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Atrium Level 1: Ages 3 - 5

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is grounded in the premise that every child is born into relationship with God.  We seek to create a sacred, "hands-on" space for the child (called an atrium) where the child and the adult catechist hear, ponder, and celebrate the most essential mysteries of the Christian faith as revealed in scripture and liturgy.  The atrium is an inviting place where a child nurtures their relationship with Jesus, The Good Shepherd, through

  • Scripture - Infancy narratives open the mystery of Incarnation
  • Parables - Jesus' teaching through the experiences of daily life; The parable of the Good Shepherd is particularly relevant to the Level I-age child.
  • Geography - Coming to know Jesus as a real person who walked the earth.
  • Liturgy - Becoming familiar with Episcopal liturgies and sacraments.
  • Prayer -Personal and communal prayer
  • Celebrations, - Advent, Christmas/Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost
  • Community - Taking responsibility for their own environment and working on service projects to help those outside our parish family.

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Atrium Level 2: Grades 1 - 3

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd : We believe that every child comes into the atrium in relationship with God. The catechists and the environment of the atrium are meant to aid in that relationship. The True Vine parable is a key image for this age child because of the Trinitarian, communal and moral aspects. Other parables are new to this age group:  The Good Samaritan, The Insistent Friend, The Ten Bridesmaids, and The Wedding Feast.

In Level I, the child has meditated on several parables of the Kingdom of God.  In Level II we look at the History of the Kingdom of God, and the three key moments: Creation, Redemption and Parousia.

We look at Jesus' life through: The geography of the land of Israel in Jesus' time; infancy narratives;  and, the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. We experience the life of the Church by celebrating Pentecost and see how the Last Supper became the celebration of Holy Eucharist.

The sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist and their prayers are more fully presented and experienced.  Christian morality is addressed through key moral parables and maxims that form Jesus' teachings, showing us how those who love and listen to God are invited to live.

Prayer life is an integral part of Level II.  The children create a Prayer Service and we look more closely at the Lord's Prayer and other prayers of the church. Community life continues with care for the atrium and contributing to parish social justice projects.