Young children have an immense capacity to enter into the wonder and ponder the deepest mysteries of our faith.
The St Matthias Children of the Good Shepherd program
provides children ages 3-12 a sacred space to marvel in the generosity and love of the Good Shepherd for his sheep.
In this space we call the Children’s Chapel, the children hear the Good News as proclaimed in Scripture and meditate on the Word of God as they engage with simple yet beautiful materials. It's a place where the adult comes alongside the child, entering into the wonder of the gifts God has provided to his people; the gifts given to us in Word and Sacrament. The approach is rooted in the Bible and the liturgy of the church and is influenced by the research of Maria Montessori and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd method serving children in more than 65 countries around the world.
Toddlers are inquisitive and possess a sponge-like
capacity to effortlessly absorb the environment. They thrive in programs that provide activities that meet their needs physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. St Matthias meets this need by surrounding the child with the rich language of the church in songs and stories, movement and collaborative play. They are introduced to prayer and a space where they can learn and grow in their relationship with God. Activities also include Montessori practical life works that support the toddler in their development of motor control, coordination, independence and concentration.
Can my children receive Holy Communion?
All children who have received a Christian baptism (in the Name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit) are welcome to receive Holy Communion. We invite the parents or guardian of baptized children to consult with the priest about as they seek to determine the best age for their child to begin to do receive.
Children who are not yet baptized are welcome to come up to the altar rail at Communion and receive a prayer of blessing.
We invite parents to keep their youngest children with them during the Sunday Service. We do not expect these children to be completely silent. However, if the child gets upset or restless, a cry room is available in the back of the Church with a speaker system that provides full audio of the service so parents can follow along.
Ages 12 & Up
Children ages 12 & up are invited to remain in the service. They are invited to serve as Torchbearers or Bannerbearers, but also in the more involved role of Lay Eucharistic Ministers (some training required).
Teenagers are also welcome to assist Sunday School teachers with younger children.