We want our children to participate in worship with us. Accordingly, our 5-12 year old children will join us for the beginning of the worship service, will be dismissed to children’s church during the service, and will return to celebrate with us at the Lord’s table.
Christ Church’s ministry to children 5-12 years old is rooted in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a “hands on” approach to the Christian formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use.
You may be wondering how these materials help the Christian life of children? If an adult hears a beautiful passage from the Bible, the adult might take a Bible, find the passage, and read it slowly again and again. He or she may think deeply about the words and perhaps speak to God in a thankful or hopeful prayer. But a little child, too young to read, needs another way. In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that text and working with it – placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar table with the furnishings used for the Lord’s Supper. Older children who do read often copy parables from the Bible, lay in order written prayers from the rite of baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God.