Children and their families are extremely important to our community at Eastern Shore Chapel. We believe children should feel that they are an integral part of the congregation and that their participation in worship and all other church activities is appreciated and encouraged. Through a variety of experiences, we are committed to giving our young people a solid Christian foundation and a nurturing community in which they can grow. For more information, email Faithformation@Easternshorechapel.org.
The mission of Family Ministry at Eastern Shore Chapel is to provide faithful formation experiences, both at church and home, that shape the lives of families in a way that empowers them to walk in the ways of love, mercy, compassion and grace, as Jesus taught us. We hope to accomplish this by cultivating knowledge of the Bible as it relates to their lives, personal spiritual development, an understanding of the Episcopal traditions and the application of Jesus’ message to the community and the world. These experiences are not limited to Sunday mornings and are achieved through classes and worship services as well take-home resources and activities.
This program takes place at the beginning of the 10:30am service for children who are ages 3 through 7 years old. Hymns, songs, stories and prayers are incorporated in order to familiarize little ones with the rhythm of the worship service in an age appropriate way. Children gather in the church with their family and during the service they are shepherded by Safe Church trained leaders to the Chapel. The program lasts for approximately 30 minutes. The leaders bring the children back to the church at the Passing of the Peace to join their families for the remainder of the service.
Children are welcome at ALL services. Children’s liturgy bags are available in the narthex with seasonal resources and lectionary-based activities. Please be sure to return them at the end of the service to be replenished for the next week. Youth take roles as lay readers, acolytes, and choir members at the 10:30 service. If your youth (6th grade or older) is interested in becoming an acolyte, email Susan Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ellen Gallup at email@example.com.
The nursery program on Sunday morning is for infants (8 weeks) to children four years old. Our staff are paid professionals who have completed all Safe Church certifications required by the national Episcopal Church as well as CPR/First Aid certification and a comprehensive background check. Our nursery is a safe and loving environment equipped with age appropriate playthings. Nursery care is available for the 10:30am Sunday service and during the Christian Education hour from September – May (9:15 -10:15). It is also provided for many of our special services and Bible study classes. For services other than on Sunday morning and weekday classes, please call the parish office at (757) 428-6763 to ensure that the nursery will be open and ready to care for your child.
Classes are offered during the academic year – September through Pentecost – for everyone from age 4 through adult. Classes are from 9:15-10:15. Prior to attending the class, each student should register with the Director of Family Formation. All class assignments are based on the age or current grade placement in school. Click HERE for a registration form.
Godly Play (Pre-K-1st grade)
Our youngest children meet in our Godly Play classroom. What is Godly Play? Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play curriculum, based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, helps little ones explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Our Doorkeepers and Storytellers are Godly Play trained and Safe Church certified to ensure the most effective experience for the children.
Spark Class (2nd – 5th grades)
This group meets in the Johnson Room in the day school wing and uses the Spark curriculum through Sparkhouse. This curriculum creates a fun and engaging atmosphere that links scripture to everyday life. 2nd-5th graders will make current cultural connections to their lessons through games, videos, recipes, crafts and more. They will use their Bibles to dig into the stories of their faith. Their love of questioning will be encouraged as well as their confidence in understanding the readings.
Summer Music Camp - We offer a week-long Summer Music Camp at the beginning of August. At camp, children from rising Grades 2 – 6 are welcome. We have a varying curriculum that includes musicianship skills, vocal technique, handbell and chime instruction, anthems, recreation and snacks. The camp is open to any child from any denomination in the Tidewater area.
Summer Music Camp for 2024 will be
August 5-9 with participation in the 10:30am worship on Sunday, August 11.