KIDS’ SUNDAY SCHOOL & NURSERY MINISTRIES
At St. James’ we value every person who comes to worship God, including the littlest worshipers among us. That is why we have a dedicated team of adult members who are held to high standards of training. Each Sunday school teacher/nursery attendant is required by the diocese to take an online Safeguarding Our Children course every three years, and screened for any criminal record. In addition, they meet regularly with the rector for ongoing training and curriculum planning. They have also been thoroughly briefed on the safety plan of the parish which includes emergency procedures. We currently have five teachers who rotate in and out of the classroom, so that there are always at least two present to be with the children. Our teachers have a variety of backgrounds, including a pediatric dentist and an occupational therapist.
Our kids’ ministry facilities are clean, safe, colorful, and full of fun things to do for ages 2 months to 10 years. In the nursery area, we have lots of soft places to crawl and play with blocks, puzzles, figures, and biblical story toys such as Noah’s Ark. The kids’ classrooms are located in the courtyard area of our office-classroom quadrangle across from the church building. The quadrangle surrounds a grass-covered, shaded playground with new rubber mulch for extra bounce under the swings and slide.
In the Sunday school, the teachers use a lectionary-based curriculum that includes a children’s sermon and lots of activities, including arts and crafts. The teachers are free to add to this curriculum and do so, using the felt boards or dramatic readings to illustrate the Bible story they are studying. During Advent, for example, they will have their own Advent wreath and liturgy for lighting it each Sunday, along with Advent sticker calendars and other seasonal materials, purchased from Creative Communications. We return to the main church in time to receive Communion with our parish family. We also dismiss early in order to participate in special events, such as Blessing of the Backpacks in August, or any baptism that occurs during the Church year.
For Christmas, we try to involve the Sunday school in the family worship on Christmas Eve to the extent that our numbers allow. Once a year, the students do a fund-raising project to benefit a charitable organization, particularly one that specializes in children.
Kids’ Ministry is open at 10:15 a.m. on Sundays and begins at 10:30. We normally return to the main worship service around 11:15-11:20 a.m.