Church School

Church School

Newcomers are always welcome at St. Michael’s. Church School programs for pre-K through 8th grade begin at 9:45 AM. Child care is offered from 9:30 AM through the end of the 10 AM service in The Sacred Playroom, to the right as you enter the church.

Our greeters will usually be in the narthex from 9:30 onwards to greet any newcomers or visitors.

Greeters will tell newcomer parents and children about Church School at St. Michael’s and give them a booklet about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. The greeter will then escort parents and children to the appropriate atrium where they may observe the class for 10 – 15 minutes.

The greeter will return to escort the newcomer parents and children from the atrium into church.

Following the service, the greeter will introduce the parent and child to the teacher at coffee hour (as long as the teacher is available).

The teacher will greet the newcomer parent and child and offer registration materials. If the newcomers are interested, they will be invited to return the following Sunday when the child may begin Church School.

Please note that Church School begins at 9:45 AM. New children should arrive shortly before 9:45 on their first Sunday in class so that the children may be welcomed into the atrium.

Registration

Church School registration is always held at the Parish Ministry Fair on a Sunday in September, following the Ten O’Clock Service. Registration is also available online. For a registration form please send a request to office@stmichaelsregistration.org

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Church School

Background

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to religious education that honors the spiritual education of the child. Based on principles articulated by Maria Montessori, a pioneer in the field of child development, and Biblical scholar Sophia Cavaletti, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd offers the essentials of the Christian faith in a way that engages and delights children aged 3-11.

Catechesis Includes

A prepared environment, known as the atrium. The arrangement of the atrium helps children learn to care for their materials with “practical life” presentations and to interact with their peers with the grace and courtesy appropriate to a faith community.

Presentations tell Bible stories and explore liturgy using three-dimensional materials. During the presentation children watch and listen together as the Scripture is read and the materials are moved to act out the story. Follow-up opportunities to work with materials individually encourage a deeper connection to the story.

Worship-A model altar, a miniature chalice and paten, the colors of the church year shown in model vestments together, with many other materials in the atrium prepare the child to participate in worship with the congregation in a meaningful way.

Wondering-The young child’s tendency to wonder is honored as a unique gift. It is the basis of the spiritual life.

Presentations are followed with wondering questions, which are open ended and invite the child to reflect and integrate Bible and liturgy into their own experience.

The Catechists are adults in the parish who learn the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd approach. They learn the stages of a child’s spiritual development, see and practice each presentation, and listen to and reflect on the central mysteries of the Christian faith as they are demonstrated in the presentations. Adults who train as catechists often consider the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to be the most exciting form of spiritual growth they have encountered. Participation in this ministry is open to any member of the parish.

Organization

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is divided into three levels. Each level has a central image drawn from the Bible.

Level I (Ages 3-6)
In Level I, the controlling image is Christ, the Good Shepherd, who loves his sheep and gives everything for them. The Good Shepherd knows his sheep and calls them by their names. The child comes to discover who the Shepherd is and who the sheep are.

Level II (Ages 6-9)
The controlling image is Christ the True Vine, and the History of the Kingdom of God. Children begin to discover the vast cosmic history of God’s plan of salvation and that they have something to contribute to it. Moral sensitivity and awareness begin here and grow with the presentations of Jesus’ maxims and parables.

Level III (Ages 9-11)
The controlling image is the Plan of God as worked out in the Bible and human history. There is a more thorough exploration of Scripture, particularly the Old Testament.

Throughout all three levels, the child encounters the essentials of Christian faith. All three levels include presentations on the Bible and the Sacraments in a manner that is developmentally appropriate. The presentations increase in detail and sophistication as the child matures.

Barbara C. Harris Camp Center
Opened in June 2003, THE CAMP at the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center has grown to serve over 700 campers from throughout New England. The camp has become one of the area’s premiere Christian camps, offering great new facilities, an incredible staff, and a strong Christian community.

The camp offers many opportunities for fun and adventure, whether that means swimming, soccer, crafts, archery, hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing. Based on a unique small group approach, it is also a place where all campers feel accepted, cared for, and develop great friendships. But most importantly, it is a place with a special and higher purpose. . .helping kids grow in their faith. Camp programs build on the opportunities presented by the wonder of God’s creation found in nature and the camper’s distance from the distractions of day to day life. Opportunities abound for campers to grow closer to God — from powerful, high energy worship to quiet reflective prayer. Campers learn important life lessons and gain new perspectives as they live, work, and play in a community centered on Christian belief and values.

Come join us at the camp this summer! Camp programs include traditional, week-long overnight camps for children entering Grades 3 through 12, trip and travel programs for middle-school and high school youth, and intergenerational family camps and weekends. Whichever program suits you best, the camps’ strong commitment to excellence means you’ll experience summer camp at its very best.

Descriptions of the programs offered this summer, a camp schedule and much more information can be found on the camps’ web site:
//www.bchcenter.org/camp/index.htm

Or email camp@stmichaelshollistonma.org for more information.