Christian Education & Youth
Provides instruction and encourages maturity in the love and knowledge of the Lord to people of all ages.
• Small Group Bible Studies • Adult Education Programs and Seminars • Church School • Youth Groups • Vacation Bible School • Confirmation Classes • Parish Library
Church School is held on Sunday mornings between 10:00 – 11:00, from September to June, in the Christian Education wing of the downstairs area of the church. During the Liturgy of the Word, the first half of our 10:00 Celebration of Holy Eucharist, children and youth hear the Gospel presented in a more contemporary language and style in their individual classes. Grace Church uses the Bible in Life Curriculum published by David C. Cook, the Anglican Version. Currently, thirty-five children and youth participate in Church School. Classes span the age range from Toddlers through High School. The Church School Director, in consultation with the Clergy, oversees the organization of our Church School.
Two teams of volunteers teach each class on a rotating basis. A team consists of one teacher and one assistant. The two teams rotate their teaching schedule, allowing each teacher and assistant the opportunity to teach in our Church School, and on alternate weeks, to participate in the Liturgy of the Word at the 10:00 service.
At approximately 11:00, all of the Church School classrooms rejoin the worship service upstairs in the main church.
Children and youth are dismissed from Church School, in time for them to sit with their parents for Communion.
All baptized Christians of any age are welcome to receive Holy Communion at Grace Church.
Adults who have not been baptized are still encouraged to come to the altar rail during the time of Holy Communion, cross their arms over their chests, and receive a blessing.
Children who do not receive Communion are encouraged to accompany their parents to the altar rail, and receive a prayer of blessing.
The clergy would be happy to talk to any interested person about Baptism.
In compliance with diocesan guidelines, all those who teach in our church school have had background checks and have completed the required Safe Church Training. Teachers who work with our young people must have attended Grace Church for a period of six months to a year and be recommended by the Clergy and Church School Director for this teaching position.
At Grace Episcopal Church, we have a "Safe Church Policy" based upon recommendations and directives from the Diocese of Connecticut. The aim of the policy is to protect all who worship: children, adults, those in need, those who minister, and those who volunteer at our church. To view, click on "Safe Church Policy."
Throughout the year, there are opportunities for our children and youth to participate in the worship service.
For example, during Advent, families light the Advent candles, complete with scripture readings and a song.
The Church School puts on an annual Christmas Pageant during the 5:00 PM service on Christmas Eve
Every Sunday morning from September through June, there is a church school class for young people from 10:00 - 11:00. In this weekly class, young people have a chance to get to know one another, build friendships, and grow together in their faith.
Throughout the year, there are additional activities in which youth can participate. For example during our last Alpha Program, there was a school-aged small group. Periodically we have Confirmation Groups for young people. And our Vital Connections fireside chats on Friday nights are popular with teens.
From time to time, there are special youth events such as dinners or youth group programs led by members of our parish. We have held special Youth Services on Sunday mornings for the entire parish at our 10:00 worship service. Our talented youth musicians have blessed us in leading our worship on Sunday mornings, along with the choir. High School graduates are honored every year and presented with Bibles.
Small Group Bible Studies
Small Group Bible Studies have been an important part of the life and ministry of Grace Church for many years. Those of us who have participated in these small groups have found them to be instrumental in our life and growth as Christians. In small groups we have the opportunity to grow in Biblical knowledge, fellowship with other believers, and find a place to minister to one another and be a source of encouragement during difficult times. Small groups allow for more personal times of sharing than we might find during larger services, when the entire congregation gathers for worship on Sunday mornings, or other special services. Currently there are about half a dozen small groups which meet at Grace Church for Bible Study. If you are interested in hosting a Bible Study or being a part of one, please speak with the clergy.
Grace Church's library books are shelved in Merrill Hall. Books circulate on the honor system. If you wish to check a book out, please put your name and the date on the card from the back of the book and place the card in the labeled box on the shelf. When you return the book, you may leave it next to the card box and someone will return the card to the book and return the book to its proper place on the shelf.
If you've read a Christian book you'd like to recommend in the Grace Church Newsletter, you may submit your review to the church secretary. The book need not be a Grace Church Library book.