Christian Education for Children & Youth
Christian Formation at St. Mark’s for 2017/18 Academic Year!
Registration and Photo Release Forms: Please Register
Registration and Photo Release forms have been sent out via email and have also been made available on the ‘What’s Happening?’ bulletin board outside the Day School and Church Offices.
Jesus and Me (J.A.M.) Group – Ages 5-11
The JAM group will be using the Sparkehouse/Whirl lectionary curriculum that follows the Revised Common Lectionary that we use in church. This means the children will be hearing the readings and learning the lessons in their own group and then in church each Sunday, thus reinforcing the learning in a deep and meaningful way.
Every Whirl lesson follows a four-part sequence: Welcome, Hear, Respond, and Launch (WHRL!). Each week, kids and leaders start their time together by identifying where they are in the church year and watching an animated video to set up the lesson. Next, they dive into the Whirl Story Bible or Whirl NRSV Bible together, respond to the scripture lesson with creative leaflet activities, and circle up to review the lesson and pray before being sent out.
We will meet in the JAM room next to Fellowship Hall.
Middle and High Schoolers Group – Cool and Contemporary Bible Study
The youth curriculum for middle school and high school will be based on the The Story: Teen Edition. Acclaimed curriculum developer Michael Novelli uses his chronological Bible storying method of experiential teaching to create the engaging teen curriculum for The Story. He teamed with his artist brother, Mark, to create the 62 captivating stop-motion videos that open every session. You’ve gotta see http://www.thestory.com/sample-resources/youth-ministries to get a feel for this!
We will meet in the former ‘J2A’ room from 9-10 a.m. on Sunday mornings!
Middle and High School Confirmation Group
This coming year, the confirmation program will be very new and different!
St. Mark’s will be teaming up with St. Michael’s for a joint confirmation group. Nate Nesbit, youth minister at St. Michael’s, and the St. Mark’s Curator for Lifelong Christian Formation will be leading the group.
Our newly confirmed young adults are also invited to participate in this confirmation group. We need their help to mentor and lead the group! This is a wonderful opportunity for our young people who have just been confirmed to foster and support the younger youth at St. Mark’s in their faith development.
The book, My Faith, My Life, will be used to guide the confirmation program. This book is widely used throughout the Episcopal Church for confirmation.
The group will meet 10 times during the 2016/2017 academic year on Sunday evenings at St. Michael’s church from 5:30-7:30 pm. There will be a kick-off lock-in at St. Michael’s on Saturday, Oct. 22nd. This is meant to be the weekend the group meets and bonds together, so it is very important for everyone to attend!
This is our larger service. Children, youth and adults of all ages are encouraged to attend. Christ welcomed everyone with open arms and encouraged participation through the Eucharist in the body of Christ. We believe modeling all age worship is vital for developing a healthy and balanced faith community.
Front Pew – families are invited to sit in the front pew area with their children. It is a wider pew specially designed for families. The front pew is considered the most honored place in the church and is where we believe our children belong. There are stuffed animals, puzzles and books to keep the children engaged while parents participate in the service.
Worship Boxes for Children – designed to keep little ones engaged during worship service, they are filled with age appropriate Christian formation material. Pick one up in the entry way of the church and please replace it on your way out.
A nursery is available between 9-11:30 a.m. for babies and young children. St. Mark’s family ministries coordinator, along with high school volunteers, will assist in taking care of the babies and children. This timing allows parents to go to both the Adult Forum hour and attend the 10:15 a.m. service.
St. Mark’s Church believes the safety of our children is a top priority. All staff, the Vestry, and volunteers must complete the National Episcopal Church’s curriculum of ‘Keeping God’s People Safe’. Police background checks are conducted on all staff and volunteers that have regular contact with children.
A BIG THANK YOU to those who have contributed! So far, we have raised just over $600. Our goal is $1000 by the end of June and $3000 by the end of the summer. This fund is dedicated to St. Mark’s youth so they can participate in camps and mission trips that will affirm and transform their faith. Camp Chicago provides a dynamic and fun Christian community for youth that deepens faith. Mission trips provide the opportunity for active work in the world where it is needed most. By experiencing the paradox of unselfish giving and serving of others that we actually receive more in return than can be expressed in words – our hearts are transformed. We get what it means to be Christian and to follow Christ.
Please make checks payable to St. Mark’s with “Youth Scholarship” in the memo line.