The Garden is our Sunday morning worship and formation experience for children from three months old through 4th grade. We are intentional about helping kids grow deep roots in the soil of faith through our monthly virtues. We say that a virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us, and every month, we explore a new virtue that helps us learn how God wants us to live in the world.
Preschool Ministry (3 months – 4 years old)
Our Preschool Ministry in the Garden on Sunday mornings takes place in our Nursery and Toddler Rooms, on the first floor of the Christian Life Center. After checking your child in at our Hospitality Kiosks, you will check your child in once more at the Preschool Gate and receive a pager, in case we need to call you while you are in worship.
Our curriculum for our littlest ones focuses on the concepts of love, belonging, and faith. Our trained, background-checked Preschool Ministry staff are here to welcome and love on your child, whether it’s their first time and they’re nervous or they’re excited to be here. We want your kids to know that they belong to a bigger family here, and so we will occasionally walk them into the Sanctuary to watch their friends’ baptisms or for special music before escorting them back to our area. During our storytime, we teach foundational Bible stories that key into our monthly virtue – and then we sing and parade up and down the hallways with musical instruments to celebrate our awesome God!
Preschool Ministry is where foundations of faith are formed. For more information about our Preschool Ministry, including our Preschool Ministry FAQ, please visit our Preschool Ministry page.
Elementary Ministry (Pre-Kindergarten – 4th grade)
As your child grows, the ways they encounter and learn about God grow, too. We use two different curricula in the Garden for our elementary-aged kids to help them to inculcate and articulate their faith:
9:00 AM PreK – 1st Grade
11:00 AM PreK – 4th Grade
Based on the internationally acclaimed Montessori-style curriculum, our Godly Play program is designed to incite wonder in the minds of younger children. Godly Play is a unique spiritual formation opportunity that uses storytelling to help children articulate their own wonderings about what God is up to in the world. Adult and youth volunteers and kids worship together through a consistent pattern of prayers, stories, response time, and the feast. Children learn the vocabulary of faith, listen to the questions of their friends, and develop their own thoughts about the deep mysteries of faith.
9:00 AM 2nd – 4th Grade
Luke 2:52 provides the basis for this curriculum initiative: Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Kids discover how the faith they have begun to articulate has an impact on their everyday lives. All 2nd – 4th graders start together in Large Group to worship together as friends and hear the same lesson about the monthly virtue. Then, they are broken into Small Groups by grade to discuss how to wisely apply the lesson to what happens at school, at play, and at home.
Room locations change through the year, depending on space availability and the size of our groups, so be sure to check the signs posted near our Hospitality Kiosks to know where to drop off and pick up your elementary schoolers.
On certain festival Sundays throughout the year, kids will be fully integrated with the adults into the main service and will not check-in to The Garden. For more information about those worship celebrations, please visit our Intergenerational Worship page.
For more information about the Garden on Sunday mornings, contact Ryan Timpte, Director of Children’s Ministry at (925) 283-8722 x 234.