This Fall for Children and Families

August 4
Sunday School classes for Children and Youth and the Village Small Group for Parents will not meet

August 10
Family Family Night with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

August 11
Rally Day and Backpack Blessings

August 18
Fall session of Children's Sunday School begins

August 21
Introduction to Weaving God's Promises (grades 3-5) for Parents and Volunteers

August 28
Introduction to Godly Play (age 3 - 2nd Grade) for Parents and Volunteers

September 8
Third Grade Bible Presentation 

September 21
Church-wide Serve Day
There will be many opportunities for individuals and families to volunteer in the community!  Save the date and stay tuned for details!

September 22
Spiritual Beginnings Baptism Preparation Class
Interested in learning more about baptism?  More information and registration can be found here.  All are welcome.

October 10
Christ Church Family Ministry Speaker: Kate Ott

Backpack Blessings
August 11
Traditional and Jordan worship services at 9:00 and 11:15, and Spanish Language Service at 12:45

Kids of all ages are invited to bring their backpacks to worship for a special blessing over the new school year.

Rally Day & Fall Kick Off
August 11
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Kick off the new school and formation year with a celebration including bouncy house, crafts, sno-cones, popcorn, games and other activities. Invite your friends and neighbors to join the fun!

Fall Sunday School Session begins on August 18th
Sundays, 10:15 - 11:00
Blacker Hall

Classes for children age 3 (before the start of the school year and fully potty trained) through 5th grade will begin on August 18th!   Children are welcome to join us at any time during the year, as they are able. 
Newcomers and visitors are always welcome. 

Classroom assignments will be emailed before August 18th.

Godly Play
Sunday School for Age 3 - 2nd Grade

At Christ Church, we have been practicing Godly Play for more than twenty years with good reason! This Montessori-based method, rooted in storytelling and play, engages what is most exciting about religious education: God inviting us into (and pursuing us in the midst of) scripture and spiritual experience. Godly Play practice teaches us to listen for God and to make authentic and creative responses to God's call in our lives.

Through parables, sacred stories, and liturgical action presentations, the wonder of God is opened. The Godly Play method focuses clearly and deeply on the child's spirituality, with an openness throughout that allows the child to make his or her own meaning.

Classes are divided by age groups as follows:

Primary Godly Play A: Age 3 - 4
Primary Godly Play B: Age 5 - Kindergarten
Intermediate Godly Play C: 1st Grade
Intermediate Godly Play D: 2nd Grade

Introduction to Godly Play for Parents and Volunteers
August 28th, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Parish Center Room 111

Parents and volunteers are invited to attend this informational session, which will provide an insight into what the children will experience this year.  Come learn how this unique Montessori-style curriculum uses play and language to nurture children's spiritual development.  Adults and high school youth who may be interested in volunteering are also invited to attend.  Nursery care is available for children age 4 months - kindergarten.  Nursery care reservations are appreciated, but not required.  Reserve nursery care here.

Weaving God's Promises
Sunday School for Grades 3-5

Children's Ministry isn't just a ministry  to children, it's a ministry  of children. A place where children discover their own unique place in the bigger story of Christians past, present, and future, where they encounter the transforming power of Jesus' love, and where their own ability to minister to the needs of others is nurtured.

The "Mission" of Weaving God's Promises:
  • To teach children how God's promises of salvation are woven into our lives.
  • To teach children the loving, liberating, and life-giving way of Jesus, not only in the church but also in the world.
  • To give children a solid grounding for youth ministry, which prepares them for adulthood.
  • To foster the spiritual formation and growth of our children and youth in Christ's love and mercy and to teach the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Last year's focus was "Weaving Our Faith."  Stories and discussions centered on the message that  God loves us and stays with us - no matter what - to bring us back to God's divine love. 

This year's focus will be " Weaving Together the Family of God."  We'll explore h ow we became God's people and part of the household of God, the Communion of Saints. We'll discuss matters of identity, as we hear  stories of how people have been transformed by their encounters with Jesus, and we'll learn about the saints of the church.

Each session of Weaving God's Promises reflects the Holy Eucharist:
  • Gathering: Simple activities to prepare kids for the lesson.
  • Telling the Sacred Story (Liturgy of the Word): Telling the biblical story.
  • Prayer (Prayers of the People): Giving thanks to God for Gods presence with us.
  • Sharing (Holy Communion): A time of fellowship and snacks with time for sharing that week's story, including story- related activities such as crafts, drama, games, etc.
  • Sending Forth: Closing prayer sends children into worship or back to their homes with God's love and blessing.
Classes are separated by grade level.  Drawing from the best of both Godly Play and Youth Ministry, these in-between years are rich with learning, holy conversation, prayer, community, fun, and of course, love. 

Introduction to Weaving God's Promises for Parents and Volunteers
August 21st, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Parish Center Room 111

Parents and volunteers are invited to attend this informational session, which will provide insight into what the children will experience this year, and how families can join them in exploring stories further at home.  Come learn how this carefully chosen program nurtures children's spiritual development and prepares them for youth ministry. Adults and high school youth who may be interested in volunteering are also invited to attend.  Nursery care is available for children age 4 months - kindergarten.  Nursery care reservations are appreciated, but not required.  Reserve nursery care here.


Village Small Group for Parents
Sundays beginning August 18th*, 10:15 - 11:00
Parish Center Rooms 112-113

The Village Small Group for Parents provides a self-led space for fellowship, support and spiritual growth. The group, coordinated by church members Melissa and Thomas Johnson, chooses their own content (book studies, parenting topics, conversation starters, or just a place to connect and talk freely).   Parents come alone or with partners/spouses, and newcomers are always welcome!  

For more information or to be added to the Village email list, please contact Melissa Johnson.  

*On August 18th, the Village Small Group will be encouraged to attend a special session of the Clergy Forum in the Contemporary Worship Space,  Plug In to Service. As we move into a church-wide seasonal focus on service to others, we will explore what it means to serve Christ in the world - through acts of outreach as well as in caring for one another and the Church. Come hear from ministry leaders, make connections and consider how you might like to get involved.  

Family Volunteer Opportunity
Wednesday Night Church Suppers, 6:00 pm
Parish Center Dining Room

Families at Christ Church ask us all the time how they can serve others together, hoping to give back and instill a spirit of generosity in their children. Serving dinner on Wednesday evenings in our parish hall is a great way to do just that, and Chef Vanessa makes it easy! If your child is tall enough to see over the chafing dish, that's old enough to help! 

Wednesday night suppers provide a great break in the week, and a chance to connect with friends. Chef Vanessa and a volunteer crew prepare and serve dinner most Wednesdays. There's always a kid-friendly option and you can't beat the price -- $5 per child, $7 per adult, $25 family maximum. All ages are welcome, and the nursery is also open if little ones need extra care or entertainment (four months - kindergarten).

*New* There will be a fun activity on the first Wednesday night of every month.  On August 7th, we'll play Bingo after dinner!

Third Grade Bible Presentation
September 8
9:00 Traditional Worship

Christ Church is pleased to present personalized, leather-bound NRSV bibles to our third graders again this year! This gift is intended to become a lifelong treasure - God's word to guide our children both inside and outside the walls of our church, as well as a tangible symbol of our community's investment in their faith formation.

Parents of third graders, please save the date of Sunday, September 8th. The bibles will be presented to the children in the 9:00 worship service in the church.

In order to participate in the bible presentation, parents of third graders must complete this online personalization form no later than August 19th.


Family Ministry speaker Kate Ott, author of Sex + Faith
October 10th
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Contemporary Worship Space

Talking with your child about sex can be difficult, even scary! Sex + Faith helps parents incorporate their faith values with sexuality information so they can answer questions, discuss sexuality at each stage of childhood, and show support of sexual and gender differences. In an engaging format, Dr. Ott will address how faith relates to sexuality and the essential role parents play in forming sexually healthy and faithful children. You will learn how to have age appropriate conversations with your child from infancy through high school, get answers to questions children tend to have, and address relevant Biblical and faith stories helpful to discuss with children of that age, including key educational issues for parents to keep in mind.  

This program, which is free and open to the public, is for parents, adults who work with children and youth, and all who see themselves as stakeholders in the lives of young people. Nursery care is available for children age four months - five years old with a reservation. 

Dr. Kate Ott is a Christian ethicist addressing the formation of moral communities with specializations in technology, youth and young adults, sexuality, pedagogy and professional ethics. Her newest book is Life Enhancing Settings: The Technology and Ethics of Everyday Living. Her other books include: Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence and two co-edited volumes in addition to multiple book chapters and articles. She lectures and leads workshops across North America on sexuality and technology issues related to faith formation for teens, young adults, parents, and religious educators and professionals. She is Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Drew University Theological School in Madison, NJ.

For more information about family life at Christ Church contact:

Catherine Montgomery
Director of Children's Christian Formation and Family Ministries
(904) 285-7390 ext. 227 - office
(904) 878-3357 - cell
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 I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding  and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ himself,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:2-3 (NRSV)