Family Ministry at St. Mark's

Supporting parents in their calling to catechize and disciple their children is a vital part of the ministry of St. Mark's Church. Please take a moment and read about Our Philosophy; Our Ministries and How to be Involved.

Our Philosophy of Children's Ministry

Based on our Mission, the Church is called to be a witness to Christ and the gospel both evangelistically and through ongoing discipleship. It is our ambition to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (that’s the evangelistic aspect, see 1 Peter 2:9) and train disciples in the ways of Christ, learning what it means to offer to God one’s life as a living sacrifice (this is one aspect of discipleship to Jesus, see Romans 12:1-2).

Our ministry to children has two main objectives:

(1) to see that our children come to a lively faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and
(2) to teach our children how to live as disciples of Jesus in the world.

Partnering with Parents

It is our conviction that the Church’s role is not to supplant the role of the family in the spiritual formation of children, rather it is to support it. 

Our most effective means of seeing the children of this parish grow to love and obey God will be by means of having strong Christian families.  

Therefore:

  1. As a church we will strive to help parents grow in Christ, in order that they might be better equipped to raise their children to know and love God.  
  2. We will seek to accomplish this (by God’s grace) through Biblical preaching and teaching, opportunities for adult Christian education (Bible studies, book discussion groups, etc.), by learning to pray together (that is, learning to fashion our prayer lives in keeping with the prayer of the Church) and 
  3. Through pursuing Christ centered relationships with each other within the fellowship of the church.

Our Ministry to Children & Families:

We desire for our children to grow to be mature disciples of Jesus who are characterized by:

1) Biblical Literacy & Sound Doctrine
2) Love for God and Neighbor and
3) Engaged and informed Worship  

Our ministry to children and families seeks to lead our children to maturity in these areas by offering high quality age appropriate instruction, as well as by equipping parents to become the "chief catechists" of their children at home.

For this reason, our Sunday School lessons focus on the narratives of the Bible; Sunday Evening Catechism focuses on the doctrines of the Church; Children's Church focuses upon understanding and entering into the worship of the Church and all three ministries seek to train the heart to love God without reserve.

Each Sunday your children are invited to join us for:

Children's Church - Children between the ages of 4 and 5th grade are invited to attend Children's Church by following the procession of the cross during the singing of the sermon hymn (this takes place just after the announcements). During Children's Church, the children are taught by members of St. Mark's the meaning and importance of our Common Prayer worship through a curriculum that has been specially written by the clergy of this parish. On Holy Communion Sundays, the children return to their families in time to join them in coming forward to the altar (at which the children may receive a blessing).
Sunday School - Sunday School is available for all ages immediatly following the service. Classes are grouped by age. For help finding the appropriate Sunday School room, please speak with one of the clergy or an usher. Curriculum has been selected to ensure that all children are given age appropriate instruction in the narrative arch of the whole Bible (both Old and New Testaments).
Sunday Evening Catechism & Fellowship - Every Sunday evening, families (with and without children) are invited to join us at St. Mark's beginning at 5:00 pm for a time of prayer, catechesis and a meal (we end promptly at 7). This time is dedicated to the memorization and elucidation of the fundamentals of the Church’s doctrine (as summarized by the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Ten Commandments). During the meal, adults are encouraged to interact with and develop relationships with the children outside of their family so as to build an intergenerational web of support and an opportunity for modeling mature Christianity.