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By the Reverend Imogen Rhodenhiser, Associate Rector
Children and youth are thriving at Christ Church Cranbrook. During the program year, over 60 children per week learn about God at Sunday School. Throughout the calendar year, over 40 youth serve as acolytes in our worship services. Each June, we welcome 100 children to Vacation Bible School, and over 50 teen and adult volunteers help to make that experience possible for all of those children.
By the grace of God, ours is a church where children and young people of all ages are indeed finding Jesus, sharing beauty, serving others, and finding joy. Our proposed campus development seeks to make that a deeper and evermore luminous reality for all God’s children as we learn and grow in this place.
Our Sunday School and Vacation Bible School groups currently share space with Little Lambs Preschool and Daycare. Each Sunday, all classroom materials have to be set up in advance and then put away, including the storytelling figures for each of our Montessori-based Godly Play lessons. The vision we have for children and youth at Christ Church Cranbrook is one where they have dedicated, intentional spaces that they can call home in their walk with God.
A corridor of new classrooms will make our children and young people safer by being more visible near our other church offices. The rooms can be inspiring spaces that are utilized for Sunday lessons, curricula like God and Me for Scout troops, Lenten and Advent series, and much more. They will provide the versatility and flexibility we need in a church where space is at a premium because God is doing so many wonderful things here at any given time.
In our campus redevelopment, our youth will also be assured of their home here. Currently they robe as acolytes in the Parlor but otherwise they have no dedicated space to think of as their own. This lounge and learning area can offer an environment that is responsive and sensitive to the needs and rhythms of young people moving into their preteen and teen years as they walk with God.
More spaces in which children and youth can learn and spend time together allow for smaller groups and deeper conversations. With them we can accommodate more family gatherings and intergenertional events so that God’s love can be felt and seen in all God’s children at any and every age.