In a campus as large as St. Philip’s, with so many buildings and so many nooks and crannies, most of us don’t have any idea of what’s going on in areas where we don’t regularly find ourselves. We walk to the Church from the parking lot and have no inkling about what wonderful activities are happening at the opposite ends of the St. Philip’s campus. I have been attending and helping with the church services for over 4 years and I didn’t realize our church community had a jewel hidden in the northeast corner of our campus.
Hidden away in the building that houses our children’s ministry are two rooms where a program titled “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” takes place. The program, for children 3 to 12 years of age, originated in 1954 in Rome and was inspired by the Montessori principles of education. The program soon spread to countries and cultures around the world and to the United States.
The Catechesis at St. Philip’s operates under the able and creative guidance of Harriet Claiborne. Harriett has seen that our St. Philip’s children, even at an early age, have a religious experience that will help them to grow in their relationship with God by learning in an atmosphere that is developmental and focuses on themes teaching about the beautiful liturgy of the Episcopal Church and the history of our Christian faith. As the children learn, they move through beautifully constructed hands-on learning stations under the guidance of trained teachers.
You are invited to visit the Catechesis rooms in the Children’s Center in the northeast corner of the St. Philip’s campus. While you are there, consider how you could fit into the Sunday program. You don’t have to have children who are attending. Your own children may be grown up or you may not be a parent … but if you believe children are the future of our church and if you find yourself inspired by their excitement as they learn, you can make a contribution as a Catechesis teacher. Your commitment can be as little as one Sunday each month or more, and you will be trained by the Catechesis staff so you will feel comfortable working with the children.
The children of St. Philip’s need you! You can schedule a tour of the classrooms by calling the Rev. Jean Rogers, 299-6421, ext. 44.
—The Rev. N. Jean Rogers
Photos by Harriet Claiborne and Sandralyn Pierce