Children in the Worship Hour

Children are always welcome to stay in the main worship service. During the service, children are called forward for a special message from one of the pastors. After that, they can return to their parents or head to Young Children and Worship (~2s-1st grade) or Children’s Church (~1st-4th grade).

Children’s Church:  (~1st-5th grade) is led by one of the three pastors. Each week, children pray, sing, read scripture and respond with age-appropriate worship activities. When kids grow into the main worship service, they will know the Doxology, Lord’s Prayer, Gloria Patri, and much more about how worship works. No need to sign up, but if you want to know more, just ask the pastors!

Young Children and Worship (ages 2s-1st grade) This is a Montessori-based worship experience for children. Every week, children are immersed in the stories of the Bible, and “wonder” through discussion, prayer, and their creative “work” in response. If you believe your child is ready for this excellent program, and would like an orientation, please contact Rev. Vaagenes for orientation information.

Education Hour–Children’s Sunday School

Elementary Sunday School (PreK-5th grade) September-May
A key element to solid faith is to have connections to many different people in your church. GPC strives to do this through our Encounter program.Each Sunday, all children and youth gather in song, then hear a Bible story led by different leaders of our own congregation. Think: the Feeding of the 5000 read by a chef, Jesus’ healings read by a doctor, and so on.  Then, the kids head up to their classes (PreK-1st grade, 2nd-5th grade), where they will learn in a unique workshop with another member of the church (A lawyer teaches about laws, a 93-year-old reads the story of Abraham and Sarah…).
The Encounter Series is meant to give kids an age-appropriate understanding of the stories of the Bible and the life of Jesus, while at the same time making it real for their lives today, and connecting them to people in their church that they might not otherwise interact with. It uses Sparkhouse curriculum materials Spark! and Echo, combined with tailored educational experiences; it balances large group critical mass with focused and age-appropriate experiences; and it combines Bible lessons with relationship building.

Sunday School meets most weeks between Labor Day and Memorial Day. Please email Rev. Vaagenes at [email protected] with any questions.

Youth Sunday School (6th-12th grade) September-May

GPC Youth gather downstairs in the Youth Room for a check in and breakfast at 9:45, then head to Sunday Morning Bible with the adults.

Youth Group September-May
Grades 6th-12th, Sundays from 5-7 p.m.

Youth group fosters a safe space for 6th-12th graders to come together and figure out what it means to be a Christian in today’s complex world through Bible Study, Mission Projects, and creative activities. Every week from September to May they share a meal, a game, and good conversation. Other events include a youth mission trip in the Summer, and a lock-in in the Spring.

This group typically works to put together Youth Sunday, which is a youth-led service in the spring, based upon the theme of the year.

Confirmation
Grades 6 and up

The class is held on a year-by-year basis. Please check to see if it is being offered.
For more information, email [email protected] or call the church office.

Confirmation is a 15-week series which meets during youth group on Sunday nights, and concludes with a spring retreat with other confirmation youth from the DC area. Taught by Rev. MurrayRev. Vaagenes, and Rev. Chatelaine-Samsen. The class seeks to build on the faith foundations laid in Sunday school, and get youth to think about their own faith commitments. Topics include sin and salvation; the person of Jesus; the Trinity; the purpose of church; liturgy and worship; and blending faith with “real life.” All youth are welcome, and you do not have to be confirmed if you attend.