Nurturing the Gift of Faith

The mission of our Church School is to nurture the gift of faith as we share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Each year we continue to fulfill this mission by learning about the Bible, participating in the liturgical services, reaching out to others, and building relationships with new friends at St. Andrew's.

Classes are in session every Sunday from mid-September through mid-June. Children are welcome to join at any time during the year. Classes for all ages begin at 9:45 am with the students joining their families for part of the service and communion (approximately 10:45 am).

Currently, more than 100 students are enrolled in our Church School and Youth programs. The Children and Youth Ministries are supported by a wonderfully talented and dedicated group of teachers. At this time we have 20 adult volunteer teachers and several teen assistants in our program. Clergy, staff and teachers have received the required training in Safeguarding God's Children.

Families with Young Children

Nursery Care

Sundays: 9:45 - 11:30 am

A nursery for infants and children through the age of 2 years is available during the 10:00 am service, located on the second floor of the Parish Hall.

Nursery care is generally not available at holiday services to allow our nursery workers to spend time with their families.

9:15 am Family Eucharist

Every Sunday in the Chapel

Our youngest children joyfully experience the mystery of God in a special way when attending our child-friendly Family Service held each Sunday at 9:15 am in the Chapel. This abbreviated Eucharist encourages curiosity, imagination and invites these young ones to enter into the Bible story.

Curriculum

The Church School offers an integrated program of faith formation, through worship, lessons, outreach, ministry, and community, providing an environment that truly nurtures the gift of faith in all ages. Our curriculum is framed to help children of all ages know God, instead of only knowing about God.

Early Childhood (Formerly Morning Glories)

Our youngest members of the Church School participate in the Godly Play program, which is based on a Montessori approach to the “wonder of worship.” Godly Play® recognizes that children have an innate sense of the presence of God. Teacher’s facilitate appropriate language, parables, silence, sacred stories and liturgy through “shared wonderings” to help identify, nurture, and guide a young child’s spiritual quest. To see a full overview of the Godly Play program, visit godlyplayfoundation.org.

Elementary

During the elementary years, teachers and learners focus on both faith and practice using thematic curriculum materials that follow the Biblical narrative and liturgical orientation. Young learners also come to know Episcopal customs and practices. The creative weaving of scripture, sacraments and church themes, serve in the discovery of God within oneself, one another and the world, as well as create experiences for participation in worship and the liturgy.

The Church School at St. Andrew's encompasses children through elementary school. Please visit our Youth Faith Formation page to learn about our programs for middle and high school youth.

Youth Faith Formation

Special Programs

For more information on our special programs and activities, please view our brochure: FAITH FORMATION for Children and Youth [PDF]

Outreach

Children and youth have the opportunity to share what they have with others through several age-appropriate outreach initiatives. Common outreach activities include raising money with classmates to support local non-profits, participating in CROP Walk, and raising money to be donated to those in need following natural disasters.

Additionally, the entire church school sponsors an international foster child, Kalid Nazif Abajehad from Ethiopia, through PLAN USA. Kalid, who is now 14, lives in Ethiopia with his family.

Music

Many children sing in either the Cherub or Junior Choirs or ring with the Junior Handbell Choir, which perform one or two Sundays a month, as well as at Easter and Christmas.

Learn more about Youth Choirs

Theatre

St. Andrew's has a very active theatre program, giving children and adults the opportunity to perform in religious productions and popular musical theatre. Pageants and skits are presented during the Sunday services throughout the year to enhance the Gospel. Each spring, the Church School joins with parish adults to present a spring supper theatre musical - the 2019 musical was Wizard of Oz.

Faith Explorers

Faith Explorers is a special series of on-site field trips, held after the 10:00 am service throughout the year, to provide children with the opportunity to explore the treasures of Episcopal life. Clergy and teachers lead elementary age children on "treasure hunts" learning the history of St. Andrew's Church, stories within our stained glass windows, the liturgical colors, vestments and more!

Liturgical Celebrations

With the unfolding of the church year, the Church School participates in special classroom and parish-wide activities such as the Blessing of the Animals (for St. Francis of Assisi Day), a St. Nicholas Party in early December, Carnivale just before Lent, and an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday.

Church School Promo St. Andrew's employees and volunteers have received 'Safe Church' training from the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan