The Diocese of Central of Pennsylvania promotes excellence in teaching and formation. We hold as the highest priority the ways in which we support each child, each person, in their life in Christ. Therefore, we offer the following resources, which have proven successful either in our diocese or in those similar to ours.
Children have an innate sense of the presence of God. The Godly Play approach helps them to explore their faith through story, to gain religious language and to enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Based on Montessori principles and developed using a spiral curriculum, the Godly Play method serves children through early, middle and late childhood and beyond.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children that is based on the conviction that God and the Child are in relationship. Our role as adults is to protect and nurture this bond. In the Catechesis we present age-appropriate themes from the Bible and our liturgy with manipulative materials the children use to internalize and ponder the great mysteries of our faith. Developed by Sofia Cavalletti, an Italian Hebrew scripture scholar, building on the work and methods of Maria Montessori, the Catechesis seeks to give children the guidance and vocabulary which enable them to become aware of their relationship with God and give expression to it. With the Catechesis we help each child to continue to fall in love with God while building community among peers.
Building Faith Brick by Brick
Building Faith Brick by Brick offers a culturally relevant, hands-on way to explore faith stories with a broad range of ages. It grew out of one congregation’s realization that there was a large group of first-grade boys who needed to engage in a new way of interacting with the biblical story. Knowing how much Lego® bricks continue to be popular with children, the author dug deep into the well of creativity and an enormous bin of little plastic building bricks to meld together a new way of teaching the stories of God.
Church Publishing Curricula Chart
This wonderful document lists myriad curricula, which may be used during Sunday School or otherwise.
Forma is an association and dynamic community of Christian educators, formation professionals, and their institutional partners that celebrates and upholds the diverse ministries of Christian formation across the Episcopal Church. It is a wonderful resource for curricula and other resources.
Episcopal Relief and Development Abundant Life Garden Project
Abundant Life Garden Project is an interactive, Scripture-based children’s program offered to parishes, teachers, families and others who seek to share the ministry and work of Episcopal Relief & Development with elementary school-aged students. This flexible, low-cost program invites children to participate in our mission by exploring five thematic lessons on Water, Seeds, Soil, Animals, and Harvest. In learning to be thankful for the bounty that God has provided in Creation, children and their families are encouraged to share with one another. By raising funds to purchase gifts included in the Gifts for Life catalog, parishes, teachers, groups and families can take action and share our abundance with those in need around the world.
WorkshopCycles is a new way of experiencing Sunday School. It takes seriously the spiritual development of children while providing creative, hands-on activities to help children learn the stories of God and God's people. Children work on the same story or concept for several weeks, using different learning approaches each week. Each Unit includes workshops in Art, Drama, Music, Story, Computer, Movie and Kitchen. You choose the workshops that fit your congregation.
Designed for K-5th grade, each cycle provides detailed lesson plans (see partial list below) for seven workshops including scripts, activities and resources. WorkshopCycles makes recruiting teachers a breeze (they can lead just one cycle), is extremely practical for busy families, some with children who only can attend alternate Sundays