“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.
Atrium (Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Sunday School)
Children 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: [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
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
Sunday at IPC
Children's Midweek programming begins Sept. 14! Growing in Grace & Gratitude is our quarterly denominational curriculum for children ages 3–10 which provides age appropriate opportunities for responses of gratitude through claiming, celebrating, praying and offering. IPC children will see God’s grace in the biblical narrative and in our world today through reading scripture, crafts, and music.
Children's Midweek programming begins Sept. 14! During the “Big Questions” small group, students in 4th-6th grade will begin to tackle the more challenging questions of our faith through an engaging curriculum with many fun activities. Starting with creation and journeying through the time of Jesus, we will explore questions such as, “Why do bad things happen if God is so loving and powerful?” “Was Jesus a normal kid?” “If everything belongs to God, why do I have to clean my room?” and “How should I pray?”. This will be a time to think more about the unfolding story of God and our understanding of it. Parents are encouraged to follow along with the adult version, Manna and Mercy: A Brief History of God's Unfolding Promise to Mend the Entire Universe by Daniel Erlander.
Thanks for your interest in volunteering. IPC's Children's Ministries has many different ways that you can use your gifts and talents. Please see our current volunteer opportunities to work with the children of IPC and sign up to be part of the life and ministry of IPC!
IPC is hosting a training for Catechesis Level 1 (ages 3-6). The training begins Sept. 7 and involves lessons on scripture, liturgy of the church, child development, and the Montessori method. Training will take place Wednesday nights (Sept. 7 - May 17 from 5:30-7:30 pm) and on select Saturdays (Oct. 15, Dec. 3, Feb. 25 & April 22 from 9 am - 5 pm). The training is free for IPC members. Please contact Director of Catechesis Maegan McRoberts to participate or learn more.
Parent's Date Night is designed to be a nudge for the couples at IPC. A nudge to have a conversation. A nudge to laugh. A nudge to think. A nudge to break out of normal routines. Drop off your kids on the first Wednesday night of the month while you and your partner enjoy a couple of hours together. Older children (grades K5-6th) will enjoy a Kid's Fun Night while younger children (babies-4 years) go to childcare. Sign up for Oct. 5 is coming soon and save the date for Nov. 2.
Download the Children's 2022-2023 Calendar
Find special events planned for 2022-2023. We've compiled dates for Atrium Sunday, Sunday Fundays, Advent Workshop, VBS, Bibletimes Marketplace and more.