At St. Patrick’s we are creating authentic, spiritual community with children and families. We recognize that God is indeed with us at all times and in all places, in all of the joyful, painful, holy, crazy, abundant, wonderful messiness of life. We seek to meet and see the Holy in our everyday lives. We find great joy in enfolding children in all parts of the life of the Church. We are all on this holy journey together!
On Sunday mornings, children learn about the formative stories of faith from the Bible and from Christian tradition and begin to weave those stories together with what is happening in the world today and in our lives every day in a safe space filled to the brim with love and grace!
During the School Year (September through May), children meet for Godly Play or Club 56. During the Summer (June through August, minus Memorial Day, Independence Day Holiday, and Labor Day), we offer one big, fun, hands-on class that combines all ages to explore a different formation topic each week. From Labyrinths one week to The Trinity in Christian Art, children, youth, and adults learn together and build beloved community.
What is Godly Play? Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play approach helps them to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, the Godly Play method serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond. Come join in the wonder of Godly Play!
Agape Godly Play Class – Age 3 through First Grade
Children age 3 through first grade will meet in room 4A. Look for the Agape banner.
Alleluia Godly Play Class – Second Grade through Fifth Grade
Children in 2nd through 5th grades will meet in room 9. Look for the Alleluia banner.
Club 56 – Fifth and Sixth Grade (Offered Every Other School Year)
Offered every-other-year, this class offers a bridge for fifth and sixth graders as they prepare to move into our youth Journey to Adulthood program. The children experience fun ‘field trips’ around the church as they learn about church traditions and their place and unique calling in those traditions.
Infants and Preschool children are welcomed in the Nursery for all of our Sunday morning activities. Our Nursery is regularly staffed by Maria C & Maria T, sisters who lovingly take care of our children. Both are registered pharmacists in the Philippines. As they say, “Children are such a joy. We grow with them. We give them love; they love us back. They become a part of us.” Please introduce yourself and your little ones to these wonderful ladies!
Faith Formation at Home
Faith formation is not just a Sunday endeavor! Like Martha who opened her home to Jesus, we too invite God’s presence with us in each moment. Like Martha, we too are easily distracted! At St. Patrick’s, we support each other in myriad ways as we seek to hear God’s voice and see the light of Christ shining brightly in one another even amongst the distractions.
Young Families Gatherings and Faith Formation
Formation of children is intimately connected with the formation of families. Parents at St. Patrick’s support and nurture each other. In addition to frequent parish picnics and other post-worship community meals, we hold social gatherings for parents of young children, providing the opportunity for families to get to know each other and build community. We also offer opportunities for parents to grow in their own faith as well as to converse about mentoring their children as they grow and doubt and ask questions. Look for information on specific classes in the weekly bulletin.
Family Traditions Take-Home Kits
Recognizing that families take all shapes and forms, we provide devotional activities that may be used by any family (however you define that!). These kits are not just for families with young children. They are meant to connect with traditions that you may already be celebrating in your home or with traditions that are a part of the liturgical church year that might provide some enrichment to your family’s spiritual life. Examples from the past are Christmas Tree Blessings, Advent Weekly Activities, and Epiphany Guiding Stars.
Weekday Activities and Special Events
St. Patrick’s families take part in a range of weekday and seasonal gatherings. Some of our favorite events from the past year include:
- Advent Wreath-Making
- Chili Cook-off
- Saint Nicholas Day Stories and Cocoa
- Christmas Pageant
- Easter Breakfast, Flowering the Cross, and Egg Hunt
- Vacation Bible School
- Trunk or Treat and Game Night
Children in Worship
Liturgy is the Work of the People, ALL the people! All children are welcome and encouraged to be in the nave or chapel for worship. We joyfully welcome the way that children experience the world by moving their bodies and by making joyful (and sometimes not so joyful) noises. For those days where, as a parent, you feel your worship would be enhanced by a little separation from other worshipers, we respect that and offer a Joyful Noise Room where parents and children may view, listen to, and participate in worship. We also offer children’s activity bags, coloring pages on clipboards, books for all ages, and other activities on the cart as you enter the Nave.