Children & Family

Grace offers a full array of programs and services for young parishioners, forming children and families alike through opportunities for service and community outreach, prayer and meditation, and engaging in arts and music.

Through celebrating the liturgical year we create opportunities for youth leadership in worship, learn to sing and pray together, and learn more about our faith tradition while holding space for questions and doubt, in a community that values diversity and kindness. Weekly education introduces children and youth, pre-school and up, to core ideas of faith and service. Grace Church offers professional nursery care as well as a Church School program for pre-school through middle school youth.

Youth

Youth also have the opportunities to join in service projects and social action events throughout the year. Recently we’ve collected clothing goods for Syrian refugees; supported our local food pantry by holding an Election Day bake sale and by stocking shelves at the pantry; collected funds to purchase for flocks of chickens for families around the world through Episcopal Relief and Development; and prepared gift bags of toiletries and essentials for homeless men and women. Grace’s Christian Education Committee gathers regularly to plan and hold the vision for our church school, and to connect and support one another in leadership of the ministry. Tom Marsan, our Minister for Christian Formation for Children and Youth, leads our Children’s Chapel services before the 10:30 service, supports planning and volunteers for the younger Church School classes, and leads the Middle School class. Grace Church is a safe and welcoming place for all. Please see our statement of policy that governs all our school and parish interactions.

Acolyting

Serving as an acolyte is a way for middle and high school-age youth to participate in and feel part of the church’s traditions. Acolytes generally serve every three or four weeks. Contact the Church Office to learn more about acolyting at Grace Newton!

Youth Confirmation Classes

Grace Church will be starting confirmation classes again in January, which typically meet in the early evening on Sundays. For those who have never been confirmed as well as those who would like to reaffirm their faith, contact the Christian Education Director, Tom Marsan

Traditional Schedules

Traditional Schedule 10:15 AM Children’s Chapel (all ages & parents) Our chapel time includes reading, prayer, singing, and discussion. We also take up a collection that the children decide the cause to donate to. Following chapel, youth proceed to the appropriate Church School class. Godly Play (Pre-K-Kindergarten) Godly Play is based on the Montessori method of education, with hands-on learning and a respect for children’s own expression of their religious understanding. Elementary (Grades 1-4) The Elementary curriculum includes education on the Bible, Church history and tradition, spiritual practices, and identity formation. Our learning includes songs, reading, acting, and artwork. We often incorporate guest teachers from throughout the parish and encourage parents to participate in the classroom. Middle School (Grades 5 & up) This group offers youth a forum to ask questions, share life stories, and learn about themselves and their faith. We explore material from the Bible, church history and tradition, and faith formation practices. We learn about our religion, other faiths, our identity, and how to be authentic representations of God’s love in the world. 11:00 AM (approx. time) All pre-school, elementary grade children and middle schoolers join their families in the worship service in progress in the church. Formation Station Schedule (January – February/Epiphany & Easter – Pentecost) 9:30 AM – Optional breakfast provided and time for fellowship. 9:45 AM – 10:20 AM – Gather together with singing and prayers, a shared spiritual practice for the day, or Bible lesson. Times for age-appropriate break-outs and regathering to share learnings or questions. 10:20 AM – Godly Play children dismissed to class while older children and parents head to church.

Seasonal Schedules

For some parts of the year, we’ll follow a traditional Church School schedule, where the children are offered age-appropriate class time for the first half of the year. During these seasons, children gather for Children’s Chapel at 10:15 before heading to their classes. They then join their families in church for Communion, at about 11:10. During Epiphany (6-8 weeks post-Christmas) and Eastertide (6 weeks post-Easter) we offer an intergenerational Church School opportunity we call Formation Station, where families gather together before church to engage in learning stories of our faith, how to pray, and for a chance to sing together. We usually start Formation Station with a simple breakfast at 9:20, and our program beginning at 9:45 until 10:20. Children in 1st grade and up attend church with their parents, and often have special roles in worship. Children in preschool and Kindergarten attend Godly Play at 10:30 and join their families at the Peace for Communion.