Children’s Christian Education
Children & Family Ministries Department Mission and Values
At AHCC, children are embraced as one of God’s greatest gifts and are central to the life of our church family. Children & Family Ministries (CFM) starts children on their lifelong path of faith formation by affirming and growing their spirituality and building a base of values founded on the teachings of Jesus including compassion, acceptance, justice, generosity, hospitality, and love and respect for themselves and each other. CFM also supports spiritual growth and connection within family units so that parents and guardians feel empowered to not only be a part of their children’s faith formation, but to also take an active roll in guiding their children’s spirituality.
Childcare & Preschool Program
Families of children from infancy-preschool have the option to place their young children with trained childcare staff during Sunday morning worship. Our childcrae teachers are comprised mostly of individuals who work in early childhood careers; many hold teaching certifications and all are CPR/First Aid trained. Families can choose to drop their young children off with our childcare staff prior to the start of worship or at any point during worship as needed.
Preschoolers ages 3-5 receive an introduction to their faith formation journey through a curriculum called Frolic, that mixes scripture with picture books and focuses on age appropriate themes such as how to pray, asking for help, dealing with anger, etc. and engages children through art, song, and movement. While preschool children do receive faith formation instruction, playtime is integral to their development, so learning time is balanced with a generous amount of playtime.
Spirit Hill Sunday School Program
Children kindergarten-grade 5 make up our Spirit Hill Sunday School Program. Year round, the children at AHCC have the opportunity to grow their faith through learning, participation in worship, and service projects.
Children’s Bible Study and Learning
Elemetary aged children are introduced to key scriptures of the Bible through the Spark Rotation curriculum. Children interact with the Bible in every lesson to help them navigate scripture. Children learn in a safe environment that fosters inquiry and allows them to begin to integrate what they learn into their lives. Learning is based in interactive “workshops” that feature arts and crafts, games, and science-based activities.
In addition to curriculum, each grade focuses on additional activities that help to strengthen their growing spirituality including learning about prayers and various ways to pray to form a personal relationship with God. Children in grades K-2 are familiarized with simple bedtime/mealtime prayers and “The Our Father.” Children in grades 3-5 are introduced to the sacred practices that make up our worship experience. Children in third grade receive a children’s Bible as a gift from the congregation and fifth graders study and participate in the sacrament of communion.
Leadership & Outreach
Elementary aged children are also encouraged to grow as church leaders by serving as lay leaders during Children’s Sunday worship service and other services throughout the year, participating in the Christmas pageant, and children’s messages delivered by our clergy.
To round out their faith formation experience, children are encouraged to participate in the many outreach opportunities the church offers like community meals and food drives as well as a special service project that is chosen each year especially for children. Past projects have included raising funds for Puerto Rican hurricane relief, collecting pet items to donate to local animal shelters, and creating special comfort bags to be given to children in homeless shelters.
Fellowship & Family Events
CFM supports spiritual growth and connection within families through family worship and retreats, fellowship events such as movie nights and seasonal celebrations, and weekly emails and videos. To sign up to be on this email list, click here.
Volunteer to Support Children’s Faith Formation
Spirit Hill Church School thrives because of the commitment of over 100 caring teens and adults who have discovered the opportunity for joyful service to God and to our children through volunteering and teaching. AHCC has a Safe Church Policy that requires the church "to provide a safe environment for persons of all ages who are entrusted to its care." Included in the policy is a provision to for a uniformly enforced screening process of all staff and volunteers, particularly for those with responsibilities related to children, which includes bi-annual background checks.
Spirit Hill Volunteers, comprised of both adults and youth, are the backbone of Spirit Hill. Volunteers assist teachers with lessons, classroom tasks like attendance, passing out materials, help at special events and worship, and most importantly, are available to support our children on their faith journey.
Spirit Hill Teachers teach lessons to children in grades K-5. Teachers make a commitment to teach a full unit, which is 2-3 Sundays (we supply the lesson and materials.) No teaching experience is required - just a joy of working with children and a love of sharing the Word of God.