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Education > Sunday School
In a church our size, children are truly an important and visible part of the Hope Presbyterian Church family. They are our youngest disciples, learning to integrate Bible teachings into their daily lives. Sunday School students participate in the worship service by sharing songs and prayers, serving as ushers and acolytes, presenting skits, and making mission announcements. We are continually open to finding new opportunities for our children to be an integral part of worship at Hope Church.
On Sunday mornings, children join their parents in the 9:30 worship service, sharing in the Praise Team songs by joining in with rhythm instruments, if they wish. They proceed downstairs with their teachers for their Sunday School time as the congregation joins in passing the peace.
Students are divided into two multi-age classes spanning nursery through grade 8. The students interact with each other under the guidance of experienced church school teachers, several of whom are certified elementary teachers. Lessons are Biblically based and age appropriate with accommodations made for all abilities.
In the younger class (nursery through grade 2) children learn through songs, Bible stories, puppets, and crafts. The older class (grades 3-8) will be finishing up a three year exploration of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, and frequently share in discussion of DVD's relating to living the Christian life. They are always ready to assist with special projects such as the Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts and the Souper Bowl of Caring. On the first Sunday of each month the older students remain in church for the entire service and participate in Holy Communion.
In addition to gaining Biblical knowledge, both classes always have time for a discussion or activity relating to everyday living - how can the teachings of Jesus be incorporated into our family life, with friends, in school and on teams? There are opportunities for praying, joining together in song, and participating in projects to support missions local and worldwide. These include writing cards to our soldiers, collecting boxes for Operation Christmas Child, making cards for shut-ins, participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring to fight hunger (donations have gone to the Monmouth-Ocean Food Bank, the First United Methodist Church of Asbury Park Soup Kitchen, and the Eatontown Food Pantry), and collecting various items for children in need. During Lent the children collect money in their fish banks for One Great Hour of Sharing. Weekly offerings from the children have also been used to support Presbyterian Church camps, the Heifer Project, Church World Service, and Aslan's work in Haiti. Through speakers, DVD's, and the occasional field trip, children are exposed to Christian witness on a variety of topics. With all of these experiences, the children grow to understand that their hands and offerings are doing the work of the Lord.
For the past three years, our Sunday School students have been at the center of our intergenerational Christmas pageant. What a joyful way for them to learn about the birth of Our Savior, receive encouraging attention from teens and adults as mentors, experience the satisfaction of sharing the Good News and have a lot of fun, too! The multi-age fellowship, beautifully crafted costumes, applause, and celebratory party are priceless ways for Hope children to feel the nurturing promise made by the congregation at Baptism: to encourage and guide them on their maturing faith walk.
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