith. In addition to our core curriculum, there are many activities we do together. We make cards for, and visit parisioners who cannot attend weekly.services. We take an annual tour of our Food Pantry that incorporates discussions about Christ’s commands to love our neighbors as ourselves and help the less fortunate. We prepare the children for Christ at Advent by having them create their own Advent wreaths for their families. And, we bring the Creation story to life (and celebrate Earth Day) by having the children tend their own Sunday School Garden each Spring.
Youth Group is a lively group for those in grades 6-12. Our youth program instills three fundamental concepts: Christian Formation, Service and Fun! We follow the Journey 2 Adulthood Curriculum, which is broken down into three groups by grade. Each of these classes is taught by a committed group of adults. The youth serve within our church (our Food Pantry, for example) and outside our community (our Appalachia Service Project). Activities that form strong bonds among the youth, including fun adventures, are offered periodically throughout the year. All youth in this age group are invited to become involved in Youth Group, which meets every other Sunday evening during the academic year. Please contact either Gary Russell or Katie Druckenmiller with any questions you may have.