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Children & Families in the Diocese

The Diocese of Olympia welcomes and honors children as integral members of the greater church.  Local congregations are encouraged to design faith formation activities specifically for children and to develop events and activities that appeal to families as well as the broader multi-generational community that the church represents. Diocesan staff and Children’s Commission members are eager to assist in creating or supplementing existing programs for children and families.

Children’s Commission

The members of the Diocesan Children’s Commission can help you with your questions around faith formation. With one click you will reach every member of the commission and they will happily crowd-source your question/concern. Whether you are new to a church staff position, a volunteer, or a parent/guardian; if you would like advice on choosing curriculum or other resources; or if you need guidance on planning an event or recruiting volunteers; drop the commission a line and draw from the collective experience there — no request too small!

E-mail the Children’s Commission with a question:

Children’s Commission Members:

  • Sonja Lindberg, St. Margaret, Bellevue
  • Jan Akin, St. John, Olympia & St. Benedict, Lacey
  • Lindsay Knight, St. Paul, Bellingham
  • Elaine Ogden, St. Columba, Kent
  • Angela Reynolds, St. Andrew, Port Angeles

With additional support from:

Valerie Reinke, Canon for Faith Formation: 35 & Under
Sue Tait, Diocesan Resource Librarian

Other Resources

Scope & Sequence – A guide to which Christian concepts to teach and when to teach them based on children’s ages and developmental stages. Covers ages 4 – 18. Published by the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama.

Choosing a New Curriculum? Read this First – Article by Dorothy Linthicum for Building Faith, a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary.  She says, “Before we recommend curricula for specific age groups, we ask formation leaders to take a step back to look at the church as a whole, its strengths and weaknesses, its character or ethos, its beliefs and faith identity…” and includes a worksheet for doing just this.

Curriculum Chart for Children — A comprehensive overview by Sharon Ely Pearson, Christian Education Expert.

Top 12 Curriculum Picks – From the Building Faith editors: “Helping churches identify resources for Christian formation for all ages is a primary function of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary. Our staff reviews curriculum on an ongoing basis to find materials that best mirror mainline denominations and sound theology.”

Vacation Bible School: 2019 Reviews – The annual comparison chart from Building Faith which includes selections that:
1. Emphasize God’s love and care for all people;
2. Illustrate a distinctive theme supported by a cohesive program of stories and activities;
3. Present sound learning strategies based on developmental traits of the targeted audience.

Upcoming Children & Family Ministry Meetings:

Children & Families Ministry Meetings are open to clergy, staff and volunteers who work with children in a church setting or are looking to do so. Take advantage of this chance to collaborate with your colleagues, to share ideas, and to brainstorm for the future. Join us from noon – 1:30 p.m. at Diocesan House for lunch. RSVP to

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020
  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2020
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Faith Formation Newsletter

Find resources, articles and feature stories that cover topics designed to give you fresh ideas for building faith in children & families, youth, and adults. To receive this monthly newsletter in your in-box, click the “subscribe” button at the bottom of this page.

Browse our archives to find regular columns like “The Bishop’s Bookshelf,” by our own +Greg Rickel and “Just Ask A Librarian,” by Resource Center Librarian Sue Tait, as well as these timely and (hopefully!) timeless articles:

May 2019   – How To Be A Radically Welcoming Church / Resources for Preparing Confirmands / RIP Rachel Held Evans

April 2019 – Why We Bring Children to Church / Preparing Older Children for Baptism / Children’s Books Help Unpack the Crucifixion / Taize for Families

March 2019 – “No Longer Strangers” — Exploring Immigration Issues / Collected Prayers for Immigrants / The Way of Love for Lent

February 2019 – Resources & Recommendations for Observing Lent with Children & Families / “For One Who is Exhausted, a Blessing,” by John O’Donohue

January 2019 – Young Adults Tell All: “What’s Working and What’s Not in My Episcopal Church” /  Things You Can do to Champion Your Children’s Ministry / RIP Mary Oliver

December 2018 – Las Posadas – Resources for Understanding and Sharing in this Latin-American Tradition / Advent Play-List / Parker Palmer Book Recommendation from Bishop Rickel

November 2018 – The Gratitude Practice — Thanksgiving & the Church / Advent Using Social Media for Teens / Prepare Ye: Using Labyrinths During Advent / A Theology of Happiness / “Paper Advent” — Take Home Projects for Families

October 2018 – Prayer in our Culture: Anne Lamott, Praying in Color & the World Prayers database / Choose a Christmas Pageant

September 2018 –  20 Ways to Engage Young People / Daily Devotionals in the Digital Age / Modifying the Godly Play Classroom for Children as Young as 2

August 2018 – 5-Church Collaboration Brings Summer Camp to Families of Farm-workers / Youth at General Convention / Tips for Teaching (and Surviving) Sunday School

July 2018 –  Free Curriculum from the Episcopal Church on Civil Discourse / Liturgy Teaching Cards / Children’s Books in Faith Formation

June 2018 –  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry & The Sermon Heard ‘Round the World / Closing Prayer Liturgy Tailor-Made for Youth / Essential Summer Teaching Tip: 7 Ways to Quiet a Crowd / “Storying” with Jerome Berryman