Ascension believes in its children â€“ in their innocence, in their energy, the joy they bring with them, their spirit of wonder, and the honesty in their questions. With our Christian formation programs, we seek to nurture the spiritual growth of Ascension-ites of all ages.Â Our children are an integral part of our parish family and are welcome in all aspects of our worship.
Beginning September 17, 2017, Christian Formation (Sunday School) for children age 3 (and potty trained) through 5th grade will be held at 10:15 am (or immediately after the 9:00 am service) on the lower level of the main church building.Â Formation greeters/teachers will be stationed in the narthex to greet and assist newcomers.Â Classes will end before the start of the 11:00 amÂ service.Â Adult classes are also offered during this time. These sessions will help us deepen our knowledge of the stories of the people of God and reflect on the meaning of these stories in our lives.
Godly Play (Age 3 â€“ 2nd Grade: Room 6, lower level):Â Godly Play is Montessori-based curriculum that presents the stories of our faith and engages children in these stories within a sacred space. Children and teachers wonder about the biblical narratives together, and then have open-ended opportunities, usually with art supplies, to engage the story on their own terms. The format of Godly Play follows the format of liturgy:
- Gathering â€“ greeting at the door & preparing to enter sacred space
- Getting ready â€“ entering the sacred circle, community, greeting, silence
Word and Response
- Hearing â€“ presenting the story, wondering
- Responding â€“ individual work, getting ready for prayers and feast
- Preparing â€“ preparing tables, prayers
- Sharing â€“ enjoying feast, putting away
- Dismissal â€“ getting ready to bless and be blessed, individual blessings
- Going forth â€“ leaving the sacred circle, goodbyes at the door
Learn more about Godly Play on theÂ Godly Play website.
A Joyful PathÂ (Grades 3-5: Room 11, lower level): This is a new curriculum developed jointly by ProgressiveChristianity.org and the Center for Progressive Christianity for children 6-10 years old. A spiritual curriculum for young hearts and minds, it is inclusive, compassionate, and â€śinter-spiritualâ€ť in the sense that it exposes children to the concept that many of the values taught by Jesus are found in other culturesâ€™ faith traditions. It teaches children how to access the wisdom already implanted by God in their hearts, about the sacred character and unity of the cosmos, and how to expand their awareness of our Creator.Â
Other Opportunities for Children
Opportunities for Teens (Grades 6-12)
Youth Group Meetings-Teens attend youth group twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 6 pm to 8 pm, in the parish hall on the lower level.Â Parents take turns bringing dinner and the teens enjoy food, fellowship, formation and fun.Â Many activities are planned throughout the year, including service project and social outings, some of which include youth groups from other churches.
Work Camp– Youth group members can choose to attend a mission trip in the summer.Â In recent years, the group gone to Philadelphia where they serve an inner city community through an Episcopal service organization.Â Selection of dates and location is done in concert with the Youth,Youth Leaders and Parents.
Worship and Parish Life– Teens are welcome to participate in worship and are encouraged to volunteer to help with childrenâ€™s activities such as the Christmas pageant and the Easter Egg Hunt. Teens may also volunteer to help in the Nursery.
The safety of our younger members is of paramount importance to the teachers and leadership of Ascension. All who volunteer to work with young people are required to have taken Safeguarding Godâ€™s Children, a three hour seminar offered under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington (www.edow.org/for-clergy-and-parish-leaders/safe-church/safeguarding-gods-children-training). For more information please contact Rev. Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 301.948.0122 ext. 12.