Our Young Children’s Sunday School is a multi-age program (preschool through 7 or 8 years, depending on your assessment of which class will work best for your child) that focuses on telling and working with Bible stories using the Godly Play Curriculum. This approach uses a sensorimotor style of storytelling as a primary means of encountering the stories given to us in God’s Word. This approach gives appropriate freedom, so children can respond to stories of the Bible through continued working with the story figures and art materials. It allows children to connect their personal experiences to scripture through the use of these materials, supported by the atmosphere of worship. And, remarkably, it provides a way for young children to tell the stories of God to others.
The Young Children’s Sunday School time at Grace follows this pattern:
Welcome: Children are greeted as they enter the classroom and enjoy a snack and talk with the teachers and each other.
Shema and Catechism: Children gather in the storytelling area and begin with reciting the Shema and answers to a Children’s Catechism, which helps to teach children about the reformed faith (the broad theological “camp” of which Presbyterianism is a part).
Hearing God’s Word: A story is told as it appears in scripture, in an unembellished way, using a sensorimotor approach with story figures and manipulatives; each story includes statements of “I wonder…” to encourage children’s thinking about what God is revealing to us in the story from His Word.
Responding to God’s Word: Children are encouraged to respond through self-expression using music, art media, writing, and movement including retelling of a story; all stories and materials are made available to children for their expression and use, with adult support for completing tasks within the available time.
Prayer and Blessing: Through prayer, we request God’s blessing on each child before leaving
In our Older Children’s Sunday School, we have adopted a Rotation Sunday School approach for elementary aged students. This approach allows us to study the same story for 4 to 5 weeks through a variety of activities which may include art, cooking, drama, music, missions, storytelling, and science, to name a few.
The creative workshop experience allows different members of our congregation to share their walk with God and lead our children through God’s Word with a similar focus by using the same story, and yet a different aspect by using a variety of media and approaches. Children have a different teacher for each rotation activity in one story while one additional adult helper remains constant each Sunday. Teachers repeat the rotation with the new story, revisiting with children using their own gifts and talents each time.
Children benefit from studying a story with more depth, allowing multiple experiences to build memory for detail while God’s Word is revealed in multiple ways through each of these experiences. Our children also benefit by learning about God from church members with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Our children’s Sunday Schools meet at 9:30 am.