Children'S Ministry

SPIRITUAL FORMATION FOR THE CHILDREN OF TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Children (Ages 0-3) - Nursery
Children of all ages are invited to fully participate in our worship services but we do understand that parents may prefer their littlest ones join our professional and loving childcare staff in the Nursery, which is open from 9:00 am until the conclusion of the 10:30 am service. Parents are, however, encouraged to pick up their children from the Nursery after the Prayers of the People so they can join the congregation for Communion or receive a blessing. All Baptized persons are welcome to receive.

Children (Ages 3 years to 5th grade) - Godly Play
During School Year Sundays (August 27, 2017 - June 3, 2018), Godly Play classes begin at 10:15 am. Carpool dropoff is available in the Trinity Church circle drive between 10:00 am - 10:15 am. All children gather in the school library for check in before being led to class by their Godly Play teachers. We offer three Godly Play classes:

Godly Play 1: Primary Godly Play (3s–K)
Godly Play 2: Intermediate Godly Play (1st–2nd Grades)
Godly Play 3: Advanced Godly Play (3rd–5th Grades)

After class, children are led by their teachers to the church and join their families for Communion. They enter through the front of the church.

--> Register children age 3 (by September 1) through 5th grade for Godly Play.<--

About Godly Play

Developed by Rev. Jerome Berryman, Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired approach to spiritual formation that invites listeners into stories and encourages them into larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and open-ended response time. Through Godly Play, children are taught the art of using Christian language - parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action - helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives.

 

If you are interested in learning more about Godly Play and would like a tour of a Godly Play classrooms, please contact Ashley Bond at abond@trinitynola.com or (504) 670-2519. We also invite you to learn more by watching this Godly Play Introductory Video or visiting the Godly Play Foundation website.

 

The Ten Best Ways for Parents

 

One of our Godly Play lesson introduces children to the “Ten Best Ways” to live. This is the story of the Ten Commandments. The following ten best ways are not commandments, but ways we invite you, the parent, to support your child’s Godly Play experience.

 

  1. Help your children be on time and ready! The ideal arrival time is between 10:05 and 10:10. Teachers need time to prepare for the day’s lesson, so please do not send your children to Sunday School early. Encourage your child to go to the bathroom before class. Children are always welcomed into the circle, but it is best if everyone is settled before the story starts.
  2. Be patient, knowing that part of what we are teaching the children is the importance of slowing down and being ready to be with God. The Godly Play circle is built slowly and lovingly, to welcome each child, one at a time. When children are led to their classroom, they wait outside the door while the teacher helps them get ready to join the circle.
  3. Say your goodbyes at the library, and know that the teachers are ready to make the next hour a safe and welcoming time for every child. Even if your child is not ready to go in, you may leave them to continue getting ready with the doorkeeper once the rest of the children have gone into the room.
  4. Do not come into the room during class. The Godly Play room is a sacred space for the children, and having additional adults in the room is disruptive to the flow of the class. The doorkeeper will dismiss the children one at a time so that each child has time to clean up their own things and say goodbye to the teachers. Again, please be patient! This is an important part of the lesson.
  5. Do attend the Godly Play Opening and Celebration on August 27, 2017, during the Sunday School hour or schedule a time with Ashley to visit a classroom. The environment is a critical part of the curriculum, and knowing more about the way things are set up will help you connect with your child about what happens there. You may also observe a class by appointment. It is best to observe when your own child is not a part of the group.
  6. Try not to be discouraged if children do not have the words to tell you about their experience in the classroom. Young children, in particular, will not always be able to tell you what they learned, because what they learned was how to learn about the powerful language of the Christian people.
  7. Know that there may not be a physical product for their “work” that day, because some of what they are learning cannot be put into words even by adults. In Godly Play, we focus on our relationships with God, the depth of relationships in the community of children, and learning how to use the Christian language to make meaning of our experiences.
  8. Understand that some days we will choose not to include all of the parts of the lesson. In Godly Play we believe that we have “all the time we need,” and it is more important to respond to the needs of the children than to stick to a strict schedule. Skipping a particular piece of the lesson is not a punishment, it is an intentional decision made for the benefit of the entire group based on the time available.
  9. Support the program by learning more about Godly Play. Contact Ashley for information about trainings, adult Godly Play circles, and other resources.
  10. Stay connected with your child's classroom teachers and Ashley. Always email or call (504) 670-2519 if you have questions or concerns.

In a Nutshell: The Godly Play Philosophy

 

About Children

 

  • Even young children today face and wrestle with complex existential issues.
  • Young children already have a spiritual life of depth that adults may not understand or honor.
  • Young children can discover and use the language of religious narrative and symbol that will allow them to express themselves spiritually and “make meaning."

About Children’s Work

 

  • Children’s Play is their work.
  • Children are encouraged to choose their own work during each class. Children like to work when it is work they have chosen for themselves.
  • Teachers do not interfere with a child's work unless the child asks for help. When a child seems unable to ask for assistance, it should be offered by the adult.
  • Part of the work of the community of children is the care of their own classroom environment and how they treat one another.
  • Children like to feel self-sufficient: it is good to allow them the opportunity to clean up their own spills and put away their own work.

About Teachers and Children

 

  • Teachers are guides. They do not need to have all the answers.
  • Children have much to teach adults who will take the time to listen.
  • Children are encouraged to do the work of discovering answers.
  • When a teacher takes time to listen and observe a child, the teacher can find more effective ways to lead the child into new discoveries.
  • Children are treated seriously and with deep respect; they are subjects, not objects.

About the Classroom Environment

 

  • The Godly Play classroom is a place for children:
    • to be themselves;
    • to learn how Christians live in community;
    • to come closer to the mystery of God’s presence; and
    • to learn the language of the Christian people.
  • Respect for the space and for one another is maintained in a Godly Play classroom to help the children feel safe.
  • A Godly Play classroom should help each child feel successful.

About Enabling a Community of Children to Develop

 

  • In Godly Play children are encourage to form their own community and take care of one another.
  • A classroom is not “over-adulted.” This allows children to form a community and empowers them to be responsible for their space. It also keeps the storyteller and doorperson focused on the children and their work.

If you are interested in learning more about Godly Play and would like a tour of a Godly Play classroom, please contact Ashley Bond at abond@trinitynola.com or (504) 670-2519. We also invite you to learn more by watching this Godly Play Introductory Video or visiting the Godly Play Foundation website.

 

Summer Sundays @ 10:30 am
During Summer Sundays (June 10, 2018 - August 26, 2018), we offer a children's community class that begins at 10:30 am until it’s time to join families for Communion. Everyone gathers in the school library and classes are led by parent volunteers. There is no carpool dropoff service available during the summer months. Please meet in the school library to register and sign in. Also, to give our faithful Godly Play teachers a well-deserved break, please consider signing up to lead a Community Sunday School class this summer. All materials provided. Email Ashley if you are interested in volunteering for Summer Sundays.

Vacation Bible School (VBS)
Trinity Episcopal Church offera a week of Vacation Bible School for children in grades PK-4th (rising). Our 2017 theme for the week was God's Garden, God's City, where we explored God's relationship with creation using Godly Play, a Montessori-inspired story-telling approach to spiritual formation. There are always hands-on activities, music, and more. Please email Ashley Bond at abond@trinitynola.com if you'd like to get on our mailing list. We always need adults to serve as teachers and youth volunteers to serve as counselors (service hours provided).

Point of Contact:
Ashley Bond, Director of Children's, Youth and Family Ministry
abond@trinitynola.com
(504) 670-2519

WELCOME  

Contact Trinity
Mailing Address:
Trinity Episcopal Church
1329 Jackson Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130


Phone:
504.522.0276
Fax:
504.522.9960

 

© 2012 Trinity Episcopal Church

1329 Jackson Avenue  |  New Orleans, Louisiana 70130  |  504.522.0276