Children’s Ministry gives the youngest parishioners an important foundation in the Christian faith and must therefore ensure children and young people are
- Properly prepared for the sacraments
- Educated in the tenets of faith,
- Able to navigate their Bibles,
- Understand what they believe and why
- Are prepared for a lifetime of serving in the body of Christ.
For the purposes of this Policy document, Children’s Ministry includes Nursery, Sunday School and Confirmation as well as Vacation Bible School. This policy applies to clergy and lay persons who intend to participate in Children’s Ministry in any capacity.
Nursery volunteers should include a responsible adult and a youth volunteer each week. Children should be cared for and kept content, following any special instructions from the parent or guardian. Children should be monitored if they are free on the floor, to ensure they are safe and comfortable. Babies should be held or put in a safe baby-designated space such as the pack-and-play or bouncy seat. Caregivers should follow standard baby safety and care (based on Red Cross).
Volunteer teachers should follow the curriculum selected, and the order outlined for Sunday School, specifically:
- Discuss the reading and answer questions. You can re-read or ask a child to read as needed.
- Share the lesson with the class; ask and answer questions.
- Do the activity provided.
- Close in prayer and ensure the children enter church quietly.
Sunday School placement is mainly based on age, and the number of children, so that if there are small numbers age groups could be combined. In general, children move from Nursery to Sunday School aged 3. The youngest class is generally 3 – 5; the middle age group is generally 6 – 8. The oldest, pre-confirmation class is for children 9 and 10 years old.
Children progress to confirmation in approximately 5th grade, although children may be progressed in 4th grade if they are sufficiently mature and knowledgeable in their faith. Children should NOT be progressed if they are not mature enough, for example to facilitate serving in mass.
Our instructors are volunteers, one adult and one youth group aged volunteer per class. Volunteers do not have to be teachers, pre-school workers or childcare providers professionally, but do need to clear a background check that investigates crimes against children or specific violent crimes (sexual predators).
Youths who are minors may provide one non-family reference related to prior experience with children.
Volunteers will be trained in the curriculum and how to conduct a Sunday School class, so that no prior experience is required for adult or youth volunteers.
To become an instructor, volunteers should compete an application. The application will be reviewed by the Dean of the Cathedral and the Director of Children’s Ministry. The volunteer should then plan to attend a quarterly Children’s Ministry Equipping Course (training).
The Children’s Ministry does not select volunteers on the basis of race, age, gender or any other protected characteristic; volunteers are accepted based on character, living of the Christian life and passing the background check. Volunteers should then complete Children’s Ministry Equipping Course, at the discretion of the Dean and the Director.
The safety of our children is extremely important to the Children’s Ministry. In addition to carefully screening volunteers, certain safety practices must be observed.
There should be two volunteers in each room for Sunday School, Confirmation and Nursery, one adult and one youth. If one of these individuals leaves the room, the door must remain open.
The window on the door must not be covered or blocked.
Questions or Concerns
If any parent raises a question or concern related to the environment in the Nursery or Sunday School rooms, an instructor or the material covered, this should be referred to the Director of Children’s Ministry in the first instance, and the Dean of the Cathedral only as an escalation point.
Parents may review the curriculum upon request.
Parents are free to donate materials (including crafts, coloring sheets, projects) for use in the program with the understanding that these will be reviewed prior to use. The Children’s Ministry gratefully accepts donations of craft supplies and snacks.
March 23, 2020
March 23, 2021