Sunday Mornings at St. Stephen’s (September through May)
Community Gathering at 9:30 AM
Children, parents, teachers, and clergy gather in the Auditorium (2nd floor) for a quiet gathering activity such as learning a song, offering prayers, or telling a story.
In the Classrooms – 9:45 to 10:30 AM
Children pre-K – 6th Grade
St. Stephen’s uses the Feasting on the Word curriculum, an age-appropriate, lectionary-based exploration of the rhythms of the church year.
Classrooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Parish House, easily accessed through the Allen Street Entrance.
Procession into the Church at 10:30 AM
At approximately 10:30 am, ALL children gather in the Guild Room and enter the sanctuary, often singing a song they’ve learned together.The procession of children and youth is lead by our acolytes and crucifer to the steps in front of the altar.
Children are invited to attend the entire 10:00 AM service on All-In-Church Sundays. Church School will not be in session on these Sundays.
Infants and Toddlers up to 36 months of age
Our bright and spacious nursery facility is available every Sunday from 9:00 am through the end of the 10:00 am service and is located in the lower level of the Parish House. Parents rotate as hosts to assist our skilled caregivers. Please consider signing up to share in the rotation. Lower Level, next to Dining Room
Baptism is the sacrament of Christian initiation and welcome. It is available to any infant, child, or adult. Please speak with our clergy to assist you in making this holy decision. Baptism occurs throughout the year (except in Lent) in the context of a worship service.
At St. Stephen’s, children of any age may receive communion. Each year during Lent, St. Stephen’s offers a four-session course for children of second grade and above and their parents, to help them to understand more fully the meaning of the Holy Eucharist.
Safe Chuch Standards
St. Stephen’s is a safe church trained parish…
The Parish complies with the standards set by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts for clergy, employees, and any volunteer who works with our children and youth. Among those standards: each person working with children or young people has completed a CORI background check and has participated in a Diocesan-sponsored Safe Church Training.
Feasting On the Word (FOTW) Lesson Plans (password required)
Our primary curriculum for the 2016-2017 school year. Hard copies of lesson plans are available in the Teachers’ Resource Room. There are FOTW supplemental books with graphics and illustrations, and an accompanying music CD located in the Teachers’ Resource Room as well.
Illustrated Children’s Ministry Lesson Plans (password required)
Illustrated Children’s Ministry offers a lectionary-based, coloring-based curriculum that requires relatively little preparation and is a nice alternative to Feasting On the Word.
The Episcopal Church’s Lesson Plans that Work (free access for all)
Produced by the Episcopal Church, Lesson Plans that Work (LPTW) is a lectionary-based option that also offers a useful alternative to Feasting on the Word (FOTW). LPTW doesn’t always offer as many activity options as FOTW, and the background provided on the week’s lessons isn’t always as detailed, but it’s a solid curriculum..
Praying in Color
Useful ideas for alternative lessons or for spare time. A copy of the book is in the Teachers’ Resource Room
Other suggestions? Send us an email with your ideas!