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

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 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


Get Involved

Sunday, December 4, 2022
9:30 am11:00 am
Highland Hall Garage

Parents, grandparents & caregivers are invited to join us on Dec. 4 as we welcome Dr. Clara Gerhardt, MBA, Ph.D. to IPC.
We are honored for her to present the lecture “Roots and Wings: And other Parenting Things."
Dr. Gerhardt is a Distinguished Beeson Professor at Samford University. Professionally, she is a licensed clinical psychologist and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She authored several textbooks including Families in Motion, concerning family dynamics in diverse settings.
Join us in Highland Hall Garage at 9:30 am for a light breakfast with the lecture at 10 am. Children will be able to arrive to the Atrium waiting room early.

Sunday, December 4, 2022
11:00 am12:00 pm

Sing with us on Christmas Eve! All K-6th Graders
Rehearsal will be the 3 Sundays in December during the 11am service: December 4, 11 & 18.
The kids will follow the acolyte out of the sanctuary before the sermon. Pick-up will be on the Ground Floor in room G20 (Run-Around Room) at the end of the service.

IPC is providing stockings for graduates of the Children's Fresh Air Farm's Summer Learning Program, LIFT OFF participants, and their siblings. IPC members are invited to purchase items to fill one of the stockings. To sign up to fill a stocking, visit our signup genius linked below. IPC is providing the stockings and staff will be stuffing them so be sure to bring your items in a bag labeled with the age and gender of the child you committed to fill a stocking for. Items can be dropped off in Catherine’s office on the 2nd floor or at the reception desk. All items need to be dropped off by 12/12. We request that there be a $25 limit on each stocking. Thank you for your help in bringing Christmas cheer to our campers!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
5:30 pm7:30 pm

Join us for a jolly good time! K5-Sixth graders will be celebrating the most wonderful time of the year together on Dec. 7 in Room 111. Wear your most fun Christmas outfit and accessories whiles we sing karaoke, play games, complete Christmas crafts, eat yummy snacks, and more!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022
5:30 pm6:30 pm

Come sing, pass out candy, and spread Christmas joy to our friends in need! This is one of our favorite traditions each year.
We will meet at First Light Women's Shelter (2230 4th Ave N, Birmingham, AL, 35203) at 5:30 PM. Please plan to stay with your child(ren) throughout the duration of caroling. We expect to be finished by 6PM. After, there will be an opportunity to all eat dinner together at Taco Mama Crestline.


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.