Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
– Matthew 19:14
This is a congregation that welcomes children and families and seeks to support the spiritual growth of people of all ages. We learn as much from our youth at Christ Church as we teach them. They are not the church’s future – they are the church’s present, full of gifts and faith and profound wisdom. We invite them to learn in playful ways, and they in turn teach us to play as we pray. We are introducing two new programs this fall
Godly Play (for Jr K- 5th grade)
Godly Play introduces children to the Bible and to a relationship with Jesus using rich stories, simply told and reflected on in a variety of ways. After hearing the story, children are invited to wonder about it, and then to respond to what they’ve taken in by playing with the materials for that story or another, or doing art work or some other activity. Godly Play will happen in a specially designed space off the Parish Hall, led by our Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, Alicia Cordelle, an educator and musician.
Rite 13 (for middle schoolers)
Rite 13 invites our young people to encounter Jesus and his Way of Love using their heads and their hearts. The curriculum is part of the Episcopal “Journey to Adulthood” series that helps our youth navigate the complexities of their lives as well as the promise of a rich faith life. It recognizes that a journey is a process, and so is maturing in the knowledge and love of God. Rite 13 will take place at Wayside at 10 am, connecting via Zoom with a class at Christ Church in La Plata. People are also welcome to join via Zoom from home.
Holy Communion and Sacraments
In the Episcopal Church, all the baptized are invited to receive the bread and wine at Communion; there is no age limit. Periodically Rev. Kate offers a Holy Communion Workshop for children to better understand what happens during the eucharist. Though the church does not have a formal ritual of First Communion, a special Rite can be offered on request to celebrate this milestone in a Christian’s life.
Youth Making Change
Our young people are keenly aware of the challenges our communities face, and like to make a difference in the world. Periodically we gather with youth from our sister church, Christ Church, La Plata, for an outing to offer service in the local community, or raise funds for an organization further away. Our work is always followed with some time to enjoy ice cream or pizza and a chance to reflect on where we encountered God in our work. We also participate in regional youth activities organized through the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
Confirmation Classes for Youth
We are just starting a confirmation class in anticipation of our Bishop’s visit in November; please contact our Rector, Kate Heichler, if you’re interested in learning more.
Special Events for Children
We hold special workshops and events for children at different times of the church year:
A Holy Communion Workshop helps children to understand the meaning of the Christian Eucharist, as well as the “how-tos” of receiving bread and wine. Great for parents who want to know more too.
The Christmas Pageant involves the children in the re-telling of the great Christmas story. There is a part for every child who wants to participate, no matter how young or old. The pageant is performed at our Christmas Eve Family Service.
Holy Week Walk for Kids (offered at Christ Church La Plata) invites children to take a guided tour through the events of Holy Week and Easter, sitting as the disciples at the Last Supper, getting their feet washed, enduring the trials of Jesus, contemplating the crucifixion and burial, and experiencing the surprise of the empty tomb. These events are narrated in different locations, as the children offer their own profound reflections.