“I found my best friend at St. John’s. We were three years old and over 10 years later we still experience everything together. Many other friendships for me have come from being a part of this church, friendships that grew in church and continue throughout the other parts of our lives. The fun of the Heifer Farm week-end was an especially memorable time for me growing up at St. John’s.” – Jordan Reist
Sunday School (age 3 through fifth-grade)
See St. John’s Sunday school’s Facebook page.
Sunday-school classes are offered for children three-years old through fifth grade during the 10 a.m. liturgy. Children are first dropped off at their classrooms at 10 a.m. before rejoining their families in church to participate in Holy Communion.
Lessons follow a story-based curriculum. Using interactive and engaging approaches the children not only hear the Bible stories but also visualize them through the use of wooden or felt materials. Story time is followed by an activity, prayers, songs, and play.
Fourth- and fifth-grade students: Using The Children’s Illustrated Bible (DK Publishing), students explore the Bible lessons through a higher sense of reasoning and discussion.
Voyagers (sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students)
Known as the “Voyagers,” sixth- through eighth-graders meet twice a month during the academic year on Wednesday evenings for pizza and a lively exploration of our Christian faith and how it relates to their middle-school lives as well as the larger world around them. Each class concentrates on one well-known Bible story and its relevance to the lives of today’s youth, as well as a focus on their Episcopal identity. The students also participate in several outreach opportunities, including an overnight trip to the Heifer International farm in Rutland, Mass.
Ninth-Grade Students: Confirmation Class
Confirmation is a year-long program that begins near the end of the eighth-grade year and culminates, at the end of ninth grade, in a commitment before the congregation and a bishop of the diocese to live out the vows made at baptism. Confirmation classes meet about every two weeks during the school year, and students engage in an interactive curriculum that exposes them to the major concepts of Christian thought and discipleship. In addition to class time, students gather for fellowship and volunteer their time, most significantly with a weekend trip to New York City with the Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP). As part of YSOP, students spend the first evening at YSOP’s central location in Manhattan cooking for, and socializing with, homeless individuals. The next day students break into groups and go to sites in various boroughs to spend the day serving the homeless, hungry, and working poor.
10th Grade and Beyond
For parishioners in grades 10-12, Christian formation is centered around outreach and social events. Recent events have included mission trips, a Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society, a fall “Back to School (and Church!)” barbecue, and monthly “study breaks” at coffee shops, yogurt shops, diners, and pizzerias. In addition, high-school students are invited to fully participate in the life of the parish.
Special-Needs Students and Sunday School
Our Class Buddies program pairs specially chosen high-school students as “shadows” for special-needs learners in the Sunday-school classroom. Class Buddies allows children who require a little extra guidance or support because of developmental hurdles to experience the love of Christ and spiritual development in the Sunday-school class environment. For more information, contact our director of Christian education.