Welcome to Children’s Ministries!
The Sunday liturgy is our primary form of Christian formation, where everyone is invited to worship and be nourished by Word and Sacrament. All are invited to receive the Eucharist, including small children. The bonds formed around the Lord’s table are renewed and strengthened each time we gather there together.
In addition, children are invited to attend Church School classes and other programs and events for the opportunity to grow in relationship to God–the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith formation. Our dedicated Church School teachers will warmly welcome your children into their classrooms, where friends are ready to greet them and all will learn together about God, Jesus and the Christian faith.
There are many special events during the year that are of special interest to the children, such as the Backpack Blessing, Pet Blessing, Christmas Pageant, the Epiphany Children’s Procession, the Pancake Supper, Children’s Ash Wednesday, Holy Week Journey with Jesus, the Easter Egg Hunt and the Children & Youth service.
The following are our regular weekly, monthly and quarterly offerings for children, listed by age.
The Nursery, for babies and toddlers. The foundation of a lifelong relationship with the church starts here! Our church Nursery is staffed by our long-time professional caregivers and is open from 8:00am-12:00 noon every Sunday and during other programs and events requiring childcare.
Playgroup is on Wednesday mornings, 9:30-11:00. Parents, caregivers and children meet to build community and play! We have simple snacks for the children and coffee for the grown-ups. Playgroup meets in the McClain Room at the church.
On Sunday mornings, children age three through fourth grade are invited to attend Church School classes during the first part of the 9:30 service. They re-join their parents before Communion.
Our youngest classroom, the Good Shepherd Atrium, is for children age three through Kindergarten to sing, learn Bible stories and make friends. In this room we use Godly Play, a curriculum based on Montessori principles but adapted for children’s spiritual needs. Godly Play recognizes that children already have their own relationship with God, but it is our job to help them develop language and learn stories that will help them think about God and grow closer to God. We do this through songs, storytelling, and work-time, during which the children choose the materials they wish to work with in order to respond to the lessons.
First and second graders meet in the True Vine Atrium, where the focus is on developing biblical literacy and Christian values with singing, storytelling and thematic activities. In the True Vine, we use Catechesis of the Good Shepherd methodology, which, like Godly Play, is also based on Montessori principles. Catechesis seeks to be an experience of life and education in faith, by encountering God, listening to Jesus the one Teacher, and responding to the Holy Spirit. We sing together every Sunday morning and listen to sacred stories. The True Vine is a beautifully prepared space in which the children are encouraged to choose what they wish to work with in order to learn best.
Children’s Chapel, for third and fourth graders who are not singing with the choir during the service, offers an age-appropriate version of the liturgy with readings, prayers, and activities. Children can be Presiders, Lectors, or Procession Object Bearers. There is a job for everyone!
Kids Connection is for all third and fourth graders, both choristers and non-choristers. Offered one Sunday a month from 4:00-4:50pm, this program is geared at building friendships and faith using the liturgical seasons as a framework for themes and activities. Kids Connection meets in the McClain Room at the church. Dates are 9/20, 10/18,11/15 , 1/10, 2/21, 3/21, 4/18, 5/16.
Young Family Gatherings happen once a quarter. Families with children age 0-8 are invited for a potluck dinner, activities for the children and conversation for the adults. We usually meet in the McClain Room at the church but sometimes at other locations around town.
The Summertime Children’s Program is offered from mid-June through Labor Day at our outdoor service at Maple Park, and includes songs, stories and seasonal activities. The children rejoin their parents at the Peace for the balance of the service.
We have 50+ volunteers in the children and youth formation programs, who are all trained in “Keeping God’s People Safe” by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
For more information on children’s programming please contact:
Melissa Durbin + Director of Children’s Ministries + (847)309-5834
Classes and programs for fifth grade and above and listed under the Youth page.
Specific information on our special events is on our Home page.
We hope you can join us soon!