Formation (Education) in the Christian way of being and thinking is a life-long process that begins before our baptism and continues until we enter the “nearer presence of God” at our death.  Formation happens in casually through fellowship and building relationships with others on this journey.  Formation happens through regular participation in Sunday liturgies, in which we practice what we believe through hearing the Good News of the Gospel proclaimed, receive nourishment  in the Eucharist, hear the Good News of the Gospel proclaimed, and experience God’s forgiveness and peace.  Yet intentionally seeking out way to grow in our knowledge of the love of Christ through retreats, classes, and Bible Study is essential to our growth.

St. Peter’s offers a variety of intentional formation opportunities at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, retreats, and through occasional weeknight series and weekend programs.  If you have idea for additional formation offerings or enjoy teaching or facilitating adult learning, please contact the Reverend Jacob Pierce.

Children’s Formation (ages 3—12)

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation for children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith. These materials help the religious life of children. If an adult hears a beautiful passage from the Bible, the adult might take a Bible, find the passage, and read it slowly again and again. He or she may think deeply about the words and perhaps speak to God in a thankful or hopeful prayer. A little child, too young to read needs another way. In an atrium the child can ponder a biblical passage or a prayer from the liturgy by taking the material for that placing wood figures of sheep in a sheepfold of the Good Shepherd, setting sculpted apostles around a Last Supper table, or preparing a small altar with the furnishings used for the Eucharist. Older children often copy parables from the Bible, place written prayers in order from the rite of baptism, or label a long time line showing the history of the kingdom of God. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a sensory-rich experience for children from the ages of children from the ages of 3 to 12 years that gives children the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God through the Christian tradition.

For more information about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and all things related to Children’s Formation, contact Director of Children’s Formation Anna Hurdle at ahurdle@st-peters.org or 704-749-6156.

Youth Formation (Grades 6 – 12)

As we desire a holistic approach to youth formation, we use the Journey 2 Adulthood (J2A) Program which is divided into three sections, Rite-13 (grades 6 – 8), J2A (grades 9 and 10), and Young Adults in the Church (grades 11 and 12). Each section of this comprehensive curriculum ends with a Rite of Passage to celebrate the ongoing transition from youth to a fulfilling adulthood. Each section meets on Sunday mornings during Formation Hour from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Beyond that, each class engages in various outreach projects, local and international pilgrimage and mission trips, participation in Diocesan-wide youth events, and is integrated into the large worshipping life of the St. Peter’s community. The curriculum, led by trained mentors, encourages young people to discover the Four S’s of Self, Society, Sexuality, and Spirituality. Additionally, throughout the curriculum, youth explore the spiritual implications and foundations of skills needed for a fulfilling adult life: active listening, negotiation, assertion, research and information management, partnership, and leadership. For additional information, contact Director Lyn Holt at lholt@st-peters.org or 704-749-6148.

Adult Formation

Undoubtedly, parents and guardians have the greatest impact on children’s spiritual formation. One way we can communicate the importance of cultivating an active spiritual life is by setting the example. St. Peter’s offers a range of Adult Formation activities throughout the year, from Bible Study to series on Work-Life Balance to exploring the role of the arts in faith and prayer. Click here for current listings. For more information, contact Associate Rector for Pastoral Care and Formation, the Reverend Jacob Pierce at jpierce@st-peters.org or 704-749-6150.