Meet Youth Christian Formation, Celeste Kocot
Celeste has cared for the children at St. Mark’s for over 40 years. She also works with the children in the community garden, the Garden of Eatin’, located on the church property. The garden provides a great outdoor classroom for presenting many Bible lessons. In addition to enjoying the work of youth Christian formation, Celeste is happy to be teaching some of the children of parents who attended her class when they were children.
NOTE: With COVID-19 restrictions in place the Nursery is not currently staffed, although it is available for use.
Parents or grandparents can opt for nursery care for babies and toddlers during the 10:00 am Sunday service and during many special events such as festival services or concerts. But babies are always welcome either in church or in the nursery.
The Godly Play program, a Montessori based curriculum, has been offered to the younger children at St. Mark’s since September 1996. The stories are told to the circle of children with easily manipulated figures and materials. In a playful way, the children are invited to wonder about the story, themselves, and God, then respond to the lesson. Our year-round program continues with a new theme each year for the summer classes. The children also enjoy working in the community garden, the Garden of Eatin’, located on the church property. They learn to dig, plant, care for plants, harvest, prepare some of the food, and share the produce. This rewarding experience makes them good stewards in caring for God’s gifts in the garden---the plants and the animals that visit. The garden also provides an outdoor classroom for presenting lessons several times during the year.
Throughout the year, the children also make cards for shut-ins, decorate welcome bags for newcomers, and at Christmas, they decorate holiday bags for the residents of Loving Care home. Their drawings are printed in some of the bulletins and in Markings, the weekly email news. At the Christmas party, the children decorate the tree and sing Christmas carols.
In response to COVID-19, the Godly Play class begins at 9:30 AM each Sunday in the Parish Hall. The class is open to children from three through seven years old.