Birth to Age 3
Java with Junior
An “open gym” event two Sundays a month from 9:30-10:30 am for families with babies and toddlers – birth to age 36 months. Parents can relax with a cup of coffee and meet other Gloria Dei families while children play – coloring, balls, crawl tunnels, slides, push/pull toys and more. Location Gloria Dei Gym.
Young Children in Worship
Gloria Dei loves to have families with little ones in worship! It is in worship we learn that we are all part of the family of faith and we learn how to participate in worshiping God. There are colorful cards in the Sanctuary pews that give suggestions for families with and without children. Worship bags for little hands are found at each entrance to the Sanctuary. Ask an usher for a children’s bulletin; there is one activity page for readers and another for non-readers. Young children can even request a cup of animal crackers from an usher (with parents’ approval). All children are invited to come forward during the Children’s Message and also for Communion, so even the youngest receive a blessing. And when children need to move around or become too vocal, the Nursery offers a place for more activity.
A bright, safe environment for children ages 4 and younger! There are times when it is inconvenient for families to be together while parents are active at church. Children are invited to spend time during worship or education events in Gloria Dei’s nursery. Our nursery care-giver, Mary Mikkelson, welcomes children to the nursery. The nursery is equipped with pagers that will signal parents if they are needed.
The Gloria Dei Nursery is staffed Sundays year round during worship services, Sundays during the school year during the education hour, 9:30-10:30 am, and Wednesday nights during the school year, from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Traditional Sunday School
Beginners – 3 Years Old
(by September 1st)
A child’s first experience in Sunday School includes a warm welcoming environment, lots of free play, and active lessons. Beginners hear the stories of Jesus, so they come to know and love Jesus. “The Beginner’s Bible” is the textbook, presented to each child to strengthen the church-home connection, and allow families to read the same stories at home.
Preschool – 4 Years Old
Children continue to use “The Beginner’s Bible,” learning stories of faith from both the Old and New Testaments. Lessons encourage the child to use developing motor skills and social interactions, while there is still plenty of time for free play.
Kindergarten children are eager to learn and use their new skills. Kindergarten Sunday School encourages both! “The Jesus Storybook Bible” is the text for this year of lessons. This is a very special Bible that presents each story of faith as part of God’s loving rescue plan. This story Bible is presented to each Kindergarten child so families can read it together at home. All ages will learn from this Bible!
Water Tower Sunday School
“The Water Tower” is our third floor space dedicated to children in grades 1-4. Climbing the stairs to the uppermost level of Gloria Dei is reminiscent of the many steps up to the observation deck of our nearest neighbor, the Highland Water Tower. Just like our neighbor, Gloria Dei’s Water Tower has eight “windows” with a view of the Twin Cities. Artist Debbie Knips painted these beautiful murals to give our children a colorful, attractive space of their own!
Gloria Dei’s Water Tower hosts a Workshop Rotation Model of Sunday School. Children meet in grade-level groups that rotate between different workshops each Sunday, studying the same Bible stories for 3-4 weeks. Workshops can include art, science, maps and Bible study, drama, storytelling, cooking, or movies. “Guides” accompany each group all year to foster relationships with children while “Teachers” teach the same lesson to different groups of kids for 3-4 weeks. The goal of these years is for each child to grow in faith and compassion, build relationships, and learn the joy of serving.
GAPP Sunday School
GAPP stands for “Grace And Promise People” and is a Sunday School program designed especially for Preteen youth. Fifth and sixth graders meet each Sunday in the Colonial Room; they divide into small groups led by adult mentors who build relationships with them through the year. The class is taught by a team of teachers using a variety of interactive methods – art, movies, science, drama, or cooking. GAPP provides an overview of the Biblical story, both Old and New Testaments, during the course of two years. GAPP also includes one service project or “faith and life” conversation with members of the congregation each month. The goal of these two years is that our preteens grow in faith and hope, exhibit a deeper understanding of the Bible’s big story, enjoy deeper friendships within the congregation, and grow in their capacity to serve.
The Beginner's Bible
This textbook is used in our preschool classroom and presented to each child in the 3-yr old class to strengthen the church-home connection, and allow families to read the same stories at home.
The Jesus Storybook Bible
This text is used for Kindergarten lessons and is presented to each Kindergarten child to continue the church-home connection. The Jesus Storybook Bible is a very special story Bible that presents each story of faith as part of God's loving rescue plan. This perspective helps children and adults alike to see the big picture of the Bible.
The Deep Blue Kids Bible
This is a complete Bible in a fresh new translation (2012), the Common English Bible, made especially for children. It is full of tools to help kids read and understand the Bible. This book is distributed to 3rd graders, as part of a class where they learn how to use their new Bible.