Children's Christian Education

“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”  ~ John 10:3b-5

A loving and nurturing environment is provided at IPC for children and their families to learn and grow in their faith and to become active participants in the church community.

Virtual Atrium (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Sunday School)

Children will gather virtually on Sundays as we share developmentally-guided Christian religious formation inspired by Catechesis methods where the focus is on the contemplation and enjoyment of God.

  • What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

    Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based method of spiritual formation for children, and this program serves the three to ten-year-old children at IPC as their Sunday school. It is a religious experience shared by children and adults listening to God’s word together. The children work in an atrium, which is a special classroom prepared with hands-on lessons to help them explore the Bible and our Presbyterian worship practices. 

    The central parable of Level I catechesis is the Good Shepherd, who calls us by name. The 3 to 6-year-old child is ripe for relationship, and in catechesis they learn and grow in Jesus’ love for us, his sheep. The True Vine is the central parable for Level II. Through questions and discussion we think about how Jesus and the word of God is our sap, and just as it feeds the plant, it feeds us and our lives. When we “remain on the vine,” we bear fruit. As the children grow and develop in the six to ten-year-old age group, they are gaining a greater capacity to place themselves in the context of time and contemplate their role in the world and God’s kingdom. 

  • Catechesis Glossary

    Catechesis: [pronounced ka-tə-'kē -səs] The word “catechesis” is often defined as oral instruction given to catechumens (those preparing for baptism). It is from a Greek word, related to the word “to teach,” and means “resounding” or “echoing down.” It refers to the passing on of the truths of our faith. It is a religious experience shared by children and adults listening to God’s Word together.

    Atrium: [pronounced 'ā-trē-əm] The dedicated space or room for children to listen to Scripture, meditate on it, pray, and begin to live it according to their own rhythm. The atrium environment contains furniture and materials that are child-sized, correspond to the child’s developmental needs, and encourage freedom of movement to engage in their own personal religious work. In the atrium, children are taught to talk quietly and move slowly; creating a calm, quiet, and sacred space where children actively work on their religious lessons, pray, sing, listen to Scripture, and contemplate the presence of God.

    Catechist: [pronounced 'kat-i-kist] The trained educator who directs the activity of the child in the atrium in a discreet manner, and leaves the child to continue on his or her own whenever the child is capable of doing so. He or she serves as a director and guide to assist in the child’s spiritual formation and religious education, recognizing that the religious education is the child’s personal work, and it is the Holy Spirit who engages the child in a personal dialogue and is, thus, the true Teacher.

The children are divided into atria by age/grade for these 20-minute Zoom sessions. Registration required to receive Zoom link(s).

10:00 - 10:20 a.m. Zoom Atrium Level I (ages 3- 5K)

10:21 - 10:40 a.m. Zoom Atrium Level 2 (grades 1- 3)

10:41 - 11:00 a.m. Zoom Atrium Level 3 (grades 4- 6)

More Power To You!

Wednesdays, 5 pm, Zoom

Open to all K-6th graders, More Power to You! will be a 30-40 minute virtual play practice with Miss Beth and a Bible lesson with Miss Beth and Miss Catherine. We will meet by Zoom on Wednesday afternoons at 5 pm through March 10.

We will present our play to the IPC Congregation on our YouTube channel later this spring

Bible Blast

Sundays, 4-4:45 pm, Zoom

As we find new ways to connect with IPC families in safe ways, we invite our 3rd and 4th graders to attend Bible Blast—a virtual Bible skills building lesson series. This new virtual offering will meet via zoom for 3 consecutive Sundays from 4-4:45 pm starting Jan. 24.

Those registered by Wednesday, Jan. 20 will receive a Bible Blast home delivery package containing lesson materials and their own personalized Bible, a gift from IPC. Bible and lesson materials will be available for church pick-up for those registering after Jan. 20. We will email the zoom link out on Friday, Jan. 22 to all registered participants.

Please contact Kay Roller or Catherine Goudreau if you have questions.

Bible Blast will not replace our traditional IPC Bible Retreat, rather we hope these interactive sessions will boost your child’s Bible knowledge, spark interest, and offer some tools for growing faith practices at home until we can gather safely in person.