Children learn about God and who God created them to be through play, worship, mentors, and community. Our programming for children reflects this reality.
3k-5k meets upstairs in the new building, Sundays during the school year 9:30am-11am
1st-4th grade meets upstairs in Rose Community building, Sundays during the school year 9:30-10:20am
This Montessori-based approach to Christian formation invites children to wonder together in a safe, nurturing community.
Each week, teachers present a sacred story, a parable, or a story about the liturgical life of the church. The children then have a chance to choose their work for the day – drawing, building, playing with the stories themselves. Lindsay Powers leads a team of teachers that includes Kim Lawes, Kathy Whicker, Cindy Wilson, Katie Jones, Julia Harris, Lucy Jones, and Frances Knight.
For our littlest children, Godly Play overlaps with the 10:30 worship service. At 11am, kids can be picked up outside the Godly Play room or they will be brought into church to join you for the remainder of worship. For 1st-4th graders, Godly Play ends at 10:20am so that children can join their parents for worship or serve as acolytes.
A child's first experience of church may be in a nursery, held by a loving caregiver while parents enjoy worship. Nativity's nursery is open from 7:30am-11:30am every Sunday morning for infants through first graders. Parents and grandparents typically retrieve their children just before communion so that they can taste a bit of worship without having to sit still too long!
Junior High Formation
Grades 5 – 8
Meets upstairs in the new building Sundays during the school year 9:30-10:20am
As children grow into pre-teens and teenagers, they need opportunities to both learn the faith and also connect that faith with a life of service. In place of a Sunday School curriculum, our 5th-8th graders are scheduled regularly as assistants to the youngest Godly Play class. Participating in this way, they continue to hear the stories of the faith while also practicing self-giving care toward our younger children.
EPISCOPAL YOUTH COMMUNITY and WEE-YC
Sunday Night Youth Group is open to all kids from 6th through 12th grades. Led by the Rev. Phillip Parker, these gatherings typically begin with dinner at 5pm and at 5:30 shifts into programming that ranges from silliness to outreach to Bible study to prayer, and often all four! This gathering of youth helps to put on the annual Nativity pageant, Halloween carnival, Easter egg hunt, and Vacation Bible School. They also spend a week together in mission, having slept and worked in New Orleans and Sunflower County in recent years.
On the third Sunday of the month, the EYC typically meets at 11:30am for lunch and then travels to Beacon Harbor to engage in ministry there. Beacon Harbor is a residential facility that serves adults with developmental disabilities. Our activities at Beacon Harbor have included crafts, Christmas caroling, and a Mardi Gras parade!
In addition, occasional Wee-YC gatherings are planned to provide fun and fellowship for children ages 1-12 and their parents. These might take the form of an Easter Egg Hunt, the annual Christmas Pageant, a picnic in the park, or a movie night. And in the summer, we also encourage our kids to be part of the summer camping program at Camp Bratton-Green, the Episcopal Church in Mississippi’s camp located just north of Canton.
Acolytes participate in Sunday worship by helping prepare the altar for Holy Communion and by carrying the processional cross, candles, a book containing the gospels. Beginning in the 4th grade and continuing through senior high school, all are invited to serve in this role. Serving in worship is a way to learn more about how the church prays together and the traditions and symbols that link us back to Christians who have been praying the same way for centuries. To be an acolyte students must participate in a yearly training session with the Rector or Verger.
For children entering 3k-5th grades
For three nights each year, Nativity youth and adults gather to dive deep into a bit of scripture with an always original program of skits, songs, crafts, and games. From The Amazing Adventures of Joseph to The Greatest Commandments to this year's program, Esther: Born for This, VBS never fails to get the heart racing!