Spiritual Life > Christian Education

Faith Formation

“Faith Formation” is our weekly Christian Education program for the Pre-K– 6th grades. Our volunteer instructors come to us from Christ Church, Episcopal in downtown Tyler, TX. Each “Faith Formation” division follows a particular scope and sequence that is developmentally appropriate and addresses everyday life. A brief description of each division of “Faith Formation” is provided below. Please contact our Chaplain, Thomas Morris with any additional questions.

 

 

Pre-K and K
Children have a natural sense of wonder and awe about God and the world around them. During Faith Formation in the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes, we explore foundational stories of the Bible as well as seasons in the Christian year. Because it is important to engage children imaginatively, most classes involve some kind of artistic and creative interaction with the Bible story of the day.  The hope is that during these early years, children will have a love for and curiosity about God that they will be excited about developing throughout their years in Faith Formation.


Primer, 1st, and 2nd

Through the utilization of the Episcopal Children’s Curriculum the Primer class will learn about the stories in the Bible. 

In 1st grade the children spend the greater part of the first semester building a “Saints Book.”  We look at individual saints and what we can learn about ourselves by examining the lives they led.  We continue our study of saints in the second semester while also examining Christian life through lessons that correspond to weekly scripture readings.

 

2nd grade classes are learning about the Episcopal Church: its history, tradition, and the way Episcopalians worship. We also learn about the seasons of the church and the fruits of the Spirit. Both 2nd and 1st grade examines Christian life through lessons that correspond to weekly scripture readings (Revised Common Lectionary).

 

Through music, art, and hands-on activities, primer, first and second grades work on living together and honoring the differences that make us all special. 

 

3rd and 4th

3rd and 4th grade students will focus on character: how we treat one another and how we treat ourselves.  Each lesson will have at least one Bible reference.  The curriculum used is from Group Publishing and is called IT (Innovative Tools).  While some of the lessons are very active and occur outside, others are more thought-provoking with lots of input from the children.  This age group is very inquisitive, and each class is unique, so the general topic is often taken into a more specific direction by the children.  Throughout the year, we will examine different types of prayer, liturgical seasons, and service learning.

 
5th and 6th

“Faith Formation” meets by grade level in the Intermediate School for an entire period once every two weeks.

 

Students in 5th grade will work through a program which emphasizes Christian Principles.  We discuss things such as compassion, goodness, hope, patience, faith, truthfulness, etc.


Students in 6
th grade will work with a discussion-based film series which helps the students to see how our daily lives and Holy Scripture fit hand-in-hand.  This program gives the children a chance to incorporate their lives into these circumstances and how that situation might impact them personally.   


Middle School


7th Grade

Students in 7th grade follow the curriculum, “Covenant Living: A Survey of the Old Covenant,” developed by our Chaplain, The Rev. Brandon Peete. This curriculum utilizes the overarching theme of Covenant as portrayed through the Hebrew Bible. Each week, as detailed below, a new theme will be explored in light of living into this covenant:

1-Overview

4-Leadership

7-Good/Evil

2-Narrative

5-Prophecy

8-Exile

3-Identity

6-Water

9-Temple


Each theme will be approached from various perspectives: artistic interpretation, small-group Scripture nuggets, class Scripture, and theological implications. Naturally, these perspectives will be seen with an “Episcopal” lens. At the end of this 12-week cycle, we hope our 7th grade students will catch a glimpse of what it means to live in Covenant with God.


8th Grade
Students in 8th grade follow the curriculum, “Kingdom Living: A Survey of the New Covenant,” developed by our Chaplain, The Rev. Brandon Peete. This curriculum utilizes the overarching theme of Kingdom as portrayed through the New Covenant. Each week, as detailed below, a new theme will be explored in light of living into God’s Kingdom:

1-Overview

4-Leadership

7-Good/Evil

2-Narrative

5-Prophecy

8-Exile

3-Identity

6-Water

9-Temple


Each theme will be approached from various perspectives: artistic interpretation, small-group Scripture nuggets, class Scripture, and theological implications. Naturally, these perspectives will be seen with an “Episcopal” lens. At the end of this 12-week cycle, we hope our 8th grade students will begin to understand how to live into the Kingdom of God.

 

Upper School


12th Grade
All students in 12th grade take a year-long course on the study of God entitled, “Senior Theology.” We will approach this study with an exploration of self in order to understand how we are likely to encounter the divine. This study will not only focus on various Christian understandings of God, but will place these understandings within the context of an historical, global, and cultural worldview of the divine. Students will be formed within a community to investigate, responsibly ask questions, and engage Holy Scripture. These discussions will inevitably explore the God that continues to create and re-create, even today.

 

Online discussion boards prepare and set the stage for rich theological discussions during class.