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Christian Education

Welcome to St. Edward’s Christian Formation Programs

“Christian Faith Formation in The Episcopal Church is a lifelong journey with Christ, in Christ, and to Christ.”

– The Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation, approved by the 2009 General Convention

Greetings to our Youth!

During this time of COVID-19, when we are unable to meet at Church, we have some great “at-home” Christian Formation activities for youth, listed below with links to click for the activity sheets.

Until we can meet in-person for Christian formation, we will post an audio introduction as well as a one-page lesson with the Biblical story, 

Feel free to send comments, questions, and/or suggestions to Leslie Arnold, Christian Formation leader.

Sunday, October 18th: Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 24

Greetings all Parents,

As you enjoy another beautiful Fall day, I hope you make time to work through this lesson with your child/children and perhaps venture outside to conduct one of the two activities.

Click here for this week’s lesson in pdf format.

Sunday, October 11th: Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 23

Greetings Parents,

This week’s lesson invites youth to “host a party for God” after listening and learning about the guests who were invited to the King’s wedding feast.  
Below is a special note regarding the scripture for today’s lesson:
A Notation for This Week’s Gospel
This is the final parable that Jesus gives in the temple, and it is especially a difficult one  for children and youth to understand. To explain the parable briefly, many sight it as  being an allegory of salvation history. The wedding banquet is given by the king (God)  for the son (Jesus). Many guests are invited ahead of time and say they will come, but on  the day of the wedding, no one will come and some, in fact, abuse the slaves he sent to  gather them. The king (God) is furious and sends troops to punish them.
The wedding banquet is still ready, so the king (God) tells the slaves to go and gather all  who are in the streets, good and bad, to the banquet. They come, ready for the banquet –  all except one, who is singled out and taken away. This final piece is said to be not about  a physically being ready, but about leaving behind the old and being ready for the feast,  being ready for God, presenting yourself to God in such a way as to say, I have prepared myself and am here. It is also good to note that in Jesus’ culture, when one was invited to  a wedding, there were robes given to the guests to wear and this man chose not to – he chose to keep his own clothes, thus not giving himself fully to God and to the feast.
This is a difficult parable that has been used to exclude people and bully people into  being a certain way to get into the feast. This is really about God inviting us to come,  choosing to come, and welcoming us to be ready when we are invited. Jesus is urging us  to come to the feast when we are invited and to put on the “clothes” that God has  provided for us. We are all invited into the kingdom of heaven, it is our choice to accept  and prepare ourselves or not.

October 4th:  Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 22

Jesus is the CornerstoneClick here for the lesson handout

Sunday, September 27th: Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 21 

Greetings Parents!

The theme of this week’s lesson is What God has Given Us To Do.
Attached is an oral introduction to the lesson for your and your children to hear together, as well as the lesson steps and a supplement.
Your feedback is welcome.

Sunday, September 20th: Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 20
Greetings Parents,


Please read the notation for this week’s lesson, as stated below and utilize one or all of the materials attached.

Your feedback is welcome.:)


A Notation for This Week’s Gospel

This week’s lesson follows on the heels of Jesus teaching on how we are all to humble ourselves as children in order to enter the Kingdom of God, on how we are to look for the lost sheep if there is one lost, and how we are to solve conflicts in our communities. This section of Matthew deals with how Jesus calls us to live together in community in this new way which leads to a good number of questions about what this means.

Peter asks Jesus how many times we are to forgive someone who has sinned against us or has done us wrong. Jesus responds with the parable known as the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. Throughout the ages as people have interpreted Jesus’ answer of 77 times to mean never. We are never to stop forgiving and the parable leads us to see that as well. The servant who comes before the king owes him an outrageous amount.

The king’s first reaction is to sell him and his family. Out of fear, the servant begs for mercy, and he is forgiven his debt. However, when the servant requires another person to repay him a rather small amount of money and does not forgive that person of his debt, the king shows no mercy. When the king sees that the servant is unwilling to forgive this small debt, he lets the servant know that he has had enough and hands him over to be tortured until he can pay his debt.

Sunday, August 30th: Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 17

For this week, please refer to the links below as a guide to help your child learn more about the teaching of Matthew, chapter 16, verses 21-28.

An audio introduction to the lesson by Leslie Arnold.  Click here.

Stumbling Blocks lesson.  Click here to download the pdf.

Sunday, June 21st:  Third Sunday after Pentecost:  Proper 7

An audio introduction to the lesson by Leslie Arnold. Click here.

God Knows Us lesson.  Click here to download the pdf.

Trinity Sunday – June 7, 2020

Here are some fun learning activities to celebrate Trinity Sunday, for all youth!

Trinity Sunday Youth Lesson (click here)

Trinity Pyramid Instructions (click here)

Trinity Pyramid (click here

Enjoy this lesson!

Pentecost – May 31, 2020

We celebrate Pentecost on Sunday, May 31st, and to help our youth recognize this joyful time,  I have assembled two separate “lesson and activity ideas” in separate infographics. 

One is designated for children 3-11 (click on ages to the left)

and the other is for older children, ages 12-17   (click on ages to the left)

You may opt to share the discussion questions with your children and/or complete the suggested activities.

Please know that the text content is derived from the Christian education page of The Episcopal Church site.

2020 Absalom Jones Contest

Greetings Parents of St Edwards Youth,

All of you have children who are eligible to enter this writing contest that invites students throughout our diocese to participate in the 2020 ABSALOM JONES CONTESTStudents may compose a brief essay, poem, video, letter, song, vlog, or even an original artwork for entry!!!  (Max word count is 200)

As an English teacher myself, I know this is the time of the year when students often encounter more demands from teachers to compose essays, complete artistic projects, and/or conduct research.  For this reason, youth might be motivate to enter this contest to not only fulfill a school requirement but to also win a monetary prize and be honored at a reception in Harrisburg.

The contest has two categories grades 5-8, and 9-12.  : 

The website (link below) details the vent, and attached are two documents (available on the site) : a flyer description and the contest rules/application.

Deadline for entry is January 25; winners are recognized in February.

I am also willing to review and help youth revise their works.

Leslie, Christian Ed Director

Click this link for the entry form.

Click below to learn more about the February Celebration event.

The children had a fun class on December 15th, 2019 in which they read aloud a Christmas play, “Christmas Hope” in a combined gathering in our Christian Ed wing lounge area.  They did a great job and the costume contributions were made possible through the artistic “angel wing” making of Christina McLaughlin and the headwraps were provided by Brian Newsome, who purchased them on a prior trip to Africa.   Treats and hot chocolate were provided after the service.

The teachers for the 2020 Christian Education Year are:

Preschool – K:  Peg Reiley and Leslie Arnold

Grades 1-3:  Beth Hake

Grades 4-6:  Joe and Christina McLaughlin

Jr-Senior Youth:  Dottie Gschwend and Brain Newsome

The St. Edward’s Christian Formation ministry offers faith formation opportunities for people of all ages on Sunday mornings, September through May. Classes are not held on monthly 2nd Sundays.

Classes for children are held during the 10:15 service, immediately following the children’s homily.

Pre-K-K (ages 3 1/2, 4 and 5) A modified Godly Play format actively engages the children as they listen to a Bible story and express the story through hands-on activities.

Grades 1-3 The Episcopal Childrenʼs Curriculum (ECC) is used as a guide for topics. Children in this class enjoy Bible stories, conversation and activities especially planned for them.

Grades 4-6 Using the ECC as a guide, discussions and activities center around faith and life issues relevant for the children.

Grades 7-12 The teens have an opportunity to gather for casual conversation about matters of faith, life experiences and topics brought to the table by the teens.
Special topics: In addition to the individual classes, the children, teens and teachers meet several times a year as one large class for special topics.

Outreach Ministry: The children are engaged in outreach ministry through a local food bank. We visited the food bank to “see and learn” more about this ministry. The children are integral in planning their participation and service in the food bank ministry.

Please visit the Adult Forum page for more information on this class.


Click here to view/download the St. Edward’s Children and Youth policies.

Click here to view/download the St. Edward’s Youth Permission Slip Form.