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 and are inclusive of the broader intergenerational community. Diocesan staff and Children & Families Ministry Leaders throughout the Diocese are eager to assist in creating or supplementing your existing programs for children and families.
Crowd-Source Your Questions
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 us a line and draw from some collective experience there — no request too small! E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Children & Family Ministry Leadership Meetings:
Children & Families Ministry Leadership 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. Often we have a guest speaker. Join us from noon – 1:30 p.m. via Zoom.
- Wednesday, March 29, 2023
- Wednesday, June 28, 2023
- Wednesday, September 27, 2023
- Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Favorite Resources for Children’s Ministry Leaders from A – Z:
Coming Soon! Creating Warm and Welcoming Church Spaces for Families and Children – A guide to creating the most welcoming spaces for the families and children in your parish. From color psychology to lighting and furniture suggestions, you will learn how to build inviting spaces with just a few tricks and tips!
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.
Christmas Pageant Ideas – Tips and tricks from Building Faith, including complete scripts that you can download for free.
Curriculum for Children’s Ministry – A comprehensive overview with top picks from Building Faith, the Virginia Theological Seminary.
Follow Us on Facebook – Frequent postings include best practices and information about local events for Episcopal Children & Families Ministry Leaders in western Washington.
Forma – Follow this Facebook page for stimulating Christian Formation discussion and idea-sharing from around the country. Forma is a ministry of the Episcopal Church Foundation.
Scope & Sequence – Suggestions on 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.
Vacation Bible School: 2022 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.
- Children’s Presence in Worship (1 hour) – In times of declining church membership, mainline congregations put considerable weight on the presence of children as an indicator of congregational vitality. But how do we truly welcome children in the life of our churches, especially in worship? If children are full members of the Body of Christ through their baptism, shouldn’t they be full participants in Word and Sacrament? Let’s explore how worship can truly be a multi-generational experience for the whole church.
Handouts Courtesy of Sharon Ely Pearson – Making Room for Children in Church & Children and Worship
- Godly Play in a New Way (1:18) – While Sunday school as we once knew it is on hold, Godly Play storytelling can continue thanks to Zoom and a little ingenuity. The Reverend Kay Flores, St. Timothy, Chehalis, a long-time Godly Play trainer, demonstrates how you can improve your Godly Play outreach with a document camera, a technique which better showcases the sacred stories. Kay draws from her own experience, and that of other trainers from around the country, in offering tips and making recommendations on how best to lead virtual sessions.
- How Are You Reaching Children & Families Right Now? (1:09) – Children & Families Ministry Leaders, clergy and volunteers in the Diocese of Olympia gather in a casual discussion of what’s working and what isn’t in this brave new world of virtual faith formation.