Children Making Cookies at Christ Church ShrewsburyReverend Mitchell Teaching Children at Christ Church ShrewsburyEaster Celebration at Christ Church Shrewsbury

Christian Formation

What would life be if we were not always expanding our knowledge and experience of who God is, and how we might deepen our own personal spirituality? Christ Church finds it essential to provide educational opportunities for people of all ages. For our children and youth, we have a variety of education: Church School, Communion Class, Youth Group, and Girls' Friendly Society. Adults are invited to attend the Sunday Lectionary Group, Peak of the Week Study Group, or Education for Ministry. Such classes as Coffee with the Rector and Adult Confirmation Class are geared to those who may be new to the church. We also offer various special series that are not only open to the parish but to the greater community. Some favorites are the activities we have crafted around exploring our roots in history: the costumed Lantern Tour, our annual History Day, special exhibits and lectures, and programs for our local school children are a few of the ways we show and share our heritage.

Children's Ministries

"A catechist is faith, hope, and love attached to arms and legs,
aches and pains, family duties and not enough time.
A catechist is an ordinary person who is extraordinary
because he or she teaches as Jesus did.
A catechist is faithful to the past, open to the future, but especially
dedicated to deepening the faith of the present generation."
Source Unknown

Church School

Christ Church, Shrewsbury is a kid-friendly Episcopal parish offering families a comprehensive Christian formation program in a safe, nurturing environment. At Christ Church your children will have opportunities to experience Christian service, fun, and fellowship.

Nursery and Lower Church School classes begin at 9:50am in the Parish Hall Basement and rejoin their families for Holy Eucharist after class. Middle and High School classes meet after communion around 11:00am. 

Old Testament, New Testament, familiarity with the liturgy, and church decorum are taught with age appropriate methods on all levels. In our Nursery, children learn of God's love through the devotion and care of our nursery personnel. Lower Church School participants become familiar with the Old and New Testaments through circle-time reading and discussions, games, and hands on projects.

School Hours
  Nursery/Pre-K
9:50 am (children join their families
for Holy Eucharist after class)
  Lower Church School (Grades K-4)
9:50 am (children join their families
for Holy Eucharist after class)
  Middle Church School (Grades 5-8)
11:00 am or after communion
  Upper Church School (Grades 9-12) 11:00 am or after communion

Middle Church School participants begin to move beyond literal interpretations of scripture to explore metaphorical and allegorical interpretations. Effective use of the prayer book, hymnal, and church etiquette are also emphasized. Upper Church School participants, equipped with knowledge of Old and New Testaments, adept at using a variety of interpretive approaches - literal, metaphorical, and allegorical - develop tools to apply the timeless teachings of scripture to their own lives. Appreciation of the Episcopalian faith in the context of other Christian denominations and the relationship of Christianity to other major religions is also explored. In both Middle and Upper Church School we encourage lively discussion on current, topical subjects and active service participation in various events.

For those wishing to be confirmed, Upper Church School culminates with Confirmation. Performed by the Bishop about every three years, in this ceremony our youth publicly proclaim their life-long commitment to deepening their personal spirituality while striving to understand the relationship of their Christian beliefs to other religions. Symbolizing their transition to spiritual adulthood, with Confirmation our youth begin their journey to truly appreciate Christ in all persons.
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Communion Class

Twice a year (during Lent and Advent) the Rector holds an all day Communion Class designed for children ages four and up. The Class is open to all children - those who are currently receiving Holy Eucharist, those who are getting ready, those who have attended already, and those for whom this will be their first time! The Class is held on a Saturday from 10:00am until 2:00pm. Included is a series of lessons, games, songs - and of course, baking Communion Bread. Lunch is provided. Children learn basic theology of the Sacraments and “church etiquette” as well. Children may attend as many times as they wish; each time brings something new! We are always looking for adults to help. Check the Parish Calendar or call the Church Office for more information.
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Nursery

A nursery is available on Sundays from 10:00am until 11:15am. This service is provided at no cost and is open for infants to children age four.
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Vacation Bible School

Held in collaboration with St. James Memorial Church in Eatontown, Vacation Bible School begins in July and meets for four consecutive Tuesday evenings 5:30pm to 8:00pm culminating with a special family celebration early August.

Designed for children ages 6 to 11, this Bible based contemporary-themed program includes Bible stories, crafts, games, and a light dinner in a relaxed fun-filled atmosphere. Cost varies per program but is usually around $30 per child (scholarship and family rates available).  A weekly donation of a non-perishable food item for a local food pantry is also requested. Tweens and teens are always welcome to assist.

Please check the Forms page each May for revised VBS Registration Form.


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Summer Celebration

If it is summer, it must be time for Summer Celebration!

During the summer break from Church School, children at Christ Church are invited to join in crafts, games, story time (and more!) in the Parish House from 9:00am until 9:30am when they rejoin their families in church for Holy Eucharist


As I faced my Maker at the last judgment,
knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives
like the squares of a quilt in many piles;
an angel sat before each of us
sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air.
I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me.
Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.
Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes.
He said, “Every time you gave over your life to Me,
it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.

Each point of light in your life
is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through,
until there was more of Me than there was of you.

May all our quilts allow Christ to shine through!

We invite your children to come join us for the fun and fellowship as they deepen their faith. “Catch the Spirit!”
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Girls' Friendly Society

Monmouth Chapter
GFS is open to all girls ages 5 through 21
The Purpose of the Girls’ Friendly Society is to help girls understand what it means to be a Christian within their own particular life situations; to discover their own relationships with God, family, community and the world to help girls utilize their given talents, to attain physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth through program centering around worship, fellowship, service, study and creative activities. In others words, we hope to be an asset to our girls as they grow into womanhood.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Christ.”
Galatians 6.2 (The GFS Motto)

GFS usually meets the second and fourth Sundays of the month following Sunday School/Coffee Hour. We welcome the help and support of all our mothers as we seek to make our chapter a successful experience. GFS camp in Cape May usually takes place the third week in July. It is open to all members ages 9-21. Cost is minimal, and scholarships are available. Pencil it in! We have planned a very special year of observing the liturgical seasons with crafts, cooking, outreach, and lessons. Invite your friends to come join us! Learning has never been so much fun! See the Christ Church Calendar of Events for more details.
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Epiphany Pageant

On the Sunday closest to the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6th), our children and youth present our annual Christ Church Epiphany Pageant during the 10:00am Sunday service. Practice for the pageant is held the previous Saturday. Please call the Church Office for more information.
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Youth Ministries

Episcopal Youth Community

Please call the Church Office for more information.
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Diocesan Youth Events

The Diocese of New Jersey offers several events for Middle and High Schoolers throughout the year, including the Bishop's Ball, Weekend Youth Events, and Mission Trips. Further information can be found on the Diocese's Youth Ministry Page.
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Casie Kerr Scholarship Fund

The Casie Kerr Scholarship Fund is a special fund established many years ago to award graduating seniors from Christ Church for service done in the parish. It was given its current name to honor one of our high school students, Casie Kerr, who died in a car accident in August, 2000. This year three students were honored: Peter Bushey, John Smalls, and our Casie Kerr Scholar, Christine Maber. The three scholarship winners delivered addresses on Youth Sunday. We encourage all our parishioners to contribute to this fund. It is our way of giving special thanks for the life and ministry of our children and it reminds them that we are still a source of support to them as they leave this place to further their studies.

All graduating High School Seniors who are members of Christ Church may apply for this scholarship by filling out the application located under the Forms section of our website or just by clicking here.
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Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation takes place when the Bishop visits our Parish. This is usually every other year at Christ Church. But Confirmation Preparation is an on-going process which occurs under the leadership of Rebecca Pruitt. All persons (Grades 9 - 12) wishing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation should contact Ms. Pruitt as soon as possible. Besides study, the confirmands participate in a series of outreach programs, recreational field trips and church service-related activities as part of their commitment. What better way to explore and find a loving relationship with our Lord? Confirmation study takes place during High School class on Sunday mornings. For those of you who have already made your Confirmation; don't think it's over. We have great news for you-- spiritual growth is ongoing, the Lord wants to be in relationship with you and Confirmation is really just the beginning. Hope to see you there.

Adult Confirmation class is also held periodically. For adults seeking Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church, please contact the Rector, the Reverend Lisa Mitchell.
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Adult Spirtual Formation

At Christ Church, we believe that Christian Education and Nurture does not end with Confirmation or with graduation from high school. One's personal spiritual growth is an ongoing process that continues throughout life's many stages and cycles. To that end, we offer many opportunities for education and nurture for adults at Christ Church. Here are a few; we hope you will find one that meets your own needs and schedule.

Adult Lectionary Studies (ALS)

Come join us as we discuss the four scripture lessons of the day. It is a great way to prepare for hearing the sermon and delving a little deeper into each passage. Led by Maureen Kilroy, the class meets from 9:00am to 9:45am in the Parish House Library. No need to bring anything; lessons are provided.
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Peak of the Week

Most Wednesdays, September through June, Peak of the Week, an adult study group meets in the Library from 10:15am to 11:15am (just following an informal Eucharist which begins in the Library at 9:30am. The topic varies; we have done Biblical Studies, novels such as The Red Tent and The Poisonwood Bible, and are in midst of learning about other traditions such as Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism. Currently we are studying Native American Spirituality. Come find out what we are all about!
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Education for Ministry

Education for Ministry (EFM) is an international program of, but not limited to, The Episcopal Church. The goal of EFM is to prepare adults for Mission and Ministry in the Church. While a large chunk of the four year program of study deals with the Scriptures, EFM is much more than a mere Bible study: it is a way of integrating faith, fellowship, and theological thinking with the life of the believer. Such topics as Old and New Testament, Worship, Ethics, Church History, and Modern Theology are important components of the seminar meetings. EFM is a program administered through the Seminary of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

A Seminar Group currently meets at the Christ Church Rectory on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 9:00pm and is made up of participants from four local parishes. The group is mentored by the Rector, The Reverend Lisa S. Mitchell and Magdalena Aders.

Our Rector has also been the Diocesan Coordinator for EFM for the past eight years. She is holding our seventh annual Mentor Training Event for the Diocese of New Jersey will be held at Stella Maris Retreat Center, Oberon, New Jersey, on November 7-9, 2010. There will be a Formation Training with the topic of “Common Lessons” as well as two Basic and/or Inservice Trainings. When it comes to adult education, EFM has been the best kept secret of the Episcopal Church. Come unmask the secret. We welcome all who are interested in exploring more about their faith and practice. If you believe you might be interested in EFM, please call The Reverend Lisa Mitchell at 732-741-2220 or email theparish@christchurchshrewsbury.org for more details.
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Education for Ministry+

Graduates of the EFM program meet once a month for a lunch and study. Topics vary and are led by the various members of the group. If you are a graduate of EFM, feel free to join us. Call the office for more information.
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Special Series and Forums

From time to time Christ Church offers special opportunities to increase spiritual growth and knowledge among our adults. We have offered series such as Taking Care of Business, in which a panel of professionals instructed us in the basics of personal financial wellness, Kenotic Christianity: The Call to Humility and Obedience, a Lenten program, and offer courses that cover the “basics” of the faith for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the church.
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