Christ Church Youth

Youth Drumming Classes

Godly Play

Christ Church New Brighton offers the Godly Play program for elementary school-aged children.

Godly Play teaches children the art of using Christian language - parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action - helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives.

When Christian language is learned by the Godly Play approach, it is learned as a means to know God and to make meaning of our lives. This approach is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. Godly Play is not about things that are that simple. It is not just about learning lessons or keeping children entertained. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language and involving the creative process to discover the depths of meaning in them. It’s about understanding how each of the stories of God’s people connects with the child’s own experience and relationship with God. Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.

The goal of Godly Play is to show how to be open to the Holy Spirit, The Creator, and the Redeemer all at once and all the time in every place. To achieve this goal is to help children become deeply rooted as Christians and yet at the same time use this powerful language and community to be open and creative.

  • Godly Play is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture.
  • Godly Play is based on long established, tried and tested approaches.
  • Godly Play encourages participants to make meaning for themselves by inviting them into stories and providing the opportunity for them to connect the stories with their personal experience.
  • Godly Play is a non-coercive way to encourage people to move into larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering questions and open-ended response time.
  • Godly Play values process, openness and discovery.
  • Godly Play is a way of preparing children to join in the worship and life of their congregations as they develop a deeper understanding of stories, symbols and rites.

Although it was originally developed as a resource for children, Godly Play is now being used with a wide range of age groups in a diversity of settings.

Heather DelValle is the current Godly Play coordinator at Christ Church.

Heather DelValle and Nicole Haylock are the current Godly Play teachers at Christ Church.

© 2010 Godly Play Foundation—All Rights Reserved

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Journey To Adulthood

Christ Church New Brighton offers the Journey to Adulthood Program, a complete program of spiritual formation for young people in grades 6 through 12. This program provides a liturgical frame for their experience in modern culture, fosters their individuality and independence, and instructs them on skills needed as adults in church and society.  It was developed over a ten-year period by the parishioners of St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Durham, North Carolina, and has been tested in hundreds of churches across the country. 

Journey to Adulthood is based on two key concepts:  manhood and womanhood are gifts from God; and adulthood must be earned.  The program provides sacred space for young people to work through the questions and challenges posed by adolescence, as they continue to grow in their relationship with God and with each other. 

The program is divided into three segments of two years each:  Rite 13, J2A, and 4Ward.  Classes remain together and are paired with the same adult mentors to build trust and community.  New members are welcome at any time.  Enrollment for both Rite 13 and J2A is ongoing.  

Rite 13, the first segment of the Journey to Adulthood program, is a two year course of study open to students from 6th to 8th grade in which four areas  -- Self, Spirituality, Sexuality, and Society -- begin to be explored.  Rite 13 culminates in the Rite 13 ceremony, which can be celebrated a few times a year at the 10am Eucharist once the students reach their 13th birthday.  The Rite 13 ceremony is a way for the entire congregation to acknowledge the unique gifts and abilities of its young people, and invite them to take on a greater role in the church.

J2A, the second part of the Journey to Adulthood program for students from 9th through 12th grade, explores the four areas of Self, Spirituality, Sexuality, and Society in greater depth through inquiry-based teaching and discussion.  The leaders of this portion of the program also mentor teens in developing six critical skills that are essential for adulthood:  listening, negotiation, partnership, information management, and leadership.  The students embark on a pilgrimage together at the end of this two year segment.  This experience, along with Confirmation, is often the spiritual highlight of their youth.

4Ward (formerly known as Young Adults in the Church) is a looser formation for high schoolers post-pilgrimage.  The program allows them to become more involved in the life of the church, while preparing for confirmation. 

Catherine Barnett is the current Journey to Adulthood coordinator at Christ Church.
Carol Bratton and Marsha Wynter are the current Rite 13 teachers at Christ Church.
Nick Dowen, Catherine Barnett and Lisa Rhoades are the current J2A teachers at Christ Church.
Loria Trapp and David Nygard are the current 4Ward leaders at Christ Church.

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Youth Group

The Christ Church Youth Group hosts or participates in a variety of events in the fall and spring—from movie nights, serving at our feeding ministry, and helping out at fun parish wide events like our Spring Fair, we strive to provide a variety of fellowship and service activities for the young people in our parish and their friends.  You do not need to be a member of our parish in order for your young person to participate in these activities.

Middle and high school students are invited to join us at any (or all!) of the events listed.  All trips and programs are chaperoned and permission slips are collected.  Parents are ALWAYS welcome to join us and help out, as well.

Heather DelValle is the current Youth Group coordinator at Christ Church.