Formation (Christian Education)

 

St. John’s education programs attempt to build a stronger congregation and try to stimulate the imaginations and spiritual lives of its members, while creating an opportunity for reaching out to others in the surrounding communities.

The primary components of formation (Christian Education) include the following:
• Scripture based Sunday worship on Sundays
• Sunday Church School Programs – for children
• Preparation for Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage
• Inquirers classes for those interested in learning more about the Episcopal Church and be received from other faith traditions
• Lenten Programs
• Bible Studies and Book Studies
• Reference Materials and Library

Overview of Children’s Formation at St. John’s

Baptism
In the Episcopal Church, children become full members of the Church at their Baptism. Baptism is “full initiation into Christ’s Body, the Church”. Children are welcome as members of the worshiping community.

Eucharist
As full members of the Church, baptized children may receive Holy Communion. Each of us understands Communion at our own level. None of us understands its Mystery completely. Even a small child understands at a profound level the difference between being included or excluded at the family meal. Instruction for receiving is available on request, but is not required. Children who do not receive will be blessed at the altar rail.

Making Room for Children
This Christian formation process rests upon the belief…
1. That God and the child have a unique relationship with one another, particularly before the age of six.
2. That the child’s spiritual growth is best served through tangible but indirect means
3. That the growth of this relationship should be assisted by the adult, but is directed by the Spirit of God within the child.
4. Those children need their own place to foster the growth of that relationship.

Joining in worship at the Sunday Eucharist is the most important way we learn what it means to be Christians. Children, like adults learn by worshiping Sunday after Sunday in a number of ways:
• They learn they belong to Christ and are always at home with his Church.
• They come to know the traditional and beautiful prayers of the liturgy, taking them into their memories and their lives.
• They build a fund of memorable shared experiences and Christian community that shape their growth and serve them as adults.
• They are enriched by the beauty of the music as an expression of praise and response to God.
• They hear stories from the Bible, read and interpreted and begin to understand how God speaks to us through Scripture and Sacraments.
• They celebrate the Sacraments as signs of God’s love and favor towards us.
• They discover their value and identity as children of God and Disciples of Christ.

How one can be involved in Adult / Children’s Formation at St. John’s?
• Visit with the Vicar: Wanting to learn more about the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage or the Episcopal Church? Please contact the Parish Office to schedule a visit at (815) 834-1168.
• Special Offerings: Throughout the calendar year, special adult bible and book studies are scheduled. Check the church calendar or call the Parish Office to learn more at (815) 834 -1168.
• Daughters of the King: This is a group of ladies who meets the 1st and 3rd Monday for morning for prayer and study. All women are welcome to participate at this 10:30 AM gathering. The contact person for this ministry is Wendy Stewart.
• St. John’s Church School uses the Holy Moly! (grades K-4) and Connect (grades 5-6) curriculum. Church School is offered during our 10:30 AM service, on the 2nd and 4th Sunday’s each month and will resume Fall 2016. All are welcome!