Children and Youth Ministries
We recognize that children have an innate sense of spirituality as well as boundless curiosity about their world. Our Sunday School program incorporates questioning and exploring with the children, along with an introduction to traditions and stories that are the foundations of our church.
They meet at 10:15 a.m. in the Fireside Room which is just inside the Parish Hall. Teachers lead creative activities that thematically line up with the readings for each Sunday and bring the children into the service for communion.
Teenagers attend the 10:15 a.m. service and gather in the narthex right after receiving communion. They meet in the Loft until the end of the post-service coffee hour. The Youth Group focuses on church-related activities, charitable or community services, and social gatherings. Christ Church partners with other local Episcopal parishes and the Diocese to plan occasional service opportunities, fellowship events and services trips. Our youth have provided child care at the parish annual meeting, served as waiter staff at special parish events, managed our annual Easter Egg hunt, helped with the annual Christmas Pageant, collected coats and blankets and delivered them to the homeless in San Francisco, and sponsored a gift tree where parishioners could place items requested by residents of the Elm Hotel Shelter in San Francisco (managed by Episcopal Community Services). For fun, they've played miniature golf, ice skated, visited the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and watched the Super Bowl together.
Christ Church offers confirmation classes for teenagers and adults. The next class for our youth will run from Fall 2017 through Spring 2018, in preparation for Confirmation at Grace Cathedral in June 2018. All are welcome!
The Forum is our adult Sunday School which offers stimulating content along with an opportunity for members from our two services to meet together regularly. Every Sunday at 9:00 a.m., a group of parishioners gathers in the Fireside Room for coffee, informal conversation, and discussion of the Bible, religious history, or similar topics. The Forum begins with a half-hour video lecture by a world-class professor from The Teaching Company, followed by general discussion of the content of the lecture and its interpretation. Every Second Sunday of the month, either our Rector or another speaker leads the Forum. On April 9th, our conversation was led by the Rev. Claire Ranna for the first time and focused on Inter-Religious Dialogue and, particularly, understanding Islam. The handout from this conversation is available here. So many people participated, and there was such enthusiasm, that we are planning another forum soon related to these themes.
Opinions and perspectives vary widely within the group and are expressed openly and honestly; our discussions are lively but respectful. Everyone is invited.
Lenten Study Series
Our Annual Lenten Study Series begins begins with a simple soup supper. This year our rector, the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, led us through an adapted version of the Ignation Spiritual Exercises, created by St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in 1540. The exercises are an essential component of Ignatian Spirituality, which seeks "God in all things." The series was both informative and experiential, offering tools and practices to support you in your journey through Lent.