Why Sunday School?
One of our core values as a church is that "We are committed to being an intergenerational community, which includes children and youth in fellowship, spirituality, and mission." Based on this value, we are deeply committed to the spiritual development of our children and families. Just as we have adult formation classes which provide a way for us to learn together, we think it is vital to include children and youth in the conversation.
Sunday school classes offer a means for us to engage in learning with various ages while fostering meaningful relationships with each other as a church family. Since children have been created by God to be naturally curious, we respect their curiosity by inviting them into an environment of wonder. The foundation of all we teach in every age group is that every single person is loved and valued in God's eyes.
Child Care Available – Toddlers (2-3 ½) and Preschoolers (3 ½ - 5)
The presence of children at St. Mark's is an answer to prayer and a gift as part of our church family. All ages are welcome to participate in our worship services! However, you have a choice of bringing your toddlers or preschoolers to our loving caregivers for play or rest while you join in worship or Christian formation. Since all of our rooms are set up for multi-use, we have a smaller number of toys, books, and materials that we rotate frequently. Books and toys we've collected teach about God's love in an age-appropriate way, reflect some bible stories, and celebrate our diversity.
Teaching our children why faith and church matters starts with you. Knowing our reasons for being here are a great place to start. If something is important in your faith journey, then share that story with your kids. They need you. All of us, at any age, are learning to express our experiences with God. Be open to the Holy Spirit’s nudging. Being truly present rather than perfect is counter-cultural! God calls us to these holy moments out of His deep love for us and longs to guide us if we let Him. “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” - Jeremiah 33:3
What do they do in class?
Preschool – Kinder – First Grade | Big Lions Nursery next to the nursery
Curriculum: 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." - www.godlyplayfoundation.org
This engaging curriculum, based on Montessori principles, engages children in noticing and wondering together about God’s love. We already have beautiful materials on hand to use for teaching and partner play as children retell the stories to each other. Using this method fits our holistic mindset of including children in our intergenerational conversations while building meaningful relationships with the teachers and each other!
Since our rooms are multi-use spaces throughout the week, materials will rotate and include ways for the children to reflect on and respond to the bible stories we share.
Grades 2-3 | Parish Hall Library
Curriculum: Following Jesus
- Created by the same publishers as Godly Play (see above). Bible stories we share show on how God revealed Himself through Jesus and invite children into a loving relationship with Him during a time of wonder and worship.
Grades 4-5 | Back room, behind the sanctuary
Curriculum Lesson Plans That Work
Published by the Episcopal Church and designed to follow the Revised Common Lectionary
." By clicking the link below, you can view the entire curriculum that is currently uploaded to the site. Note we plan to use the lessons marked for the “older children” for grades 4-5. Lesson plans, along with suggested activities, provide a holistic platform for connecting with our children in intergenerational conversations and relationships. Our plans for this school year center on the gospel lesson that is shared each given Sunday morning during our worship services.
Grades 6-12 | Rock House (Administration Building)
This year we have the possibility of a full youth group! A caring team of volunteers who have experience leading this age group is coming together. “Colaborate” is SparkHouse curriculum that unpacks the stories behind many books of the bible that answers teens’ questions of “so what?” in a fun and interactive way. Our study allows students to discover the history and richness of Old and New Testaments using problem-based learning.
We want to be sure we have your most current emergency contact information! It's best if you register your child for Sunday school each school year. Please use this registration form to register for this school year or contact Kris Spilker at email@example.com.
Check-in and Dismissal Process
Please come to the Parish Hall by 10:45 when teachers will walk their Preschool-5th-grade classes into the hall. (All nursery/toddler-aged children do need to be signed in and out). Teachers want to be sure all children reconnect with parents after Sunday school, so thank you for partnering with us on keeping everyone safe.
Volunteer Teachers / Nursery Staff lead check-in, learning, and worship to share God's love and build meaningful relationships. Responsibilities include engaging in reading, playing, and praying with (and for) each child while exhibiting patience and love. While teaching, our goal is to share how God has shown His love to His people over time. We teach and relate to the children in developmentally appropriate ways, ensuring safe, nurturing, and clean care. All volunteers are required by our diocese to complete current Safeguarding God’s Children Training and background checks. All nursery staff have had CPR and First Aid Training along with most of our Sunday school volunteers!
We have a variety of ways you can serve the Children and Family Ministries by volunteering. Volunteers do not need to be experts! God calls us together to speak into each other’s lives - to share our stories. If you are feeling called to get more involved, you can engage in a variety of way. Some examples include:
1. Nursery: Volunteer to join in play during the Sunday school hour by reading books, building together, and playing with the toddlers.
2. Sunday School Class:
· Help rotate the toys, books, or materials that invite creative responses to the stories.
· Help a team prepare materials for specific lessons.
· Join a teaching team either as a teacher or assistant. Ideally, we ask volunteers to be available twice each month for the Sunday School timeframe.
3. Service Projects - Help coordinate and facilitate service projects or fellowship gatherings for families.
4. Displays - Help display photos and informational materials for our children and youth ministries.
To find out more about volunteering, contact Kris Spilker at firstname.lastname@example.org