Christian Formation

Christian Formation is a process that occurs at every stage in our lives. There are a variety of ways our journeys can be supported and nurtured, whether it is through educational classes, reading groups, discussion forums, or by facilitating any of the above. Opportunities abound at St. John’s, and it is the commitment of the Christian Formation Committee (CFC) that they continue to evolve in order to bolster the individual journeys that weave together our congregation in Christ. 

The CFC is guided by the following vision and mission statements:
     • We are committed to the continued Christian education and spiritual growth of the whole congregation.
     • By encouraging and coordinating a variety of opportunities for education and spiritual growth in small groups.
     • By maintaining age appropriate Sunday morning educational programs through teacher recruitment, training and curricula development.
     • By promoting educational and spiritual growth events.

To this end, Christian Formation is occurring in a variety of ways for parishioners of all ages.


In the Nursery, our youngest parishioners are lovingly cared for by a team of experienced young adults who are as delighted to nurture the exploration of our active toddlers as they are to cradle and quietly play with our infants and newborns.

Children’s Chapel

Children’s Chapel joyfully resumes this fall. Children actively participate in the worship service by wearing white surplices and taking turns each week with specific roles. A cadre of adult volunteers rotates each Sunday and enjoys the profound experience of the Gospel lesson as it is reflected upon from a child’s perspective.

Godly Play

The Godly Play curriculum is designed to engage children in the mystery of faith formation through a Montessori-based method of discovery. Children experience a routine each Sunday of entering the Godly Play room as a sacred space to share and respond to the word, similar to an adult’s experience of entering the sacred space of the Sanctuary.  They are greeted at the door, come together in quiet space, and prepare themselves to experience the lesson. 

After listening and watching the lesson unfold, they spend time wondering and responding, thinking about how they personally fit into the story. There is also a creative phase for the children to further process the day’s lesson or choose to explore the sacred space which is filled with materials from other lessons. Then they come together again for thanksgiving prayer and share a feast. At the end of the time together, each child receives an individual blessing in the form of personal words of affirmation from the story teller. There are three Godly play classrooms, Intro to Godly Play (toddlers), Godly Play I (Pre-K and K) and Godly Play II (1st-3rd grades).

Holy Living

Holy Living is the curriculum used for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. It is created by Twila Smith and The Rev. Stephanie Mitchell, specifically as a bridge between the Montessori-style Godly Play program and the Journey to Adulthood series that begins with Rite 13. The structure is based on the three-year lectionary and covers Biblical stories, church history and tradition.  It provides children with an opportunity to become familiar with the Book of Common Prayer. In addition, children focus on themes that help them learn to live our their Christian faith in daily life, such as relationships, hospitality, gratitude, service, prayer, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Journey to Adulthood

The Journey to Adulthood Series addresses the Christian formation of our youth starting with 7th grade and moving up through young adulthood. It is divided into three, two-year segments, and is designed to guide youth in their faith formation by covering relevant topics specific to their age group. 

The first of the series is Rite 13 (7th and 8th grade) which is designed to build self-esteem in the context of the Christian community, valuing both diversity and unity.  Through playful activities participants learn how to build community and trust. Lessons focused on the Self, Society, Sexuality, Spirituality and Prayer. 

The second phase of the series is Journey to Adulthood (J2A) which builds upon the trust and community established in Rite 13 and classes continue with lessons on Self, Society, Sexuality, Spirituality, and Prayer. However, it also guides the transition into adulthood by focusing on activities that put into practice six necessary skills of adulthood: Active Listening, Negotiation, Assertion, Research and Information Management, Partnership, and Leadership. 

The final phase of the series is the Young Adults in the Church (YAC) for 11th and 12th graders. This segment guides youth into taking their faith into the congregation and community as adults.  It focuses on mission, ministry and beliefs.  

Adult Classes

Adult Classes are enjoyed on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. They have included a variety of topics such as “Parents of Young Children,” “The Apostle Paul,” “The Gospel of Mark,” and “The Christian Apocrypha.”

This fall, Fr. Dwight will begin offering “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.” This class will look at the various Eucharistic prayers in the Book of Common Prayer, in Enriching Worship, and those which have been written for special occasions with an eye to what these prayers say about God, Christ and Humanity. Since as Episcopalians we hold that our praying shapes our believing, our prayers, especially those prayed at the altar, become central to our common life.

Brent Landau will be offering a class on the Gospel of John, which has long been recognized as being very different from the other three gospels. In John, Jesus does not use parables or talk about the Kingdom of God, and he does not perform exorcisms – though he does perform some miracles that are much more striking than those found in the Synoptics. Where did this strange gospel come from? What does it mean? What does it tell us about the historical Jesus? Join Brent Landau to find out!