We would like to quote from a 1988 report by a 17-person task force appointed by the Presiding Bishop in 1986, called to address the issue of Christian education: “One of the greatest challenges to the leadership of the Church is the empowerment of all Christians through both formal and informal learning opportunities. It is the responsibility of the leadership in each congregation to establish and to develop an environment which enables people to discover themselves as God’s people and to carry out the ministries to which they are called.” “The ultimate goal of Christian education is to help us change those things in ourselves and in the world that are not part of God’s plan, those things that are oppressive and that are not faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” [Called to Teach and Learn: A Catechetical Guide for the Episcopal Church, 1995, pg. 4 and pg. 8].
At the Sunday School we believe that this process needs to begin with our children. Parents need to be opening up the spiritual life to their children, and the church needs to help both parents and children achieve this goal. From Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. We would like parents to be so filled with the spirit that they speak to their children often about the teachings of the Lord as called to do in the Bible.
St. Luke’s Church is committed to doing its part in providing a spiritual foundation for its children as well. Following is a brief overview of our program. Our classes are generally divided as follows:
- Infant/Toddler/Preschool Pre-K and Kindergarten (ages 4-5)
- Primary (ages 6-8)
- Intermediate (ages 9-11)
We get wonderful age-appropriate ideas for teaching the children about God and Jesus and the Bible from the Episcopal Church School teaching series called Living the Good News.
Our mission in the classrooms is to guide the children in their understanding of who they are, why they are special, who is Christ, how they relate to Christ and how through Christ they relate to the world. We do this through a variety of methods, including Bible stories, art projects, games, and gospel readings.
Our goal is to prepare our children for the future, armed with the knowledge of Jesus’ teachings, power and love!
Beth Ballbach, Church School Director
A member of St. Luke’s since 1998, a Church School teacher since 2007, and the Church School Director since 2009. She has two children who attend Church School. Beth is a certified teacher who has taught preschool, K, 1st grade, 5th grade, and 8th grade. She loves getting to know and work with the children of St. Luke’s, and enjoys doing special activities with them like helping to organize a holiday children’s choir and directing the annual Epiphany pageant. Beth has fond memories of the caring and community she felt at her childhood Episcopal church, and she hopes to help the children of St. Luke’s feel a similar connection to God, to the St. Luke’s congregation, and to their church family around the world.