Nativity Cathedral
Cathedral Church of the Nativity
321 Wyandotte Street • Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-865-0727

Children & Youth Formation

Christian Formation Education for Children (aka Church School)

Nativity Cathedral

Pre-K through 5th grade

Our Mission:
To create a safe and nurturing space for children to learn and love, and grow closer to God and one another.

A Prayer
O God, you have created us all in your image and in your likeness and honor us by claiming and calling us your children. Watch over and be present all of us but particularly our children as they learn and grow in an uncertain world. Help us to learn to trust you more as we experience their trust of you. Plant in them a seed of love and nurture and care for it as it grows and grows. May we adults who journey with them be vigilant in our recognition of the gifts growing in them and be wise to receive and applaud them. Amen.

Godly Play

Sundays 9:20-10:10 a.m.
Godly Play Room, Lower Level of Sayre Hall

Becky Berkenstock, Alexandra Yung McKee, Mary Ann Lynn (3yrs-Kindergarten) Room G5
Barbara Iannelli (1st-3rd Grade) Room G8
Heather Scattergood and Rodney Weems (4th-5th Grade) Good Shepherd Chapel

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. Come join us!

The result of a lifetime of research and practice by theologian, author and educator The Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman, the Godly Play® method is a curriculum of spiritual practice exploring the mystery of God's presence in our lives. The Godly Play curriculum engages what is most exciting about religious education: God inviting us into—and pursuing us in the midst of - Scripture and spiritual experience. Godly Play practice teaches us to listen for God and to make authentic and creative responses to God's call in our lives.

  • Godly Play is a creative, imaginative approach to Christian formation and spiritual guidance.
  • Godly Play has a Montessori foundation with 40+ years of research and practice.
  • Godly Play values process, openness, discovery, community and relationships.
  • Godly Play models the worship life, stories, symbols and rituals of Christian congregations.
  • Godly Play allows practitioners to make relevant and personal theological meaning.
  • Godly Play nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play.

You can learn more about Godly play by visiting


We are excited to introduce a new experience of Christian Formation for our 6th-8th and 9th-12th grade young people. After many years of the Journey to Adulthood model for Christian Formation, we recognize that this approach has served us well, but it is time for a new experience. The challenges of our current times and the pace of family commitments has demanded we look afresh. We are excited about the clergy and lay leadership that has responded to this call and look forward to taking this new spiritual path with your young person.

Nativity 6th – 8th Grade Youth

Centered around the important themes of identity and relationships, Sunday by Sunday Nativity's 6th to 8th Grade Youth will gather from 9:20am to 10:15am for prayer, lots of fun, and conversation. With guidance from adult mentors, 6th to 8th graders will grapple with topics like "I am beautiful" and "I am complex" to "My family's story, and my place in it" and "Practicing empathy, respect, and curiosity" to "God is good" and "How do we care for the brokenness in ourselves and our world?"

Action packed and not afraid to ask the big questions, this time together will aim to encourage Nativity's youth in a supportive, safe, comfortable space to grow and change into their best selves, faithfully, responsibly, prayerfully, in relationship with God, each other, and those around them.

   Additionally, evening events throughout the year will engage 6th to 8th graders with service opportunities, times for bonding, contact with other religious traditions, and exploring the unique riches of our Cathedral.

Mentors: Rob Curzi, Karen Dieter, Joe Mozingo, Meg Storm, Rodney Weems
Staff support: Canon Grandfield

Thresholds 9th – 12th Grade Young People

A threshold is a gateway or entryway to the new or next experience. Metaphorically speaking, thresholds are sacred places where we pause to give thanks and honor to the experiences that have shaped us, knowing we must cross a bit into the unknown. It is a vulnerable place for many because of the security of where we are and the insecurity of not knowing where we are going. Yet forward we must go. It is also the place where if we pay attention, God is most fierce in loving us.

Our young people in High school face thresholds every day. Who are they? Who have they been? Who are they becoming? What am I good at? What gifts do I have? What will I do next? What will be my future? College? Trade School? Military service? Where am I going and how will I know the way? How do I make sense of this world? What do I wish was different in this world and do I have any power at all to do anything about it? Who is God anyway? Who is Jesus and does this Church thing matter? Who are my friends, really?

The Thresholds experience is designed to empower our young people to tackle these questions together. Prayerfully, joyfully, in fellowship and fun, and in commitment and service. The main components are designed around discussions of identity, vocational discernment, making sense of the world (current events) through an Episcopal Christian lens, and partaking in the work of personal and “global” transformation through serving others.

The group will meet Sunday mornings during education time in the newly appointed youth room, which they will decide how to decorate. (Lower level of Sayre Hall)

The experience will also include fun and fellowship (bowling, hiking, dodge ball, escape room, laser tag and other events they choose), opportunities for service to the community (also count as school hours of service), beach retreats, and a senior high mission/pilgrimage trip to an agreed upon destination.

Mentors: Connie Andrejko, Kabir Golphin, Meg Storm, Sandy Milien
Staff support: Dean Pompa

Nativity Cathedral
321 Wyandotte Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone: 610-865-0727
Fax: 610-865-0447