“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.
Sunday Morning Faith Formation
In-Person Atrium (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Sunday School) Returns This Fall
Starting Aug. 15, children will gather on Sundays for Atrium 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: [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 classes.
- Toddler Atrium (ages 2) | Room G05 (new class for this fall!)
- Atrium Level I (ages 3- 5K) | Room 109
- Atrium Level 2 (grades 1- 3) | Room 108
- Atrium Level 3 (grades 4- 6) | Room 107
Care for infants (born after 9/1/19) from 8:30 am - 12pm in Room G22.
Worship Care | Room G05 or G08
For the 11 am worship service, children (age 2 – 5K) may either stay in Atrium and be taken to worship care by our volunteers and Catechists, or you can pick up from Atrium and have them join you in worship. Noted in the bulletin, there will be a time in worship for children 5K and under to be led out of the sanctuary by our acolytes and taken to worship care . This allows older children to experience part of worship in the sanctuary and prepare to stay for the entire service at age 6. Worship care concludes at noon and is supervised by parent volunteers and childcare employees
Sunday Fundays (select Sundays)
A time for fellowship and fun on select holiday Sundays (Oct. 10 and Feb. 20) including a Bible story, craft, and breakfast. 2s - K5 in Room G05; 1st - 6th Grade in Room 113.
Sign Up To Join Us This Fall
One stop for all your fall registrations! Use this form to let us know if you plan to attend in-person Atrium in the fall as well as MidWeek Music & More: Champions of Faith and our new fun nights.
Download the Children's 2021-2012 Calendar
Find special events planned for 2021-2022. We've compiled dates for Atrium Sunday, Sunday Fundays, Advent Workshop, VBS, Bibletimes Marketplace and more.
Special Events for Children
Children's Nativity Choir
K-6th graders are invited to sing with us on Christmas Eve during the Noon Nativity Service. Rehearsals are each Sunday during the 11 am worship service. Children should follow the acolyte out of the sanctuary when noted during the service and pick-up will be in the Day School Music Room/G16 at the end of the service.
Christmas Eve Nativity Service
All are welcome to this family-friendly celebration of Christ’s birth. The service includes the lighting of the Advent Wreath, a Christmas story, singing, and prayers.