At St. Dunstan’s Church we offer a variety of ministries for children from birth through 5th grade: Christian Formation (Sunday School), Children’s Liturgy (kid’s church), Children’s Special Events (e.g. Nativity Pageant), Children & Youth Choirs, Sacrament of Holy Baptism, program for Special Needs children called GRACE, and Nursery Childcare. The purpose of Children’s Ministries is to support your family as you bring up your child in the Christian faith. We support your effort to:
- Bring your child to church to worship God;
- Teach them about the Bible;
- And to help lead your children into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
Children’s Christian Formation (Sunday School)
Sunday School classes for children ages two through 5th grade are offered from 10:15 to 11:00 a.m. each Sunday. During the school year from September through mid-June, there are four grade levels for children. The Toddler 2-year class is organized to help our little ones take their first steps in learning about God and the Bible. Kids enjoy Bible story time, crafts, & snacks. Ages 3 through Kindergarten (Level One) and Grades 1 through 3 (Level Two) participate in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd classes. Catechesis is Bible-based and Montessori-inspired; it focuses on prayer and helps the child discover the love of God. Catechesis has Montessori Biblical Workstations, connecting children with church life through role play. Grades 4 and 5 (Club 45) uses a variety of curricula to capture the attention of this transitional age group, such as “The Story” by Max Lucado, to study the Bible. Club 45 also participates in serving others, through various outreach projects.
We provide a caring environment for infants through age five that is staffed with professional childcare workers. Personal pagers alert parents when they are needed. The Nursery is open Sundays from 8:30am – 12:15pm during the 9:00, 9:01, and 11:00 services. It is located in the north end of the Bentley Education Center (BEC). Childcare is also provided for other service and events, such as Sunday Night Live programming.
Baptism is a sacrament. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. Sacraments are God’s way of coming into our life, as he did supremely by becoming flesh and blood for us in the person of his Son, Jesus.
Baptism is a public celebration — an occasion for the entire church community. Baptisms are scheduled five times a year as part of Sunday morning services. Baptism is a sacrament that represents a covenant with three parties: 1) God, 2) the community of faith, and 3) the person being baptized. Through baptism, the church welcomes persons into the community of faith, the household of God.
How do I register myself or my child? If you are members of St. Dunstan’s Church and actively participate in the life of the church, please click on this link and complete the Registration information.
“Holy Baptism is the sacrament by which God adopts us as his children and makes us members of Christ’s body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.”
Book of Common Prayer, p 858
“An Experience of God, Not a Lesson about God”
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Christian Formation Process is based on the premise that children innately have the desire to draw near to God, and to nurture this relationship they need adult guidance as well as the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is not a traditional Sunday School curriculum, but instead is a particular way of journeying with children toward God.
CGS seeks to involve adults and children in a common religious experience through which all persons develop an authentic faith relationship with God. The Catechesis is grounded in scripture and liturgy, using the self-teaching principles of Maria Montessori. As one church member put it, “It is allowing the kids to have an experience of God, not a lesson about God.”
The classroom is set up as an Atrium, a spiritual environment that is more like a place of worship or a retreat center than a traditional classroom. It is perceived as holy ground where Christ may be encountered in Word and Action, a place where children are invited to experience God’s love for them, a place for community and worship where the spiritual life of the child is nurtured, and a place for prayer and conversation with God.
The silence and reverence practiced within the Atrium allow for and help children to focus on and listen to God. The Atrium has been referred to as “a space where God and the child can come together and fall in love.”
In the Atrium, the adult helpers are not called teachers but catechists because the premise of CGS is that the Holy Spirit is the teacher and the catechist simply provides the child with the necessary tools and assistance.
Examples of materials found in the Atrium would include an altar and related furnishings, Baptismal font and other liturgical items, maps of Israel and Jerusalem, miniature environments representing the elements of the parables and historical events from Scripture.
The catechist’s role is to prepare the environment and to make presentations that evoke a response from the child rather than pour in information as in traditional instruction. The motto of CGS is “Help me fall in love with God by myself.”
For more information on the Catechesis model for children’s spiritual growth, visit the National Organization of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd website.
Sunday School for children age 2. Every Sunday the children learn about one story from the Bible. To help them learn, the kids enjoy Bible story time, crafts, & coloring sheets to match the Bible story, and snacks (typically apple juice boxes & teddy grahams).
“Club 45” is Sunday School for our Fourth and Fifth graders. We use a variety of curricula to study the Bible and how it relates to their daily lives, such as “The Story” by Max Lucado, and “Dr. Jones and the Secret of the Lost Keys” the life of Moses with an Indiana Jones flair. Throughout the year, the children participate in a variety of Outreach Projects to help others in the community. This year they created Christmas cards and Easter cards for our elderly parishioners, which were mailed out to these shut-ins.
God Rejoices for Adults and Children with Exceptional needs. This year-round Sunday morning program is held from 9:00 am – 11:00 am. GRACE Family Ministry provides an appropriate worship and learning atmosphere for children with special needs – while providing their parents and family the opportunity to worship and serve in other ministries on Sunday mornings. GRACE is available during our 9 am worship services and our Sunday School hour. A team of church volunteers and paid staff provide supportive and caring experiences for the special needs children. GRACE ministries is equipped to serve children with mild to moderate disabilities. The mission of GRACE ministry is to share God’s love with children who have special needs, and to enable them to become an active part of God’s family.
Saint Dunstan’s features Vacation Bible School each summer, using the resources published by Group Ministry Resources. VBS is a fun, engaging, hands-on Bible learning experience, bringing together the children of the community with volunteer leaders from the parish.
VBS 2016: Thanks for a great week!
- At VBS Cave Quest, seventy-two children had fun learning that Jesus gives us: hope, courage, direction, love, and His power.
- We collected money to be donated to assist local Houston families who lost so much during the recent “Tax Day” floods.
A big “Thank You” to our Parish family for their tremendous support of VBS:
- To the many folks who donated supplies;
- To the adult and youth Volunteers who shared their time and talent!
An annual fall weekend retreat where all father/child and grandfather/child combinations are invited — and mom has the weekend off! Camp Allen is located in a beautiful pine forest with two lakes, one-hour north west of Houston near Navasota. You can enjoy lots of outdoor fun with your kids: canoeing, fishing, horseback-riding, hiking, and crafts. The facilities are modern: cabin/dormitories have air-conditioned sleeping areas, complete kitchens, meeting areas, shower house, and covered deck.
Children 4 years – Middle School
We have TWO children’s choirs which rehearse Sunday Nights, late August thru first Sunday in June. These choirs sing once a month during worship service, October through June.
- St. Nicholas Choir: 4 years old (as of Sept. 1) thru 2nd grade;
- St. Cecilia Choir: Grade 3 thru Middle School.
5:00 pm on Sunday Nights – Nursery care available, as well as Evening services for adults, and Youth Group.
- St. Nicholas children’s Choir: 4 years old (as of Sept. 1) thru 2nd grade — rehearse in Rm 301 in BEC Education Building; age-appropriate music including energetic VBS-style songs, children begin learning music basics.
- St. Cecilia children’s/youth Choir: Grade 3 thru Middle School — rehearse in Music room by Parish Hall. Traditional songs and hymns, often in harmony; continue music theory basics.
Children’s choirs sing once a month, October – June. Choirs sing at the 9:00 Sunday traditional service and also sing at special services, such as Christmas Eve Children’s Service and Palm Sunday.
We have choir celebrations, such as our Christmas party, ice cream party, and our annual Choir Recognition to thank our choristers who sing with joy in their hearts to praise the Lord! Each child receives with a pin and certificate to honor their service.
Your children are welcome to join in rehearsing with the choirs at any time. We are blessed to have wonderful teams of dedicated volunteers, whose devotion and talent made this ministry possible.
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
At St. Dunstan’s, we strive to help our children to understand our lessons and prayers, as well as to learn the meaning woven into all aspects of our church service. A large congregational service geared towards adults can be overwhelming to smaller children. We offer Children’s Liturgy during the 9:00 traditional service in the Nave and the 9:01 Contemporary Service in the Parish Hall. This “kid’s Church” is for children ages 3 through 2nd grade. Children leave the service before the Bible readings, exiting with their adult Liturgy Team leaders to the Bentley Education Center. Children’s Liturgy is an age-appropriate simplified version of our service: lessons, kid’s sermon, prayers, offering, and peace. The children rejoin their families midway through the service just after the Sermon and Announcements in time to have communion with their parents.
Liturgy Teacher Teams
Our Children’s’ Liturgy Ministry consists of eight teams of “Leaders,” each of whom serves one Sunday a month at either 9:00 service or for the 9:01 service. We also have a Team of “Hallway Angels” who escort children to and from the restrooms. While the children seem to enjoy the variety of different leaders’ styles, the Liturgy Service remains constant every week.
Children’s liturgy follows a consistent format each week. Here is a sample of the format.
Our Liturgical Church Year
Liturgy Teacher Links
- Bible Gateway On-line Concordance A great reference for looking up passages from the Bible.
- Sermons4Kids This is the website many of our Liturgy Leaders use as a resource for children’s sermons, coloring pages, activities, ect.
- Safeguarding God’s Children Program Safeguarding God’s Children is a training program for the prevention of sexual abuse of children and youth. The program provides participants information they need to protect the children they know and care for in their personal lives and in the ministries in which they serve.
Join a Children’s Liturgy Team
- Do you have a heart for children?
- Can you serve one Sunday a month?
- Can you follow a simple script?
- Then God may be calling YOU to serve in Children’s Liturgy!
We have openings for Liturgy Leaders on Teams for the 9:00 am and 9:01 services. Children’s Liturgy is an age-appropriate simplified version of our service: lessons, kid’s sermon, prayers, peace. The children leave before the lessons and return during the announcements, in time for communion. Join a team of teachers who work together using a script. If you are interested in learning more or signing up for Children’s’ Liturgy, please contact Louise Durnell, Director of Children’s Ministries, or call (281) 440-1600.
Hey kids! These are your pages! We built them just for you, as a way of helping you learn more about your church and your faith. We hope you will enjoy them, and come back often. During certain seasons of the church year, we hope to offer other fun stuff here, including craft projects, music, and trivia questions. If you have suggestions for other fun things we can add, ask your parents if you can email your suggestions to us. We’re always looking for ways to make this page even more fun!
PUZZLES – CROSSOUT
- ALL SINS FORGIVEN – The message from 1 Peter 3:18 that Jesus died for our sins to bring us to God is revealed in this puzzle. Click here for solution
- LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE – After crossing out certain words, a bright message from Matthew 5:16 appears. Click here for solution
PUZZLES – CROSSWORD
- GOD’S WRATH REVEALED – All of the answers to this crossword puzzle, deal with the wrath of God, and can be found within the verses provided. Click here for solution
- HEAVENLY TREASURES – All of the answers to this crossword puzzle about where your treasures should be stored can be found in Matthew 6: 19-21. Click here for solution
PUZZLES – MAZES
- FIRE ESCAPE – Help Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego find their way to safety. Daniel 3:12-30. Click here for solution
PUZZLES – WORD FILL-INS
- BLESSED IS HE – Kids find key words from the story about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Click here for solution
A Prayer for Childrens’ Liturgy
O Lord Jesus Christ, who as a child worshipped in the temple: We bring to you all children of this parish, especially those who worship during Childrens’ Liturgy, that they may love you above all things. Grant wisdom, faithfulness, patience and creativity to all of the Childrens’ Liturgists, that our liturgy may be Holy unto you, and that these children may grow up to the praise of your holy name. AMEN.