Church School at St. James’ is held each Sunday morning at 10 am from September through early June. This gives the children the opportunity to attend either the 9:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. church service with their families.
The Christian Education programs for young people are designed to enrich the spiritual lives of our children and teenagers. The curriculum used for Pre-k (age 4) through grade 5 is called Weaving God’s Promises. This program fosters the spiritual formation and growth of our children in Christ’s love. Each lesson contains crafts, games and projects that help teachers convey their message in a fun, engaging manor.
Journey to Adulthood is the curriculum that the parish offers for middle schoolers through high school.
Comprised of three separate classes, the first class—Rite 13–is specifically geared toward 6th & 7th graders. It is loosely based upon the liturgical rite of passage for young people of that age when Jewish children celebrate their bar/bat mitzvah. According to LeaderResources, the overseers of Journey to Adulthood, it is a way “in which the entire congregation can celebrate the unique gifts of these young people.”
J2A is the name of the second component of the Journey to Adulthood curriculum, and it is during this two-year class that young people are offered the Sacrament of Confirmation. Therefore J2A is offered to 8th & 9th graders, and is more intensive than Rite 13. Now the adolescents begin to gather together not only in the church on Sunday mornings, but can also participate in lock-ins, regional weekend retreats, and a holy pilgrimage of their choosing which occurs following their Confirmation. The pilgrimages are wonderful opportunities for the young people to seek out Christ in the larger world, usually through a specific-type of cross-cultural experience. Oftentimes J2A pilgrimages can be offered through global, companion-diocese partnerships, through other Episcopal Church communities, or as part of other ecumenical Christian destinations such as: the Iona Community in Scotland or the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland, to name a couple.
Lastly, YAC—or Young Adults in the Church—is the final of the three classes, and it typically comprised of 10th graders through seniors in high school. Within this class, the adolescents focus directly upon how God is calling them to serve in the Church as individuals, as well as providing opportunities for service work and recreational pursuits. In the recent past, YAC has typically met a couple of Sunday afternoons a month in the parish’s Bartholomew Hall. At the conclusion of the Journey to Adulthood program, participants are expected to be fully-recognized adults as their have made their respective journeys through adolescence. Additionally, older adolescents in high school, are still encouraged to pilgrimage together (i.e., the Taizé Community in France, etc.) and to embark on mission trips (Appalachia, Rosebud Episcopal Mission, natural disaster relief, etc.) and projects (i.e., Habitat for Humanity; Good Works, etc.)
Furthermore, depending upon the arrival and addition of new high schoolers to St. James’ who may not yet have been confirmed during their prior Christian formation experiences, the parish from time to time offers a separate Episcopal Church curriculum for Confirmation which is called Confirm not Conform (CnC). CnC is taught by other lay leaders within the parish not directly involved with Journey to Adulthood as well as by the rector.
We would welcome you and your children to visit us on any Sunday morning! If you have any questions, please contact the Education Committee by email.