We take seriously our responsibility to teach our children what it means to follow in the way of Jesus.
We know our children by name.
We consider each child’s needs and interests as we plan educational activities.
We provide opportunities for active participation in worship services.
We engage our children in mission and service activities.
Our loving and skillful Nursery Director, along with an approved adult volunteer from the congregation, provide care for children and watch over them during all of our worship services and Sunday morning church school.
We love playing outdoors. Recently we installed a new playground for our children and the children in the neighborhood. We are always on the lookout for ways to incorporate the woods and trails and being with creation into our activities.
Time for Children
Every 11AM Worship Service includes a Time for Children. The Pastor, or one of the Kirk’s leaders, discusses with the children an issue related to the worship that day. It is a time to acknowledge that children need to hear an understandable message for them. After this short time children through Second Grade may leave for Bible Story Time.
Bible Story Time at 11AM Worship Service
As the older children stay with the adults in the sanctuary for 11 AM Worship, children go with our Christian Educator and another approved adult to learn about a Bible Story. After the story-time activities the children may play.
Sunday Morning Learning
From 9:30 – 10:30 each Sunday we provide an educational experience for children and youth. There is always a theme; sometimes we talk about relevant issues, other times we are exploring a Biblical story or concept. We use art, drama, storytelling, science, and nature to enhance discussion and understanding of God’s work in our lives.
Worship Leadership: Processional of Christ Candle, Holy Bible, and Baptismal Water
Each Sunday at 11AM children and youth process into the sanctuary bringing important symbols into our worship space. This ritual focuses the congregation for our worship of God together.
This intergenerational group rings handbells, accompanies with song or musical instruments some of the scripture readings during worship, and at various times joins the choir to depth and richness to musical selections.
Our music director loves to plan and direct musicals, and she has a part for everyone in the productions. The musicals are high energy with memorable music and catchy lines. It is wonderful to watch 4 year old children participating with talented grandparents to perform a meaningful story!
The Big Event
Each Summer the Kirk spends a weekend together focusing on a timely theme. This year all ages will learn about the importance of water and God’s desire for us to care for water. We will learn and explore water stories found in the Bible, and participate in water related activities that help our environment.
Youth Group Ministry 6 th – 12 th grade
This is a group just for the Youth. It is a time of being, talking about important issues, playing, working together, studying about the life of faith in Jesus the Christ, and learning about other faith traditions. It is a safe space for youth and their questions.
Youth Mission Activities
Because we believe that faith and action go together, an integral part of the Youth Group Ministry involves mission and service to the larger community. Be it a mission trip or an afternoon cleaning a neighbor’s yard, we emphasis our responsibility to all of God’s creatures
Youth in the Chancel Choir
Once a person reaches the 6th grade, singing with the Chancel Choir becomes an opportunity of service. The expectations for youth are the same as for the adults: regular attendance at weekly rehearsals and regular 11AM worship attendance. There are also extraordinary opportunities such as participation in the Madrigal Dinner or participating in a special program outside the regular worship services.
Montreat Music and Worship Conference
For many years the Gayton Kirk has offered opportunities to attend the annual Montreat Music and Worship Conference. During this one week there are programs for all ages of children and youth. Participants are taught by noted professionals to sing together and play handbells with
others who are their age. The children have a full schedule which includes Bible Study, recreation and rehearsals for daily worship services and the final evening’s performance. It is a week that children and youth alike remember as life changing.
Kirk Kids Community Center
Beginning January 21, 9:45 am – 11:15 am, we will offer Neighborhood Storytime, the first step in our new endeavor Kirk Kids Community Center which is to serve our larger neighborhood.
While the pre-schoolers are with Stacy Deyerle, an experienced teacher, parents will stay on site, but will have a variety of opportunities to refresh themselves ….including a free tai chi class, wifi, a library, nature trails, labyrinth, coffee…and plenty of places to just sit and have a break from their normal routine.
Meanwhile, we will focus each session around a particular book, but then spend time exploring ideas from the book or whatever else captures the kids’ attention in an open ended format. We will focus on developing emotional intelligence, and give kids a chance to ask questions about anything and receive the best answers we can find together. Through exploring nature, books, and our relationships, we will look for places where we learn more about the nature of God.