More information about the Christian Ministry for Children during the 10:30 worship hour can be found on our website. Classes start Sunday, Sept. 9. Please contact the Cathedral’s new director of formation, Susan Lukens, firstname.lastname@example.org or 524-2822.
Christian Ministries for Children is up and running with our partner on the square, St. Peter’s. Under the creative and talented teaching of Annalise Castro, Lay Associate at St. Peter’s, children ages 3 through fifth grade attend class in a special room designated for their learning, called “the Loft.” Castro is trained in the curriculum designed by Jerome Berryman called Godly Play, which presents Biblical stories in four categories, Sacred stories, Parable, Liturgical Lessons, Silence. The telling of the stories culminates with asking the children to “wonder” about certain aspects or people in the story. Godly play is deeply imaginative, incorporating the essence of the mystery of God for the young children engaged in the lessons.
We are lucky to have such a talented teacher facilitating our children’s Christian formation. After two years of teaching English on a volunteer basis in Thailand, Castro returned to complete her B.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai’i. A member of St. Peter’s since 2008, Castro became a staff member in May 2012, as lay associate working with parish priest Father Andrew.
Castro has a deep spiritual calling to the Christian classroom. When asked why she has chosen to teach Christian formation to young children, she says, “When I was a child, my family didn’t attend church. I went with a friend one Sunday for the very first time. I remember how special and safe Sunday School felt to me . . . Years later, I realized it was the love of God in that place that set it apart.”
Castro’s determination to bring the same kind of experience to children attending Sunday School classes at Saint Andrew’s Cathedral and St. Peter’s is evident in the amazing room she spent the summer renovating for the classes. Called “the Loft,” it is set up with Godly Play centers for storytelling, complete with a sand box representing the desert. Again, Castro’s own testimony reveals her inner spiritual teacher. “I want the programs I work on to have the same feeling for the kids on the square today. That they may have the opportunity to feel first hand the love of God and, hopefully, one day, they, too, will look back and say this is a place that was special to me.”
We are grateful for the blessing of Castro’s gift for teaching and the laughter and joy our children will find in her classroom