Parish Kids supports families, children, and teens as they learn to walk in the way of Jesus. We take seriously the privilege of coming alongside parents as they apprentice their children in God’s family.
Family Sundays happen each “4th Sunday”. On these days, children 5 years and older grow as God-worshipers by practicing alongside adults in the main worship gathering for the beginning of the service. Midway through, Elementary students are dismissed to their own age-appropriate lesson, while Middle & High School remain with the adults in the upstairs gathering. Childcare is always available for infants through 4 years old, even on Family Sundays.
To ensure the safety of children, all workers in Parish Family Ministry are background-checked and receive extensive training. If you’d prefer, children are always welcome to stay with their parents/guardians in the worship service.
New Beginnings (Babies – Younger 2’s)
As all new beginnings bring wonder and joy, so do our youngest children in The Parish. In this space our trained volunteers provide a safe and loving environment for infants and toddlers. We hope to share God’s love by the way we care for youngest in our community.
Our New Beginnings class is open during every Parish gathering. Just off the sanctuary, this room allows parents to be near while loving, well-trained volunteers care for their children.
Follow (Older 2’s – Pre-K)
Our preschool children have a kid-friendly environment with age appropriate toys and caring leaders. We call this area Follow because it is a life stage of learning by imitation. Have you ever watched a child of this age play “chase” or “follow the leader”? We all have a lot to learn as we watch this age follow. In this stage, children will learn together to follow the early stepping stones along the way of Jesus.
This dedicated class is only open during the 10:30am gathering (and includes some playground time each week!), but children in this age are also welcome to join in the New Beginnings room during the 9am gathering.
Discover Elementary (Kindergarten)
We call this stage of Parish Kids Discover because it brings with an invitation to awaken to life with God. Curiosity and excitement mark the journey through this formative life stage, so Kindergarten through 5th grade students play an important role in The Parish community. Together, we laugh, play (foosball, pop-a-shot, and a playground are part of the fun), and adventure through God’s Story and Creation to discover the love Jesus has for us.
Our Parish Kids curriculum revolves around an invitation to life with God, and models simple spiritual practices kids can use in daily life. We hope our kids will not only hear the stories of Scripture that point to Jesus, but also will experience God for themselves. Each week, kids practice praying for one another and learn new habits to help them connect with God. Toward the end of the morning, elementary kids are guided back into the main gathering to join parents for communion and closing prayers.
Discover Elementary teachers and small group leaders generously commit to being with the kids multiple weeks per month over the school year. It’s a big commitment, but we think the consistency makes a real difference as our leaders building meaningful relationships with the kids in their small group each week.
Stages of Formation
Our Parish Kids stages draw cues from an ancient model of spiritual formation first outlined by Teresa of Avila in her classic The Interior Castle. Each room/area of Parish Kids is named after a stage in the classic spiritual journey of formation which also echoes their development as growing people. The stage names are adapted from Mansions of the Heart, a book aimed to modernize Teresa of Avila’s model.
- New Beginnings (in the family of Jesus)
- Follow (the way of Jesus)
- Discover (the love of Jesus)
Middle & High School
Middle School students meet Sunday mornings during the 10:30am service only in a casual environment. With donuts in hand, we discuss the Christian faith as a group, ask questions, and engage spiritual formation practices.
As high school students navigate the final chapter of life before adulthood, we encourage them to participate in the adult worship service each Sunday. This helps them build relationships with friends and mentors, and integrates them into the life and liturgy of the Church that will serve as a bedrock for future seasons of life. At various points during the week, high schoolers gather as a dedicated group to build friendships and explore Jesus’ way of life in their particular context.