What is Christian Formation?
The Episcopal Church defines Christian formation as “the lifelong process of growing in relationship with God, self, others and all creation.”
Formation is unceasing – serving the individual’s emerging understanding of identity, community, authority and purpose in Christ throughout their lives.
Formation is dynamic - encompassing learning, action and reflection.
Formation is formal and informal – informing, forming and transforming both the individual and the community.
Formation is hospitable – welcoming the “new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” (Col. 3:10).
Here at St. Augustine’s we seek to follow this definition by providing the following formation opportunities for our young people:
Nursery (ages newborn to 3) 10:15 a.m. – noon: We welcome children of all ages in church, but we also offer childcare for those who need it. Our youngest church members are celebrated under the loving care of our Nursery Coordinator and parish volunteers. The nursery is a bright and happy space where babies and toddlers listen to stories & songs, play, and enjoy age-appropriate crafts.
Godly Play (ages 4-11), 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.: During the 10:30 service children from 4 to 11 learn that God is with them not only here or there but everywhere. St. Augustine’s, using the Godly Play program, offers lessons each Sunday from September to June.
Godly Play uses Montessori teaching techniques which invite discovery rather than a traditional lecture or scripture memorization style. For example, a desert box of sand is used to represent the desert in telling of Exodus and the migration of Abraham and Sarah. Physical objects are also used to relate to the parables of Jesus and, of course, the Resurrection. Godly Play is a “hands on” learning experience that presents both the Hebrew experience with God and the teachings and actions of Jesus. Godly Play is designed to connect with the Church year and worship. A storyteller presents the lesson assisted by a door person.