"We are ambassadors who represent Christ." – 2 Corinthians 5:20

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Christian Formation for Children

 Ascension believes in its children – 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.  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.  Formation greeters/teachers will be stationed at the entrance to greet and assist newcomers.  Classes will end before the start of the 11:00 am service.  Adult classes are also offered during this time to explore the stories and lessons taught in the children’s classes.  These sessions will offer adults the opportunity for fellowship and group study.  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.

Two Curriculums

Godly Play (Age 3 – 2nd Grade: Room 6, lower level): 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:

Entrance

  • Gathering – greeting at the door & preparing to enter sacred space
  • Getting ready – entering the sacred circle, community, greeting, silence

Word and Response

  • Hearing – presenting the story, wondering
  • Responding – individual work, getting ready for prayers and feast

The Feast

  • Preparing – preparing tables, prayers
  • Sharing – enjoying feast, putting away

Sending Forth

  • Dismissal – getting ready to bless and be blessed, individual blessings
  • Going forth – leaving the sacred circle, goodbyes at the door

Learn more about Godly Play on the Godly Play website.

A Joyful Path (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 “inter-spiritual” in the sense that it exposes children to the concept that many of the values taught by Jesus are found in other cultures’ 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. 

Other Opportunities for Children

Participation in a Church Service– Discuss with the worship committee how your child can participate.  Examples include: passing the collection plate, reading the scripture to the congregation, helping prepare the altar, playing an instrument, serving as an acolyte, etc.

Worship for Families with Young Children – Young children and their families worship together during a modified Eucharist with story-style sermon, prayers and simple songs geared for children. Join us Sundays at 10:15 a.m. in the white chapel. 

Nursery – a nursery operates on Sundays from 9 a.m. through the 11:00 a.m. service. A loving nursery aide is in charge of the nursery, and is assisted by volunteers. 

Artwork for Worship Leaflets – children are invited to submit artwork for the covers of the Easter Family Service and the Christmas worship leaflets. 

Christmas Pageant – Children and many youth and adults participate in this updated reenactment of the Christmas story. Younger children dress up as barnyard animals, angels and shepherds and older children have acting and speaking roles. A pizza party follows the pageant in the Undercroft Commons.

Shrove Tuesday – A children’s activity happens during the Pancake Supper.

Easter Egg Hunts – following the Easter Family Service at 12:30, Easter Egg Hunts for preschool-aged children and school-aged children (1st thru 5th grade) take place on the back and front lawns of Ascension, coordinated by the Ascension youth. 

Parish Picnic – Games for children are coordinated by Ascension youth.

Safety

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 God’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 ral@ascensionmd.org or at 301.948.0122 ext. 12.