What happens on Sundays for children and families?
As a parish we are committed to partner with parents as they raise their children in the way of Jesus. This way of faith must be modeled, taught, and experienced, and when children are allowed to explore, express, and practice their own faith, their relationship with Jesus grows. The primary place for this is in the home, but weekly Sunday worship and the rhythm of gathering as a church family is an important component of faith formation. It’s in the weekly gathering that children experience belonging to the wider family of God, grow in the knowledge and grace of God, and are sent forth to extend the welcome of God to others.
Children aged 12 and under begin in service with their parent(s)/caregiver, transition to Sunday School classes during the sermon portion of worship, and return at the passing of peace before communion. In Sunday School children are finding their place within God's Big Story (GBS). Lessons are aligned with the Church calendar year, exploring the entire narrative of God's abounding love and faithfulness from creation and the fall, to Jesus' sacrificial victory on the cross, and the promise of a renewed creation. Sunday school is taught in the context of worship through liturgy, song, scripture memory, bible story presentation, wondering questions, catechesis (teaching of doctrine and faith), prayer and reflective responses where children can engage creatively with the content.
We have two classes - Little Ones (ages 0-4) and Primary. The Primary class begins together before breaking into two groups for age appropriate discussion and response time. All of our teachers have undergone police background checks.
Our goal is to clearly teach who God is and what God has done in and through Jesus, to allow room for children to contemplate and respond to this truth with appropriate praise and worship, and to encourage them to grow as children of God who participate in the work of God in the world.
What about justice, mercy and creation care?
Another way we partner with parents is by integrating children into the wider life of the parish, especially our ministries of justice, mercy, and creation care. This means we all experience the blessing and joy of serving together as an intergenerational family.
In recent years these activities have included beach cleans, market days fundraising for Tonga, and the Cyclone Gabrielle response, supplying home goods for former refugee families, providing lunches for local school children, and making submissions to the legislative process around climate change. A surprising highlight has been our working bees, where we have consistently had volunteers from nine different decades serving alongside one another!
Reflection and prayer booklets are offered to families for use in their homes in the seasons of advent and lent (the lead up to Christmas and Easter), and we’re working to create playlists with music to match our curriculum to further integrate learning and worship in home life.
How about fun?
Each month we have social gatherings to share a meal and have fun together. These are especially geared toward our children so they and their families can deepen relationships and invite friends and neighbours.
mainly music is a movement and music class for toddlers and their parents/grandparents/caregivers. It takes place Wednesday mornings during term time, from 9.30-11am, at St George's Hall, 44 Ferry St, Seatoun. Each session involves 30 minutes of music, song and movement, and then an hour of free play time for kids, and a morning tea and chance for the adults to connect.
Our parish combines with other Anglican parishes in the Eastern/Southern suburbs to provide two youth groups. Avalanche is a junior youth group for years 6-9, and meets on Thursdays during school time, 6.30-8.00pm. The Pack is a senior youth group for years 9-13, and meets on Fridays during term time, 7.30-9.00pm. Both are held at All Saints, Hataitai.
Each year the Wellington Diocese holds various camps and weekends away, and our young people have opportunities to attend these.
Can my child be baptised?