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Chapel at St. Martin’s Episcopal School

Children are encouraged to develop a relationship with God at an early age at St. Martin’s Episcopal School. Each student will learn that they are uniquely created gifts from God. The goal of chapel is not to create “little Episcopalians”, but to help children develop a sense of self with an understanding that they are loved unconditionally by God. All faiths and beliefs are welcome and respected at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and School.

When is chapel?

Chapel services are held in the church sanctuary at 9:30 am on Tuesday and Wednesday. Parents are welcome to attend! At the start of the school year, our youngest students will enjoy a brief chapel in their classroom at 10 am Tuesday and Wednesday.

What is taught in chapel?

Children learn about Bible characters and together dig deeper to get to what the Bible story is saying and how we can respond to God’s love. For example, in the story of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis, we learn that sad choices may take us far away from God, but God never leaves us. We follow a simple service liturgy that students quickly learn by heart. The songs and prayers are interactive, with “call and response” and lots of fun movement. The chapel service has young children specifically in mind. It is exciting, fast-paced and age-appropriate. Enjoy these photos of our chapel in the sanctuary:

Our chapel team

Director Serin Stanford teaches Bible lessons and teacher Alison Zukowski assists with music. Children’s minister Liza Goodner will occasionally join us in chapel.

What curriculum do you use in chapel?

The Shell curriculum from the Virginia Theological Seminary, a leader in education, is our guiding compass. This curriculum’s themes and Bible stories fit the liturgical calendar. The liturgical calendar is similar to a regular yearly calendar, but is the church’s way of making sense of holidays like Easter and Christmas. Bible stories and readings are planned specifically to tell the story of God’s love in creation, represented in the Old Testament and in the life of Jesus and way of salvation in the New Testament. Using Godly Play curriculum, Bible stories come alive. Children see and touch a big wooden whale that gobbles up a wooden figure of Jonah. They’ll feel a splash of water as they climb onto Noah’s ark. Green, grassy felt creates a pasture for Jesus as the “Good Shepherd” while children provide the voices of the lambs.

Students learn to ask questions about faith and are given opportunities to think for themselves and wonder about the greatness of God. They also get a chance to be play characters in the Bible or act out scenes showing character traits like kindness and generosity.

We also offer seasonal activities like backpack blessings, stuffed animal blessing, grandparent’s day and a visit from St. Martin. These special activities and guests are wonderful ways to teach children the importance of caring for others and offer creative ways for children to learn about sharing, celebrating family, being a good citizen and taking care of the environment.

St. Martin’s is here for you

Please know that you are a part of our community at St. Martin’s Episcopal School and church. We are here for you to celebrate, pray and even hold your hand and comfort you during difficult times. We want to be a part of your family’s life. Never hesitate to reach out to our Interim Rector, The Very Rev. Ron Pogue You are invited to attend our worship services and join in our classes, activities and events. Please visit our church website for more information.