Religious Education of Children

Religious Education for Children
 

Our religious education program exist to assist parents in their role as the primary teachers of the faith to their children.

Overview

Our Sunday morning religious education program is for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Our sessions meet on Sunday mornings from 9:00 - 10:15 am.
AMPlify, our dynamic middle school program, is held currently on Sunday mornings from 9:00 - 10:15 am.

Life Lineour vibrant high school youth ministry program, is held on Sunday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Sacramental Preparation
Children in second grade prepare for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. Reconciliation is celebrated in early Advent and First Communion is celebrated in May. 

Confirmation preparation is a two-year program beginning in 8th grade with the Sacrament being celebrated in spring of 9th grade. All sacramental preparation requires involvement in the home.  Classes are typically held once a month (Oct-May) in an all-day retreat format.

Schedule
Classes begin in September and end in May. The schedule is structured to provide a maximum number of classes so as to assist parents in the formation of their children and to meet or exceed Diocesan Policy. The schedule is handed out with the registration form and is also in the bulletin.

Registration
Registration is held yearly. Families must register each year. By registering yearly, families aid us in updating records, purchasing adequate materials and staffing ministries. We need a copy of the child’s baptismal record. If your child was baptized at Transfiguration, please tell us the date so we may obtain a copy.

Religious Education Fees
Families need to be active, registered members of our parish to enroll in Sunday School. We are waiving registration fees for the 2014-2015 year.

Attendance
Student attendance is monitored. Random and inconsistent attendance diminishes the class dynamic and makes it difficult for the catechist to plan lessons that build on material covered in previous lessons. To ensure continuity of information and formation, students should attend all scheduled classes.

Students who will be starting First Communion or Confirmation preparation must have good attendance the year prior to entering the preparation process. Good attendance is defined as not having missed more than 3 classes. 

Parental Involvement
We recognize that you are the primary catechists of your child, and that we are merely here to help you in your role. To that end, at the start of each month we will have a half-hour parent meeting in the church gathering space during class time. After the children finish adoration and go to their classes, refreshments will be served and Fr. Andrew will give you a heads-up of what the children will be learning that month, and we will discuss ways a family might build upon the lessons at home.

Attire
Children and youth should dress comfortably but respectfully. Clothing that is scant, skimpy or expresses inappropriate stances create a distraction. Our exterior attitude or expression should reflect an interior attitude. For the safety of the individual as well as the community, no shoes with wheels are permitted during class time. Please monitor your child’s dress so that all may focus on building the kingdom of God. All cell phones are to be turned off, no iPods or other electronic equipment is permitted.

Cancellation
Severe weather cancellations will be emailed out the day before. Class cancellation not due to weather will be sent via email the week prior, if possible.

Off-Site Activities
Permission slips must be completed for any off-site activities such as retreats, social events and ministry opportunities. There may be an occasion when transportation will be needed using personal vehicles. Diocesan Policy mandates that we may not use corporate 15-passenger vans. When personal vehicles are used, volunteer parent drivers must have liability and collision insurance.

Special Needs
As Christians we recognize the uniqueness of God’s people. Parents are encouraged to alert the Director of Religious Education if they have identified their child as having special needs; medical or educational. The catechist will be confidentially informed. If necessary, a meeting will be held between the parent, catechist and the Director to determine the way that we can best assist the child. Also, in some cases the parent may be requested to assist in their child’s class to provide assistance and so everyone experiences a loving and cooperative environment.

Staff and Volunteers
The religious education team is comprised of the pastor, Director of Religous Education, and many lay volunteers. We provide training and on-going formation through parish and diocesan events. All staff and volunteers are required to participate in the diocesan Virtus program, which trains church members in safe environment procedures for the protection of children. This training includes a mandatory background check, faciliated through the Diocese of Charleston. 

Teaching Touch Safety
Each year parents have the option of having their children/youth participate in a Diocesan sponsored child protection program. The session is held during regularly scheduled religious education sessions (generally the last Sunday in October). If parents choose to withhold their child/youth from the Teaching Touching Safety program, they are requested not to bring them to religious education on the date of presentation.

 
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