Being formed in the Christian faith is a life-long process of coming to know God more and more deeply and discerning how to live as a follower of Jesus. This formation process, guided by the Holy Spirit, is rooted within the worshiping community and prepares us for service in the world.
Christian education is a key ingredient in the formation of faith. It creates a space
where we can read, mark, and inwardly digest the stories of scripture, applying their teachings to everyday life. It also enables us to learn how and why specific traditions and practices have developed over the Church’s lifetime. And it helps us discern how to use our God-given skills and talents in service to God’s people and in the stewardship of God’s creation.
At St. Philip’s, opportunities exist for people of all ages to learn about God’s dream of a kingdom marked by love, joy, justice, and peace. We welcome all to be part of this learning community.
Be careful! If you come here you will grow!
From September to June, we offer a Sunday morning class for school-aged children from 10am to 11am. (Classes are not held on major liturgical feast days and on national holidays.) Children meet with their adult mentors in their parish hall classroom during the first part of the worship service, and then join the adult congregation for Holy Communion.
Six adult parishioners work as 2-person teaching teams. All are trained in safe church practices by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and undergo CORI background checks by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Our Sunday School curriculum is “homegrown” and based on one or more readings from a piece of scripture that the Church appoints for that day. The teaching team works together to develop lesson plans and activities that will nurture children’s innate sense of wonder and curiosity and help them find ways to put their faith into action.
Occasionally we step away from the study of scripture to focus on important feast days and liturgical events, and also to engage in a variety of service projects that support parish life and/or address a need in the Easthampton community. We welcome occasional “mystery guests” (adult members of the congregation) who have a special talent and/or knowledge to share.
Every class session begins with a time of prayer and an informal “check-in” before we move to the lesson and/or activity for the day. There is time to work with the art supplies and books in the classroom, as children respond to what is being taught and learned. Whenever possible, we plan a follow-up activity that the children can use to engage adults during coffee hour. The objective is to continually build community across the generations.
For more information, please contact the parish office:
Fall 2023 schedule:
10 First day of class: Get acquainted/Anticipating Holy Cross Day on Sept 14
17 What does Jesus say about forgiveness?
24 What does Jesus say about fairness?
1 We welcome our first Mystery Guest
8 No Class: Holiday weekend
15 What does Jesus say about stewardship?
22 Anticipating All Saints Day
29 Service project – Host coffee hour (Halloween/All Saints theme)
5 No Class: It’s All Saints Day!
12 What are we thankful for?
19 Service project – Make ornaments for the Xmas giving tree; help with delivery of food to the Community Center
26 No Class: Happy Thanksgiving weekend!
3 Happy New Year! It’s Advent! Make Advent prayer chain and, after worship, make an Advent wreath to take home
10 The Annunciation & Visitation
17 The Nativity
24 No Class: It’s Christmas Eve!
31 No Class: Holiday Break
Join us on Sunday mornings at 8:15 am on Zoom as we discuss the scripture lessons that will be read during the 10 a.m. service. The discussion is led by Father Michael. No preparation needed. Come as you are!
Adults choose a variety of ways to further their own faith development and to gain a more sophisticated understanding of the basic beliefs and liturgy of the Episcopal Church. For some, this means updating teachings from long-ago Sunday School lessons, for some it involves clarifying the personal and social meaning of faith in ways they’ve never considered, for some it involves setting aside a fear- and guilt-based faith for one securely embedded in the experience of God’s love, and for others it involves asking the questions and sharing the doubts that have previously kept them from being part of a church community.
From time to time, we offer book study groups and topical discussion groups, often during the Advent (before Christmas) and Lenten (before Easter) seasons.
Preparation for Confirmation and Reception
Bi-annually, a program is offered by the Rector, in collaboration with parents, to prepare youth aged 16 and older for confirmation. These classes are also attended by adults who come to the Episcopal Church from other Christian traditions and wish to affirm their new faith by being Received into the church. An essential part of preparation for youth is the choice of a service project, where they work together for the benefit of members of the community as an expression of their mature faith.