Children's Formation and COVID-19
Join us on Facebook for Children's Formation lessons, Children's Liturgy, and fun activities with our Children's Formation team!
Parents will sign up ahead of time for worship and for atrium. We can accommodate up to six children in each atria; 4 and 5-year-olds in Level I, 1st-3rd grade Level II, 4th-6th in Level III.
Please bring the children in through the double glass doors next to the King Garden. A hall helper will greet the child in the sign-in area and take him/her to the age appropriate atrium.
All catechists and hall helpers will wear a mask, and we ask that all parents and children wear a mask as well. Children will be six feet apart while doing work in the atria and will wash hands and use hand sanitizer after each lesson. They will not be sharing any of the works. The children will join their families in church at the end of the service for Eucharist. The environments will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
We will continue to offer our three Zoom Atrium Sessions on Sunday mornings for all three atria levels and to provide Home Church resources to families. We will also continue to have a Children's Formation component to Lawn Chair Church on Wednesday evenings.
The three-year-old atrium orientation for children and their parents has been postponed; we hope to offer this later in the fall or January 2021. Please let Kathleen Busbee know if you have any questions.
Resources for Formation at Home:
- Faith at Home: Daily reflections on scripture with supplemental opportunities for action, crafts, and prayer.
- Building Faith: Articles and resources for Christian Formation for all ages.
- Illustrated Ministry: Free weekly, downloadable, faith formation resources.
- The Little Episcopalian's Guide: Bishop Coloring Book
Resources for Discussing COVID-19 with Children:
- Coronavirus, Anxiety, Children and the Church
- Stanford Children's Health: How to Talk with Kids About COVID-19
- Printable resource modeled as a children's book for a younger child
- Fact Sheet for Families from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- The CDC
We appreciate your patience as we develop new interactive ways to engage and worship with our amazing children. If you have any questions, please contact Children's Formation Director Kathleen Busbee.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Specific programming is suspended at this time due to COVID-19. Please see information below regarding the program in general. We will update you on programs and events as we are able!
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a sensorially rich experience for children ages 3 - 6th grade which illuminates and nourishes the child in his/her most vital religious needs.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a sensorially rich experience, which illuminates and nourishes the child in his/her most vital religious needs. Our version of Sunday School for children ages 3 – 6th grade, it is based on the belief that young children can - and do - experience God. This approach to the religious formation of children is rooted in the Holy Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori.
Traditionally, children meet in one of three atria, which are rooms created to nurture children’s spirituality by encouraging a quiet, prayerful experience. In the atria, children receive lessons from adult "Catechists," who are CGS trained and certified. Hands-on materials are used to help children and Catechists reflect on the great mysteries of the Christian faith. They ponder biblical passages or prayers from the liturgy by working with the materials created for that text —placing wood figures of sheep in the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Older children often copy parables from the Bible, place written prayers in order from the Rite of Baptism, or label a long timeline showing the history of the kingdom of God.
Children's Formation Director Kathleen Busbee: (239) 222-8549
Jeannie Feldman: (205) 516-2347
Joie Hoke: (205) 527-5458
Commissioner: Adam Edwards
Children's Liturgy of the Word
Children's Liturgy of the Word is now offered online. This experience from our Children's Formation team allows our children to engage with formation leaders as they sing, read the Gospel, pray, and reflect on scripture. A new lesson is made available each Sunday but can be accessed at your convenience by clicking the link below.
3rd Grade Solemn Communion
The Solemn Holy Communion experience is designed to help children more fully explore and enjoy the mystery of Christ’s gift of himself in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This series of Meditation Classes, Retreat, and Solemn Communion Celebration is an integral part of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. For information, please email Children's Formation Director Kathleen Busbee.
Other Opportunities for Children
Each Christmas Eve, Children’s Formation organizes two Christmas Pageants. The first, held at 10:30am, is a pageant with Morning Prayer. The second pageant, held at 4:00pm, is followed by Holy Eucharist. The main cast of both pageants attend two practices the week prior to the pageants. There is no rehearsal for the rest of the participants. Children arrive 30 minutes before the pageants to receive their costumes and practice songs.
Level III Outreach Projects
The 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in level III atrium participate in monthly outreach and service projects. These projects include preparing and serving meals to the Family Promise participants, serving at the local soup kitchen, spending time with the elderly residents at the Episcopal Place, collecting items for overseas service men and women, visiting a local Mosque and Temple, participating in the Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil, and cooking bread for the Eucharist.
6th Grade Community Activities
The 6th graders participate in monthly social activities in the fall semester and are invited to join EYC evening events in the winter/spring semester. In May, the 6th graders are celebrated by a special recognition ceremony in church and a dinner party to honor their completion of atrium.
Become a Catechist
Become an Adult Catechist
Interested in becoming a catechist (trained adult volunteer)? All Saints is always looking for adults to serve as catechists in the atria. The CGS training course is designed to attune participants to the religious life of the child and to provide specific methods and materials to foster the child’s spiritual life. The course not only gives participants a chance to explore the general philosophy and methodology of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd but also provides time of valuable scriptural reflection.