Children are an important part of our community. We celebrate the children as they join the service after the confession. Each week, the Godly Play children share their project and what they have learned during their class time with the congregation. All the children participate in bringing up donated food for our Outreach Program for a blessing. The children, in all of our classes, are cared for by a wonderful group of adult volunteers. All volunteers have completed the “Safeguarding God’s Children” course.
The Nursery, Preschool, and Godly Play classes will be available on Sundays during the 11:00am service, unless otherwise specified.
Nursery – Newborn to 2 years old
Our large and peaceful room is perfectly set up for children ages newborn to two years old. Nursery care is available during the 11:00 a.m. church service. There are many loving and caring adults that volunteer to take care of the children. Nursery care is open for various parish events with advanced planning. The children enjoy their play and story time with each other and the caregivers.
Preschool – 3 to 4 years old
(children must be 3 and potty trained by August 31.)
The Preschool Class is available during the 11:00 am service (unless otherwise specified). The children will meet in the classroom across the hall from the Godly Play Room. The class will begin with the children sitting in a circle for an opening prayer, then they will hear a Lectionary-based Bible story and have a response/discussion time that is appropriate for their ages. After that they will have a simple activity related to the story. The activities will grow as the children get familiar with the routines. These routines are similar to what they will be doing in the Godly Play Class.
Godly Play – Kindergarten – 5th Grade
(children must be 5 by August 31 and currently enrolled in kindergarten.)
The Godly Play Class is available during the 11:00 service. The class is designed for children kindergarten through 5th grade. They are invited to “wonder” in Godly Play. Godly Play is a Montessori-based approach to guiding children in their faith development. Each child is welcomed into the Godly Play classroom. Then they are invited to join the circle of other children on the floor. An adult storyteller shares a story from the Bible or from our faith traditions. When the story is finished, the children are encouraged to “wonder” about the story. Then the children have time on their own to explore the materials to retell the story, work on a self-guided craft that relates to the story, read a story, or enjoy some quiet time. Sometimes, a feast is shared. The children join the church after the confession. Godly Play does not meet during the summer months. For more information about Godly Play, visit the Godly Play Foundation website here: http://www.godlyplayfoundation.org
St. James follows the same age guidelines as the Kent School District. Similarly, children move to the next “grade” level in September when the new school year begins. Please refer to the guidelines to determine which class is appropriate for your child:
- Nursery: birth to two years old.
- Preschool: three to four years old. (children must be 3 and potty-trained by August 31.)
- Godly Play: Kindergarten to fifth grade. (children must be 5 by August 31 and currently enrolled in kindergarten.)