Children

Children's Ministries at IPC

“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.”  ~ John 10:3b-5

A loving and nurturing environment is provided at IPC for children and their families to learn and grow in their faith and to become active participants in the church community.

Sunday at IPC

In-Person Atrium (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Sunday School)

Starting January 9, children will gather on Sundays for Atrium as we share developmentally-guided Christian religious formation inspired by Catechesis methods where the focus is on the contemplation and enjoyment of God.

  • What is Catechesis of the Good Shepherd?

    Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-based method of spiritual formation for children, and this program serves the three to ten-year-old children at IPC as their Sunday school. It is a religious experience shared by children and adults listening to God’s word together. The children work in an atrium, which is a special classroom prepared with hands-on lessons to help them explore the Bible and our Presbyterian worship practices. 

    The central parable of Level I catechesis is the Good Shepherd, who calls us by name. The 3 to 6-year-old child is ripe for relationship, and in catechesis they learn and grow in Jesus’ love for us, his sheep. The True Vine is the central parable for Level II. Through questions and discussion we think about how Jesus and the word of God is our sap, and just as it feeds the plant, it feeds us and our lives. When we “remain on the vine,” we bear fruit. As the children grow and develop in the six to ten-year-old age group, they are gaining a greater capacity to place themselves in the context of time and contemplate their role in the world and God’s kingdom. 

  • Catechesis Glossary

    Catechesis: [pronounced ka-tə-'kē -səs] The word “catechesis” is often defined as oral instruction given to catechumens (those preparing for baptism). It is from a Greek word, related to the word “to teach,” and means “resounding” or “echoing down.” It refers to the passing on of the truths of our faith. It is a religious experience shared by children and adults listening to God’s Word together.

    Atrium: [pronounced 'ā-trē-əm] The dedicated space or room for children to listen to Scripture, meditate on it, pray, and begin to live it according to their own rhythm. The atrium environment contains furniture and materials that are child-sized, correspond to the child’s developmental needs, and encourage freedom of movement to engage in their own personal religious work. In the atrium, children are taught to talk quietly and move slowly; creating a calm, quiet, and sacred space where children actively work on their religious lessons, pray, sing, listen to Scripture, and contemplate the presence of God.

    Catechist: [pronounced 'kat-i-kist] The trained educator who directs the activity of the child in the atrium in a discreet manner, and leaves the child to continue on his or her own whenever the child is capable of doing so. He or she serves as a director and guide to assist in the child’s spiritual formation and religious education, recognizing that the religious education is the child’s personal work, and it is the Holy Spirit who engages the child in a personal dialogue and is, thus, the true Teacher.

The children are divided into atria by age/grade for classes. All classes begin at 10 am. 

  • Toddler Atrium (ages 2) | Room G05
  • Atrium Level I (ages 3- 5K) | Room 109
  • Atrium Level 2 (grades 1- 3) | Room 108
  • Atrium Level 3 (grades 4- 6) | Room 107
  • Nursery Care

    Care for infants under the age of two from 8:30 am - 12 pm in Room G22/Day School Nursery.

  • Worship Care | Room G08

    For the 11 am worship service, children (age 2 – 5K) may either stay in Atrium and be taken to worship care by our volunteers and Catechists, or you can pick up from Atrium and have them join you in worship. Noted in the bulletin, there will be a time in worship for children 5K and under to be led out of the sanctuary by our acolytes and taken to worship care. This allows older children to experience part of worship in the sanctuary and prepare to stay for the entire service at age 6. Pick up from worship care at the conclusion of the 11 am worship service. Worship care is supervised by parent volunteers and IPC childcare employees


Special Events for Children

Sunday, May 22, 2022
11:00 am

Join us for a morning of celebration as we honor IPC's sixth graders and acknowledge their transition Youth Group. The recognition will take place during the 11 am worship service in the Sanctuary on May 22. A luncheon for sixth graders and their families (by reservation) will be held in the Garage following the service.

Sunday, May 22, 2022
2:00 pm4:00 pm
Living River (2000 Living River Parkway Montevallo, AL 35115)

Living River invites IPC for an Open-Camp Afternoon. Come to enjoy a dedication of new and beloved camp features (IPC Chapel, Labyrinth, and Low Ropes Course), recognition of all Living River's donors, and light refreshments. Reservations are not needed.

Living River is the Presbyterian Church (USA) camp and retreat center for the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley and is separate 501 c3 non-profit organization.

May 23 - 26, 2022
IPC Day School classrooms

‘Round the world or just down the street, make peace with everyone you meet! Children ages 2-5 are invited to travel with us around the world for IPC’s Vacation Bible School (VBS), Passport to Peace. This year’s VBS teaches that peacemaking skills are essential for those who want to follow Jesus’ way of peace. VBS will be held in person at IPC in the Day School classrooms from 9 am to Noon ($20). Registration is now closed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022
4:30 pm7:00 pm
Children's Fresh Air Farm

Start the summer with a SPLASH! All IPC families are invited for pool time, a waterslide, hamburgers and hotdogs, ice cream truck, and games.

June 6 - 10, 2022
Children's Fresh Air Farm

Campers (completed K5-5th grade) and Tribal Assistants (completed 6th-12 grade) are invited to join us for this year’s in-person Bible Times Marketplace. This year we will explore the life of Paul. Sign up for a fun week at the Children’s Fresh Air Farm June 6-10 from 9 am to 2 pm ($50), or for bus riders 8 am to 2:30 pm ($85). Adult volunteers are needed! Registration is now closed.

Sessions Start June 14
IPC Day School

The IPC Day School offers the APPLE Day Camp during the summer months over six separate weekly sessions Tuesday-Thursday 9 am - 1 pm. This summer program is an excellent opportunity for children to socialize, learn, and have fun!


Download the Children's 2021-2012 Calendar

Find special events planned for 2021-2022. We've compiled dates for Atrium Sunday, Sunday Fundays, Advent Workshop, VBS, Bibletimes Marketplace and more.