It used to be said, “Children are the Church of tomorrow,” but children and youth, along with adults, are the Church of today. Ministry with children and youth – their learning, fellowship, and nurture in the faith – is central to the life of our parish and to the larger Church.
There are children and youth active in Redeemer’s Church School and Youth programs; many of them sing in the Youth Choir.
We welcome you and your family to explore Christian formation at The Church of the Redeemer! Children and youth whose families are new to the parish are welcome to participate in Church School and youth activities at any time.
Church School takes place during the first part of the 10:30 Eucharist each Sunday. Children, youth, and teachers leave the nave after the Collect for the Day and return during the exchange of Peace. At present, one Godly Play class (ages 3 – 5 and grades 1 – 3), one intermediate class (grades 4 – 6), one Middle School class (grades 7 – 8), and one High School class (9 – 12) meet during this time.
Godly Play (age 3 – grade 3)
Godly Play is a Montessori-based method of teaching young children religious language and liturgical action. Using storytelling and playful manipulatives, Godly Play invites children to experience the wonder and mystery of God on a spiritual and intuitive level. Godly Play teachers make it a priority to follow the liturgical order of service so children might become more fully integrated into the parish community.
Intermediate Class (grades 4 – 6)
Children in the Intermediate Class begin to apply scriptural understanding to everyday life. Storytelling remains an integral part of Church School at this level, but in the form of lively interaction between students and teachers. The Intermediate Class uses a relatively new curriculum, Weaving God’s Promises, developed by The Episcopal Church, which aims to foster the spiritual formation and growth of children and youth in Christ’s love and mercy, and to teach the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, giving children a solid grounding for future formation programs.
Middle School Class (grades 7 – 8)
The Middle and Junior High School years are turbulent times, where personalities are formed and values tested. During Church School students will have the opportunity to engage in matters of faith that relate to their lives in school, with their families, in the church and in the world. The Middle School class uses a lectionary-based curriculum called Teentext. One Sunday of the month, these students remain in church for the entire 10:30 a.m. Eucharist, and take an active role in the liturgy by serving as lectors, cruficers, acolytes and ushers.
High School Class (grades 9 – 12)
As maturing young adults, senior High School youth confront a myriad of life-shaping decisions. Redeemer’s high school students meet regularly during the 10:30 a.m. Eucharist with an adult mentor who leads discussions regarding life, faith, and spirituality discussions relevant to the daily realities these young people face. As is the case with the middle school students, one Sunday of the month, the high school youth will remain in church for the entire 10:30 a.m. Eucharist, and take an active role in the liturgy serving as lectors, crucifers, acolytes and ushers.
Confirmation Class (grades 8 – 12)
Held periodically throughout the year, these classes prepare youth for the sacramental rite of Confirmation. Sessions are led by Amma Cricket and held after church on Sunday or on weeknights.
(grades 5 – 12)
It is important for the youth of the parish to come together for times of fellowship and outreach in order to build relationships among themselves and with other members of the parish community. It is also important that they have fun! Redeemer youth in middle and high school meet twice a month on Wednesday evenings after youth choir practice. The Potomac River Anglican Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is a consortium of young people from Redeemer, St. Dunstan’s, and St. Patrick’s Episcopal Churches. They meet once a month for fun or service projects.
Past activities have included participation in the 9/11 Unity Walk and Help the Homeless Walkathon, game nights, mini-golf, bowling, and helping to prepare meals for homeless individuals through the Bethesda Cares dinner program.
Nursery Care (infants – three years of age)
For the youngest among us, nursery care is provided during the 10:30 Eucharist each Sunday (9:15 – 11:45 a.m.). The Church of the Redeemer has a lovely, well-equipped nursery, with a trained caretaker. Your child is welcome to join you in the nave for the Liturgy of the Eucharist (the second part of the service) or, if you would prefer, he or she may stay in the nursery for the entire liturgy.