Realizing that children are the future of the church, Redeemer has provided myriad ways in which children and their parents can “Take Their Place” in parish life to the fullest, building deeper faith, solid community, and stronger families along the way. All staff and volunteers who work with children and youth at Redeemer have been screened, and have completed “Safeguarding God’s Children” training. I look forward to sharing with you all that Redeemer has to offer.
Director of Children’s Christian Formation
Welcoming Children and Families: A Sign of a Healthy and Growing Parish
To the parents:
- Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house. All are welcome!
- Feel free to sit towards the front where it is easier for your children to see and hear what’s going on. They are probably tired of seeing the backs of others’ heads.
- Quietly explain the parts of the service and actions of the priests, ushers, readers, choir, etc.
- Sing the hymns, pray, and voice the responses. Children learn liturgical behavior by copying you.
- If you have to leave the service with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back. As Jesus said, “Let the children come unto me.”
- Remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to the Church, to God, and to one another.
To the members of our parish:
- The presence of children is a gift to the Church, and they are a reminder that our congregation is alive and growing.
- Please welcome our children, and give a smile of encouragement to their parents.
Remember that we also offer Christian formation for children:
- Children’s Chapel: Held Sundays during the 9:00 AM Mass and led by clergy, children K-5th leave for Gillespie Hall chapel after the reading of the Gospel, and return following the Peace. Included is a retelling of the Gospel, age-appropriate homily, Creed, Prayers of the People, Confession, Absolution, and the Peace.
- Sunday School: Sunday School classes, essential as families and the church partner to foster faith that sticks, take place throughout the academic year for all children from 10:10 to 10:45 on Sunday mornings. Grades K-3 meet in the Bell Tower wing, and grades 4 and 5 meet in the classrooms above Gillespie Hall. Classes are also offered during the 1PM Spanish mass.
- “The Children’s Drawer” in the narthex always has materials for quiet time activities – coloring pages and crayons, pipe cleaners for “creating,” small Bible story books, etc. Please help yourself!
And for those nursery and PreK age:
- Nursery and PreK: Redeemer is blessed to have nursery care for infants through PreK. Nurseries are open every Sunday during the 9 and 11 AM masses, as well as the 1PM Spanish mass, and are specifically “well baby” spaces. Beepers are available to parents to keep contact with their little ones. All staff and volunteers who work with children and youth at Redeemer have been screened, and have completed “Safeguarding God’s Children” training.
- At Redeemer, we absolutely welcome children and families! To see an overview of everything that is offered, link here.
Families with Children “FWC” – Families with Children is the group of parents with children, intended to build community, have fun, and foster stronger families. The group hosts events throughout the year from casual evenings out for just parents, to group activities for adults and children. Some of the 2014-15 events: “Playing for Keeps” Parenting Course, Interactive Cooking Class and Dinner, Ringling Bridge Run, Outdoor Movie on the Lawn, Annual Pig Roast, Annual Beach Bash, Beer Tasting, Friends/Food/Football Night.
Acolytes – Don’t be shy! We’ll help train you up so that you can keep our liturgy beautiful. New acolytes always welcome! Ages 9 and up. Click here for the current acolyte schedule
Music Program – Children’s Choir members are full participants in Redeemer’s renowned music program. Rehearsal for Westminster Choir, for elementary school girls and boys, grade 2-5, are Wednesdays from 5-5:45PM in the Music Room. “Rockin’ Rhythm” classes are offered for K and 1st graders on Wednesdays, 5-5:45PM in the Oster Room. Contact Ann Stephenson-Moe in the parish office. Click here for information about Redeemer’s Music Program.
POPS – Parents of Preschoolers – this active group gathers the third Saturday of each month. Contact Rebekah Bragg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Redeemer Players -presents a fully-staged theatrical production once a year, featuring children and youth. Contact Ann Stephenson-Moe in the parish office.
Guild of the Christ Child – Expectant parents and Guild of the Christ Child: babies are prayed for prior to birth/adoption by the congregation as the baby’s arrival nears. Contact: Rebekah Bragg, email@example.com.
Sunday Mornings for Children and Families
Nurseries and 4-yr-old PreK classes – Redeemer is blessed to have an infant and toddler nursery, a nursery for 2 & 3 year olds, and a 4-yr-old PreK class. Nurseries are open every Sunday during the 9 and 11 AM masses, as well as the 1PM Spanish mass. The 4-yr-old PreK class is open during the 9 AM service, as well as the 1PM Spanish service, throughout the academic year. While there is professional staff in both nurseries, they depend on a great deal of volunteer help. The preschool class staffed by professional staff and trained volunteers. Beepers are available to parents to keep contact with little ones. Redeemer’s nurseries are specifically “well baby” spaces. All staff and volunteers who work with children and youth at Redeemer have been screened, and have completed “Safeguarding God’s Children” training.
Sunday School -Sunday School classes, essential as families and the church partner to foster faith that sticks, take place throughout the academic year for all children from 10:10 to 10:45 on Sunday mornings. Grades K-3 meet in the Church School wing (beside the Bell Tower), and grades 4 and 5 meet in the classrooms above Gillespie Hall. Classes are also offered during the 1PM Spanish mass. Click here to register for Sunday School.
Children’s Chapel – Held Sundays during the 9:00 AM Mass and led by a member of the staff or clergy, the children leave for the Gillespie Hall chapel after the reading of the Gospel, and return following the Peace. Included is a retelling of the Gospel, age-appropriate homily, Creed, Prayers of the People, confession, absolution, and the Peace.
First Communion Class -This class exposing our Kindergartners and their parents to the mystery and ritual of the Holy Eucharist through a five-week Instructed Eucharist Class, conducted during regular morning Church School time in the Kindergarten year. The class received their first Instructed Eucharist on Easter Sunday morning.
Baptism Instruction Class -The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is administered on the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany, Easter Vigil, Day of Pentecost, and All Saints’ Day. Baptism Instruction Classes, required for parents and godparents, are conducted the four Sundays prior to each of these days, after the 9AM Mass. Fr. Marsden, Jacki Boedecker. If you are interested in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism for yourself or your child, click here.
Weekdays for Children and Families
LOGOS -Redeemer’s mid-week weekly event for children grades K-5 takes place Wednesday afternoons from 4-6:30 PM. Playtime, proctored study hall, Bible study, art, choir, Suzuki pre-violin class, and “family-style” dinner make up our afternoons. To model the importance of living our faith every day of the week – not just Sundays – one parent of each LOGOS participant must make a time commitment to the program in some way. Click here to learn more. Contact: Melissa Kubisiak, firstname.lastname@example.org
Scouting – Redeemer is blessed to have a Cub Scout pack, Troop 24, which meets Monday evenings at the church. Cub Scout contact: Rich Hill, scoutmaster, email@example.com
To browse a photo gallery showing our Cub Scouts in action, click here.
Special Events for Children and Families
Vacation Bible School – The Church of the Redeemer has been offering Vacation Bible School each summer for young children for over 50 years. Children are given the opportunity to experience the Light of Christ, and the joy of giving to others, particularly those in need in local and global communities. Always held the week prior to start of the Sarasota County schools in August, the weekday morning program concludes with VBS Celebration Sunday and “The Blessing of the Backpacks.” The service is followed by a “Sundaes on Sunday” celebration in Gillespie Hall. Click here for a glimpse at VBS 2016.
Summer “Sunday Specials” Multi-age Sunday School – Summer programming for children of all ages, while parents participate in Parenting classes, following the 9AM mass. Summer 2014 offering: “Playing for Keeps/Losing Your Marbles.” Info: Jacki Boedecker, parish office.
Blessing of the Backpacks – Taking place the Sunday before school starts, all students are invited to bring their backpacks to the 9AM Mass for a special blessings to begin the new school year.
Blessing of the Animals – Remembering blessed St. Francis of Assisi, this is Redeemer’s once-a-year blessing of those pets who bring comfort and companionship. Click here for a glimpse
All Saints’ Wax Museum – Children in grades K-3rd grade “become” the saints through the ages on the first Sunday in November. “Museum” location: Gillespie Hall. Between the 9 AM and 11 AM Masses. Click here for a glimpse
Advent Event – Multi-generational event celebrating the start of this blessed season. Make an Advent wreath and Christ Candle for your home. Click here for a glimpse.
Christmas Eve 4PM Mass with Live Nativity – Family-friendly celebration of the Nativity of our Lord, complete with a no-rehearsal-needed Live Nativity and special visitor.
Holy Week Tableaux – Children of the parish solemnly re-enact the events of Holy Week in frozen tableau. No rehearsal required! Click here for a glimpse.
The Crossing of the The Walk – All students, parents and teachers in our Sunday School classes celebrate our third graders at the end of the academic year, as they move on to grade 4, “graduating” from the Church School Wing, which houses all children grade 3 and below, to the classrooms above Gillespie Hall, the location of all classes grades 4-12. A milestone event!