Children’s and Family Ministry

Scroll down for Sunday School Classes, 7th and 8th Grade, Other Formation Opportunities, Family Activities Throughout the Year

About Us

Christian formation is a lifelong process and one that begins by laying a stable faith foundation. At St. Luke’s we take very seriously the opportunity you provide us when you entrust your children to our teachers as they work with you to nurture a vibrant faith.

Many hands are needed to help in this work. Christian Formation for children at St. Luke’s is a partnership between families and the church. We believe the responsibility for the faith formation and education of children rests with parents AND the WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST. Faith formation, first and foremost, begins in the home. The church comes along side families to partner in this formation. You are welcome and invited to be as much a part of the building process here at the church as you are able. We will also work to provide you with resources to reinforce the lessons children are learning here at St. Luke’s in their homes as well.

Our hope is that the foundation your child receives at St. Luke’s will serve them well throughout life. With a strong foundation, a person will always find their way back to faith in Christ, no matter what life throws their way. We hope you will find this church family to be welcoming, nurturing, and to provide the faith developing opportunities your child needs.

In Christ-

Ms. Helene O’Neill, Assistant Director of Children’s Ministry

Sunday School Classes

Classes for children ages 3 years through 6th grade are offered on Sundays during the first half of the 9:30 am service. With the exception of the Pre-K/K students who gather in their classroom, children gather at 9:30 am at the altar in Green Hall (the large hall to the left after entering the building through the doors from the parking lot) for prayer and reflection and then adjourn to their classrooms with their teachers for the lesson and activities. Children then come to the church at the peace to join their parents for the Eucharist.

The classes are divided by age:

  •             Pre-K (ages 3-4) and Kindergarten
  •             1st, 2nd and 3rd grade
  •             4th, 5th and 6th grade

The curriculum we use is the Episcopal Children’s Curriculum which was developed by the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. This thematic curriculum centers on a three-year cycle much like the lectionary and each year a different sacrament is covered. The Shell Year focuses on Baptism, the Chalice Year on the Eucharist and the Cross Year on Worship. Each year, students cover four units—Old Testament, New Testament, Sacrament, and the Church. Every year also includes lessons on major feasts of the Church Year such as All Saints and Pentecost. The lessons are designed to mirror the worship service—we gather, we hear God’s Word, we have a teaching on what we heard, and we depart to live out what we have learned. Elements of the Episcopal liturgy are interspersed throughout so that children will recognize them in a service.

7th and 8th Grade

7th and 8th graders have the opportunity and are encouraged to join Confirmation. The two-year process begins in 7th grade with the pre-confirmation class. The class meets each Sunday at 9:30 am in the Youth Room—located downstairs in the Undercroft below the sanctuary. The curriculum used is The Big Bible Challenge which explores 100 essential stories from the Bible. The goal is that students will discover the big story of the Bible, meet God in its pages and find out more about how to live God’s way. Students return to church at the peace to join their parents for the Eucharist.

The Confirmation class for 8th graders meets from 11 am-11:45 am downstairs in the Youth Room. Throughout the year, students will explore their faith, the Baptismal Covenant, what Confirmation means, the history and traditions of the Anglican/Episcopal Church and much more. There will also be several field trip and community service opportunities. Both 7th and 8th graders are also very involved in church services during Holy Week.

After writing a belief statement and meeting with the Rector in the spring, the program culminates in Conformation for 8th graders with the Bishop in May/June.

Other Formation Opportunities

VBS-Vacation Bible School takes place for one week each summer.

Children’s Christmas Pageant takes place after the 9:30 am service on the last Sunday of Advent—the Sunday before Christmas. All children are invited to participate. Rehearsals take place during the season of Advent.

5:00 pm Christmas Service and Easter Sunday Service both include a special message for children. No Sunday School is offered during these services as we encourage families to worship together.

Baptism-We welcome the opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of baptism with your family. Baptism can be arranged by contacting the church office. (908) 234-0002

Children’s Communion Instruction-A program for elementary aged children designed to bring greater understanding and meaning to a key aspect of Christian formation: Holy Communion. It is taught by Reverend Meghan Farr using the curriculum “This Bread and This Cup.” Children are encouraged to attend more than once as understanding deepens with age.

Children’s Choir-Rehearses on Sundays from 11-11:45 am. Children sing at various services throughout the year. For more information contact St. Luke’s Choir Director, Dr. Brian Harlow.

Faith in the Home-Resources and information sent to families throughout the year from the Curate on ways to nurture faith in your home. For more information contact Reverend Meghan curate@stlukesgladstone.org

Family Activities Throughout the Year

  • Sunday School Rally Day and Ice Cream Social (September)
  • Family Harvest Festival and Trunk or Treat (October)
  • St. Luke’s Church Fair (November)
  • A Service of Lessons and Carols (December)
  • Christmas Pageant (December)
  • Lenten Family Activities (Early Spring)
  • Vacation Bible School (Late Summer)
  • Intergenerational Contemporary Worship Services (Throughout the Year)