Ministries at Christ Episcopal Church
Christian formation is the ongoing process of becoming the people God calls us to be!
Growing closer to God through prayer and Bible study, learning more about the Church and our worship, reflecting on our life and choices in light of the Gospel, and deepening our compassion for others are all a part of Christian formation. This is a life long journey and all are welcome! At Christ Church, there are opportunities for people of all ages to explore, re-discover, and grow in their faith. Keep reading to learn more!
Nursery (Infants and Toddlers)
Children are a very special gift from God and are welcome at all worship services and events. For our littlest members, the nursery is a safe and stimulating place to play and learn about the love of God. Once a month, a teacher visits the nursery to share a story, craft, prayer and song with our infants and toddlers. All people, regardless of age, are welcome to receive Holy Eucharist and parents using the Nursery often bring their little ones down to Church to receive the bread and wine on Sunday mornings. Our church family just isn’t complete without them!
Two paid providers care for children in our nursery every week and the nursery is open year round. During the school year, the nursery opens at 9:05 am so that parents can attend adult classes and Holy Eucharist, and it closes at about 11:45 am, after the 10:30 service concludes. During the summer months the nursery is open from 10:15–11:45 am so that parents can attend Holy Eucharist.
The nursery is located on the second floor of the building. Child care is also available for special services and events. Contact Leslie Swaim-Fox to request child care.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Preschool through 5th Grade)
We believe that God is in relationship with even the youngest child. Our desire is to help that relationship grow through a deep exploration of scripture and the worship of the Church. We provide a beautiful prayerful space, called an atrium, filled with materials that allow the children to extend their meditation on the Bible and moments from our worship. Most of the materials are homemade, by members of our parish family. Examples include:
- a small model altar for the child to set;
- a manger and clay figures of baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds to act out the narrative of Jesus’ birth;
- a tray of flour, yeast and water to mix together and observe as a meditation on the parable of the Kingdom of God and the Leaven;
- handmade maps of the land of Israel with small flags to label mountains, regions, and cities, as a way of exploring the place where Jesus lived.
Our catechists (who teach the children) have trained for over 90 hours to prepare for this wonderful ministry. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based program, designed to meet the developmental and spiritual needs of children in three age groups: preschool and kindergarten, 1st through 3rd grade, and 4th and 5th grade. Children meet in the atrium from 9:15 am to approximately 11:10 am, when they join their families in the service at the "Exchange of the Peace" so that they can have communion with our church family.
To learn more about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd visit Leslie’s blog, Thoughts from the Sheepfold, or visit the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
Journey to Adulthood (6th through 12th Grade)
Youth are active in learning, service and worship at Christ Church. Guided by adult mentors, our youth participate in the Journey to Adulthood Program – a youth program based on two guiding principles; manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God, and adulthood must be earned.
Our youth gather on Sunday mornings from 9:15-10:15 am for Bible study, prayer, conversation, and bagels! Our Journey to Adulthood Program is broken into three groups at this time: 6th through 8th grade, 9th and 10th grade, and 11th and 12th grade. This year, 9th and 10th graders will explore the book My Faith, My Life to prepare for Confirmation in May 2011.
Youth gather monthly for visits with residents and service projects at a local nursing home. They raise over a $1,000 for the hungry each year with a 30-hour fast. Youth make and serve meals and visit with homeless families along with the rest of the congregation when we house Interfaith Hospitality Network. For the last several years, youth have found, cut down and decorated the beautiful peace tree that adorns our Advent sanctuary.
Youth participate in worship each week, and serve as acolytes, Junior Choir members, ushers and lay readers.
All are welcome to explore and deepen their faith at Christ Church and there are many learning opportunities for adults in our parish. Adults meet each Sunday from 9:15-10:15 am for an Adult Forum with the Rev. Peter Faass and other lay leaders. Forums vary throughout the year and include many theological topics, social issues, and book discussions. “Stump the Clergy” is a regular feature! Ask Peter questions about theology, scripture, the intersections of faith and culture, and find out all those things you always wanted to know about the Episcopal Church but were afraid to ask! See the News/Events page for current offerings.
Adults gather on Wednesdays at 7:30 am at Panera with Rev. Peter for a Bible study, looking at the scripture for the upcoming Sunday. Christ Church also offers an ongoing Education For Ministry (EfM) class which meets weekly during the school year and invites lay people to dig deeper into the Christian faith through study, prayer, and reflection. Throughout the year there are many other opportunities for adult learning including “Episcopal 101 and Pizza” and our weekly Lenten classes.