Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” – Matthew 19:14
We learn as much from our youth at Christ Church as we teach them. They are not the church’s future – they are the church’s present, full of gifts and faith and profound wisdom. We invite them to learn in playful ways, and they in turn teach us to play as we pray.
We are launching two new Sunday School programs this fall, starting September 18:
ST NICHOLAS AT CHRIST CHURCH, Sunday, December 4, 1-3 pm
All children are welcome at this festive holiday party. We will decorate cookies, do crafts, sing carols, eat yummies – and even meet St. Nicholas so we can hear the stories about this 4th century Turkish bishop who morphed into our modern-day Santa Claus. It’ll end in time for the Town of La Plata’s Holiday Tyme festivities at Town Hall from 3-6. Event indoors – with air filtration. Registration helpful – call 301-392-1051 or click here. Please share the Facebook event.
Godly Play (for Jr K- 5th grade)
Godly Play introduces children to the Bible and to a relationship with Jesus using rich stories, simply told and reflected on in a variety of ways. After hearing the story, children are invited to wonder about it, and then to respond to what they’ve taken in by playing with the materials for that story or another, or doing art work or some other activity. Godly Play will happen in a specially designed space off the Parish Hall, led by our Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, Alicia Cordelle, an educator and musician.
Rite 13 (for middle schoolers)
Rite 13 invites our young people to encounter Jesus and his Way of Love using their heads and their hearts. The curriculum is part of the Episcopal “Journey to Adulthood” series that helps our youth navigate the complexities of their lives as well as the promise of a rich faith life. It recognizes that a journey is a process, and so is maturing in the knowledge and love of God. Rite 13 will take place in the lower level of our Parish building, with two adult mentors with the youth each Sunday. There is also an option to attend via Zoom here.
Holy Communion and Sacraments
In the Episcopal Church, all the baptized are invited to receive the bread and wine at Communion; there is no age limit. Periodically Rev. Kate offers a Holy Communion Workshop for children to better understand what happens during the eucharist. Though the church does not have a formal ritual of First Communion, a special Rite can be offered on request to celebrate this milestone in a Christian’s life.
Youth Making Change
Our young people are keenly aware of the challenges our communities face, and like to make a difference in the world. Periodically we gather for an outing to offer service in the local community, or raise funds for an organization further away. Our work is always followed with some time to enjoy ice cream or pizza and a chance to reflect on where we encountered God in our work. We also participate in regional youth activities organized through the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
We have just begun a confirmation class in anticipation of our bishop’s visit in November. If you are interested in being a part of it, please contact our Rector, Kate Heichler.
Special Events for Children
We hold special workshops and events for children at different times of the church year:
A Holy Communion Workshop helps children to understand the meaning of the Christian Eucharist, as well as the “how-tos” of receiving bread and wine. Great for parents who want to know more too.
The Christmas Pageant involves the children in the re-telling of the great Christmas story. There is a part for every child who wants to participate, no matter how young or old. The pageant is performed at our Christmas Eve Family Service.
Holy Week Walk for Kids invites children to take a guided tour through the events of Holy Week and Easter, sitting as the disciples at the Last Supper, getting their feet washed, enduring the trials of Jesus, contemplating the crucifixion and burial, and experiencing the surprise of the empty tomb. These events are narrated in different locations, as the children offer their own profound reflections.