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Families and Children's Ministries

At St. John's we consider faith to be a way of life and not just a set of religious ideas. It is how we imagine our lives, how we offer our family’s life to God in the ins and outs of the every day, how we show up honestly with ourselves, our partners, our children, our neighbors, and God’s world. Our total life of faith is what we can’t help passing on to our children because it is who we are.

We strive to equip and accompany parents in faith as a way of life, and help connect our children to Christian community. 

Equipping Parents

We have gifted parents a book entitled, Faith @ Home, by an Episcopal Christian educator named Wendy Claire Berry. We love the book for its simple depth, extremely practical suggestions, and generous vision of faith. Especially now, when so many of us are at home, we want to support you in your family practice of faith.

We’ll have three opportunities to talk about the book as parents by Zoom. The first two will be on Sunday, September 27, and Sunday, October 11, time of day to be determined. In late October, the author herself will be joining us for a Zoom conversation at a date that is still being worked out. You do not have to have read the book to participate in any of these conversations, but any reading you do will make the conversations richer.

Additionally, Father Arlen will be offering a book group for parents using the book, The 6 Needs of Every Child: Empowering Parents and Kids Through the Science of Connection by Amy Elizabeth Olrick and Jeffrey Olrick, Ph.D. Written in conversation with faith and deep knowledge of attachment theory, the authors invite us to pivot from thinking about parenting as a job to thinking about parenting as a journey. We’ll move at a pace that works for those who want to be part of the group. Simply email Arlen to join.


Our nursery welcomes children, infants-5 years old, from 9:15am - 12pm. Our supervisor, Molly Haffner, is an educator and school psychologist. Her assistants and volunteers are trained in safeguarding practices. Parents sign-in children and are given a pager on which they can be reached during Worship. 

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Connecting Children

Seasonal Drop-Offs: In early September, we provided packets for families. They included a blessing and prayer for children’s backpack or home work station as well as a coloring book they can use during online or outdoor worship. Each drawing corresponds to one of the Sunday lessons for each week. Just before Advent starts, we’ll invite parents to send photos of children’s coloring work to use in a video for online worship. We’ll do another drop-off just before Advent.

Virtual Sunday School Community: We’ll be using the application See Saw to share short weekly videos of scripture stories from different St. John’s parishioners each week. The application will give us a virtual place for our children to see other families sharing faith, engage at a time that works best for each family, comment and make connections in a safe online environment, and get a chance to share faith stories themselves. Lisa Church has already chosen a fall schedule of stories and has begun to invite families to participate in making videos. The application is free and easy to use, but places a high value on safety. Simply download the app from the app store and email Arlen for an invitation.  

Children’s Chapel on Facebook: Dean Heather and Father Arlen will continue to post a children’s chapel video sharing one of Sunday Scripture lessons (lections) each week. Feel free to share them with friends with children in the area who might be looking for a generous and inclusive vision of God and Christian faith.

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Sunday School

Children, ages 4-11 gather from 9:15 - 10:15am for Godly Play, snacks, and fun fellowship centered in the stories of Scripture and the lives of the Saints. Godly Play invites children to wonder with Holy Scripture and respond creatively. Always accompanied by at least two adults, children often explore the Cathedral and grounds, reading sacred space and creation as God’s gift. Masks are worn by teachers and students.