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Children and Family Ministries

Children in Worship: Children of all ages are welcome in worship. Special areas in the worship space provide parent-and-child-friendly seating. Activity packets are available for children who need to be busy with doing while listening.

Serving in Worship: Children and youth interested and ready serve as ushers, acolytes and readers in Sunday and Holy Day services.

Sunday School: Sunday School meets from mid-September through early June. We use the Godly Play curriculum to develop and nurture faith formation in our children.

Godly Play: The Flood and The Ark

Meet in the Narthex at 10:30am to head to the Sunday School rooms together.

Why does Christ Church adopt Godly Play as our approach to Children’s Faith Formation?
“In an age where we feel we need to meet children in their high-tech world, Godly Play is a unique way to present the beautiful and eloquent truths of the Bible in a very simple, natural form with no bells or whistles. In most religious education, children are told who God is. In Godly Play, children discover who God is. Using the principles of learning in the Montessori method, we respond to the child’s request to ‘help me do it by myself.’ It shares spiritual education in a beautiful, peaceful, intimate manner,
demonstrating the power and richness of God through meaningful and intentional presentations of His Word. This puts the teacher in the role of spiritual supporter or guide who fully accepts that each child has his or her own relationship with God already.
Godly Play Bible stories are told gracefully and beautifully using simple hands-on figures, made of natural and meticulously designed materials The storyteller, serves as a “guide” to the truth being told. Then, sits back and asks, “I wonder …?” allowing the children to find their own way. Children are
encouraged to explore their thoughts, ideas and feelings about the story through expressive art following the presentation…” Emily Mullens, 2011

What Happens in a Godly Play Session?
A door person waits by the door to the Godly Play classroom, warmly welcoming children as they arrive. Children make their way into the room and sit in a circle around the Storyteller. The Godly Play Classroom is their sacred space.

Slowly, deliberately, the storyteller presents the story using figures and objects, gently moving and arranging them as the story unfolds. Following, the storyteller invites the children into a conversation: “I wonder,” the storyteller says. “I wonder what part of the story you like best?” “I wonder what part is most important?” “I wonder what part of the story is about you?”
The methods used in Godly Play meet the needs of different learning styles and types of intelligence: it is hands-on for tactile learners, engaging for auditory and visual learners, invites response from emotionally intelligent children, and provides both safety and freedom for children of all learning styles to respond.
The storyteller invites the children to think about what work they would like to do in response to the lesson, as they continue to wonder. Some play mindfully with the materials from the presentation or from another story. Others may engage in several other art choices.

Godly Play Schedule for September 18, 2022 – June 4, 2023

The Circle of the Church Year; The Bible |  September 18, 2022
The Days of Creation | October 2, 2022
The Flood & the Ark | October 16, 2022
The Great Family | October 30, 2022
Exodus | November 13, 2022
Advent | November 27, 2022
The Mystery of Christmas | December 11, 2022
Epiphany | January 8, 2023
Baptism of Jesus | January 15, 2023
Parable: The Good Shepherd | January 22, 2023
Parable: The Good Samaritan | January 29, 2023
Parable: The Great Pearl | February 5, 2023
Parable: The Sower | February 12, 2023
Parable: The Leaven | February 19, 2023
The Mystery of Easter | February 26, 2023
The Faces of Easter I | March 5, 2023
The Faces of Easter II | March 12, 2023
The Faces of Easter III | March 19, 2023
The Faces of Easter IV | March 26, 2023
The Faces of Easter V | April 2, 2023
Easter/Easter Eggs | April 9, 2023
The Crosses | April 16, 2023
Jesus and the Twelve | April 23, 2023
The Good Shepherd and the World Communion | April 30, 2023
The Synagogue and the Upper Room | May 7, 2023
Circle of the Holy Eucharist | May 14, 2023
Saul Changes | May 21, 2023
Pentecost | May 28, 2023
Paul’s Travels and His Letters | June 4, 2023

Activities for the Seasons of the Church Year

Saint Francis Blessing of the Animals (First Sunday in October): Children bring their pets, to the courtyard for blessing and a special certificate.  Treats are available for pets and humans.

November’s Altar of Remembrance Along with the rest of the community, children are welcome to add framed pictures and mementos of loved ones who have died to the Altar of Remembrance, creating a communal space of honor and remembrance and a witness to the promise of continuing life in Christ.

The Advent Jesse Tree Each Sunday in Advent, before the 10:30 liturgy, children can adorn the Jesse Tree with several of the symbols of the coming Christ, until on Christmas Eve, they complete the tree with the last symbol – the Nativity.

During Advent Collecting funds from the parish for the Episcopal Relief and Development initiative to support mothers and newborns in need at Christmas.

Greening of the Church (Fourth Sunday of Advent following the 10:30 service): All ages invited to gather and assist in the adorning of the church for our Christmas Celebrations.

Mardi Gras (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) With some adult assistance, children burn palms and grind the ashes for Ash Wednesday. All ages join in creating the communal art project of the Alleluia Scroll, buried in the garden to be unearthed at Easter and displayed in the church throughout Easter’s Fifty Days.

During Lent Collecting funds from the parish for the Episcopal Relief and Development initiative to purchase a well with clean water at Easter.

Alleluia Scroll and Great Easter Egg Hunt (Easter Day, following the 10:30 Eucharist): Children dig up the urn containing the scroll and then turn their attention to collecting the abundance of Easter eggs scattered all around the courtyard and its gardens.

Serving our Neighbors

Life Food Packs Several times a year, during coffee hour, members of all ages form an assembly line to put together Life Food Packs for people who are hungry and homeless. These small bags contain a can of nutritious food, a juice box, energy bar and small necessities such as band-aids, along with a list of social service resources in Tacoma.

Gifts for Life through Episcopal Relief and Development An annual parish-wide fund drive organized by Christ Church children to raise money to purchase animals such as a cow, goat, chickens, and bees for families living in poverty in struggling parts of the world. The animals provide their owners with a renewable source of food and income.

Family Housing Network Twice a year Christ Church partners with Family Housing Network to provide a week of overnight shelter for families experiencing homelessness. Parish children, with their parents, host our guest children with evening activities such as movies and games.

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