Christian Formation

Opportunities to Learn & Grow in Faith

Mission

The goal of Christian Formation at Grace Church is to nurture the lifelong process of growing our parishioners’ faith and their relationships with God, self, others and all creation, through the use of multiple avenues of programming. 

Please scroll down to learn about programs for ADULTS, CHILDREN & FAMILIES.

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Fellowship & Formation for YOUTH

{Contact Christian Formation Director, Pat Werk.}

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To Parents of Our Children…

RELAX! God put the wiggle in children. Don’t feel you have to suppress it in His House. All are welcome here at Grace! Sit toward the front where it is easier to see and hear. Quietly explain the parts of the service, sing the hymns, pray and voice the responses together. Children learn liturgical behavior by copying YOU! If you have to leave with your child, feel free to do so. But please come back. As Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me.” Remember that the way we welcome children in Church directly affects the way they respond to the Church, to God, to Christ, and to one another. Let them know they are at home here. 

To the members or our Parish…

A smile of encouragement is always welcome to parents with small, active children. The presence of children is a GIFT to the Church. They give us a future full of hope.

Nursery

Each Sunday two paid nursery workers staff the nursery for babies and toddlers, ages 0–3. Nursery care is available in the undercroft from 9:30–11:30am for the 10am service. 

Activity Bags

The bin in the back of the church has Activity Bags filled with colored pencils, crayons, Bible storybooks, stickers, coloring pages, puppets, craft projects, children’s bulletins, and other quiet activities to help keep wiggly bodies engaged during the worship service. Families are welcome to grab one and are asked to please return the activity bag back to the bin at the end of the service.

Children’s Church

Children, age 4 – grade 5

  • Meet each Sunday in the Children’s Church classroom in the lower level during the first half of the 10am service.
  • At Holy Communion they return to their parents for the remainder of the service.
  • Children hear a Bible story followed by a craft project, activity or game to enhance the biblical lesson from each Sunday service.
  • The Children’s Church program runs during the school year from September to May. 

Youth Formation

Grace students in grades 6 – 12

  • Meet every Sunday from 9:00–9:45am in the second lower level classroom.
  • A continental style breakfast is provided.
  • The curriculum is augmented with art projects, food, history, and games.
  • The Youth Formation class runs during the school year from September to May.
  • Beyond Sundays, the teens also participate in service projects and fun activities. Their annual Christmas Wreath Garland Sale funds special events, such as a youth group trip.

Grace Family Gatherings

  • During the school year (September through May)
  • Second Sunday of each month
  • After the 10am service

All Grace families with children ages 0–18 are invited to gather in the lower level for fellowship. These get-togethers provide an opportunity for families to connect socially, form friendships, and support one another during their child-raising years. Gatherings include a unique activity followed by lunch served in the Guild Hall. Activities range from family art projects to service projects and field trips. Contact Pat Werk to learn more.

Right: Each winter, Grace Family Gatherings organizes a winter scarf donation for the Tree Scarf project in January, during which anyone walking by who is cold is welcome to take a scarf to stay warm.

Intergenerational Events

Throughout the year EVERYONE from the parish is invited for a variety of events, such as…

  • Making holiday cards and delivering them with a plant to our homebound
  • Sundae Sunday—build your own sundae during coffee hour. (This event coincides with Youth Sunday, when the middle and high schoolers take on the roles as ushers, readers, and communion ministers during the 10am service.) 
  • Special parish outings, including trips to CTM productions at the Overture Center and cheering on the Madison Mallards at Warner Park.
  • Advent Wreath Workshop, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia, the ever-popular Christmas pageant, and the 4pm Christmas Eve Family Service fill the Advent season with fun for all generations!
  • Pancake Dinner & Races on Shrove Tuesday, an Anglican, pre-lent tradition! 
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Adult Formation Opportunities

Adult Forums 

A number of Adult Forums are offered throughout the year from 11:30am–12:30pm in the Library on the 5th floor. Speakers involved in areas such as social issues, current events, the arts, travel, and history, are invited to enrich and educate our parishioners. For more information, contact Deacon Carol Smith.

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Newcomers Class

Father Jonathan offers a series of classes to welcome those new to Grace and/or the Episcopal Church. The series are held in 3-week sessions in the spring and fall. Email Father Jonathan if you are interested in learning more.

Adult & Teen Confirmation

The Book of Common Prayer defines Confirmation as “a mature public affirmation of faith and commitment to the responsibilities of Baptism.” If you are interested in learning about Confirmation classes in the Episcopal Church, please contact Father Jonathan.

Short-Term Learning Opportunities

Each year during Lent, and occasionally during Advent, Grace offers opportunities to delve deeper into scripture and faith. Recent bible studies have included Paul’s letter to the Galatians and the Psalms. In Lent 2017, we explored the meaning of the cross in the 21st century. In the early fall of 2017 we held a "Legacies of the Reformation" series where we explored the significance of the Protestant Reformation for contemporary Christianity and Anglicanism. We had Professor Lee Palmer Wandel of UW-Madison come and speak, and ended the series with a Choral Evensong and Exploration of hymnody from the 16th & 17th centuries.