Young children need to be invited in age-appropriate ways to be ministers of the faith. They should never be given the message that they are the "future of the church." They are the church with us, right here and now, and they have their rightful place in the world and in their faith communities.
--Schreiner and Northway
The Rite Place
Children and Youth
At Grace Church, we firmly believe that formation begins with worship. That is true not only for adults but for our children and youth. When children are sent off to separate spaces and allowed to participate in only a small slice of worship, we find them coming to confirmation with a limited exposure to the fullness of communal prayer. For that reason, we invite and expect children to worship with their parents. Activity sheets relating to the day's readings are available along with activity bags for younger children.
Generally children are welcome to worship, but once a month, we also have Sunday School.
Youth are invited to serve in worship ministries of acolyte, crucifer, and torch bearers.
Eighth and ninth grade students may prepare to make a first mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their baptism. Sessions with the rector are supplemented by individual meetings with adult mentors, and will ideally include discussion, study, reflection on one’s path of faith, and a project of living out that faith in the world. At the conclusion, each student will make his/her decision about readiness to be confirmed and receive the laying on of hands by the bishop.
Diocesan and National Events
Camp Chicago and Episcopal Youth Event: First through twelfth grade students from the Diocese of Chicago may attend week long overnight camps that are held at Stronghold Presbyterian Campgrounds in Oregon, Illinois. High School students may apply to be part of the diocesan delegation to the biannual Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) held in different provinces of the Episcopal Church. We join with Grace Outreach Ministries to make scholarships available for those who need financial assistance.