Grace Episcopal Church
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Sustainably Fueled by a Higher Power
 

Formation for Children and Youth

 
 
Grace Church is entering a time of new growth and is actively working on ways to welcome and include more children, youth and young families into our midst.  As it says on our welcome page, at Grace Church, we envision a church where people of all ages are respected as full participants in community life.   The local church is one of the last truly intergenerational institutions left in our society, and we'd like to claim the intergenerational support that our church has always been so good at as our mission.  
 
At Grace Church, young children are lovingly doted over by the many 'surrogate grandparents' in our congregation.  Young parents have appreciated the supportive atmostphere here not only for their children, but for themselves!   Right now we are working on developing a child and parent friendly space in the church itself so that families with babies and toddlers have a 'soft space' in which to be comfortable in the service together.  As children get older, they are welcome to choose to take part in leadership as readers, acolytes, choir members, greeters or ushers.  As we develop our various ministries at Grace, children's input and perspective will always be sought, and their participation welcomed.  We also look forward to offering Godly Play to our children between kindergarten and 5th grade in the fall.
     
Grace Church was once known for its vibrant youth groups.  We are praying for growth in youth participation again.  Our hope is to invite teens to explore what faith is all about, but also to support kids in taking a little break from virtual community and finding authentic community.  Our goal is to create an open minded and supportive place where teens can be themselves and can connect with themselves, each other and the earth while being guided and mentored by caring adults.  Currently we have a small active youth group for middle schoolers.   While we don't know what the future holds, we know we want Grace Church to provide unique opportunities for teens to get real, discover their emerging gifts and make a difference in the world.
 
If you're looking for a large, organized Sunday school program, Grace Church is probably not the place to look right now.  But if you want to take part in creating - and becoming - a faith community where kids and youth are loved and respected, spiritually fed and nourished, and supported in becoming compassionate and confident leaders in life, perhaps you're being called to join us in the journey.