EDUCATIONAL MINISTRY COMMITTEE
Staff Liaison: Associate Pastor For Lifelong Faith Formation and Mission, Alex Lester-Abdalla
Education at MPC is led by the Educational Ministry Committee (EMC). Formed in 2007 following a year of discernment, this committee’s purpose is “To discern God’s will for educational ministry to and through members of MPC and the community; to tell and live out the Gospel by anticipating and responding to the educational needs of the congregation (infant to older adult); and to provide for the “spiritual development of the children of God” through study of scripture and service.”
EMC oversees Sunday morning programs and ongoing administrative activities, including
One Room Summer Sunday School for K-2
Presentation of Bibles
Safe Child Instruction
EMC organizes special events with the potential of involving community members, including
Lord’s Supper Instruction
Preparing Children and youth as worship leaders
EMC serves as resource to internal ministries for their educational components
Presbyterian Women Bible study requests
4th and 5th Grade and Confirmation retreats on Sacraments
Quest (6– 7th grade) class retreat
Advent/Lent materials for all ages
If you are interested in being a part of this vibrant team, please contact Associate Pastor for Lifelong Faith Formation and Mission, Alex Lester-Adballa or Committee Chair Carol Carpenter
PENNSYLVANIA CHILD SAFE CLEARANCES
On December 31, 2014, a new child protection law went into effect in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of July 1, 2015, any adult volunteer who supervises a minor child or has direct contact with children needs clearances submitted prior to their volunteer service. These clearances must be filed with the church office.
Does this mean me?
Direct contact with children is defined as the care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine interaction with children. If you volunteer for any of the following you are required to obtain your own clearances and submit copies of these to Morrisville Presbyterian Church:
Sunday School (preschool through grade 12)
One Room Summer Sunday School
Vacation Bible School
Youth Mission Trips
What clearances do I need to provide?
You will need to provide at least these two clearances:
For information on all clearances needed Click Here
Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Click Here to access the PSP website
Child Abuse History Clearance from the Department of Human Services Click Here to access the DHS website
And if you have NOT been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years, you will need to provide:.
FBI Clearance and fingerprinting. Click Here
For a link to Fingerprinting locations. Click Here
Additional directions for MPC volunteers to complete the Child Abuse History Clearance Application
At the Child Welfare Portal, click on “Create a New Account”. Provide the requested information (You make up the Keystone ID to be your new username – up to 10 characters). After submitting this info, you will receive an email confirming your keystone id, and providing a temporary password.
Click on link above (yes, again) to access the DHS website. This time click on “Access my Clearances”, and then”Select Access Clearances”, login, change your password. You will then be logged out.
Click on link above (yes, for the 3rd time), login, using your new password, and select “Create Clearance Application”
Purpose of Clearance – Check the Volunteers box
The applicant’s name must be the applicant’s full legal name. An initial is not acceptable for a first name. The address listed must be applicant’s current home address. This is also where the results of the clearance will be mailed.
The applicant’s Social Security number is voluntary. If filling in the Social Security number please fill in the entire Social Security number.
Age – Fill in the applicant’s current age.
Date of Birth – Fill in the applicant’s date of birth (Example: 01/22/1990).
Daytime Phone Number – Fill in the number where the applicant can be reached in the event that there are questions about the information on the application.
Sex – Check the appropriate box for male or female.
County You Live In – Fill in the name of the county where you reside, e.g. Bucks.
Previous Names Used Since 1975 – The applicant must list any and all full legal names that they have ever had since 1975. This includes maiden names, aliases and also known as (aka) names.
Previous Addresses Since 1975 – List all addresses where the applicant has resided since 1975. If the applicant cannot remember the exact mailing addresses since 1975, filling in as much information as possible about the location will be acceptable.
Household Members – Include anyone that the applicant lived with since 1975 (parents, guardians, siblings, children, spouse (ex), paramour, friends, etc.). If the applicant was under the age of 18 in 1975 this section must include other household members (e.g. Parents) who lived with the applicant or with whom the applicant lived. Please note the household member’s relationship to the applicant, their age (to the best of your knowledge) and their sex.
Is there a cost for these clearances?
The PSP clearance is now free for volunteers.
The Child Abuse History Clearance is free for volunteers.
The FBI clearance costs $22.60 through the Department of Human Services
MPC requests that volunteers cover any costs themselves, but will reimburse expenses if requested.
All necessary instructions and links to apply for these clearances can be found at
What do I do with these clearances?
Once you have obtained the required clearances, bring or mail them to the MPC office where we will keep them on file as required. You should keep a copy for yourself.
Is this a one-time certification?
No. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires renewal every 60 months based on the date of each individual clearance. Laurie Jacobson will keep track of renewal dates and will remind you every five years of upcoming recertification dates.
You must have these clearances before you can perform as an educator at MPC or serve in a supervisory capacity in any activity with children or youth. Background checks are also required for adults participating in overnight events (e.g. retreats, lock-ins, ski trips, mission projects).
What if I already have clearances from other organizations where I work with youth or minors, such as Scouts or sports?
Clearances may be transferred to MPC if any person obtained the above clearances within the previous 60 months. Copies of all required clearances MUST be filed with Laurie Jacobson in the MPC office, even if you have clearances elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Additionally, if you have clearances in other states, such as New Jersey, you MUST get the required PA clearances and provide those certificates to Laurie in the MPC office.
Adult Education - Adult Education is back! We meet every Sunday over zoom from 9 to 10 am (notice the time change). We hope you will join us as we hear from a diverse collection of teachers that lead us in Bible study, theological discernment, and community engagement as we all discern God’s call for us to nurture and serve in faith and life. If you are interested in joining, please contact please contact Alex Lester-Abdalla at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can add you to the email chain with the zoom link for each session.
Brown Bag Bible Study – Wednesdays @ NOON Join us this fall as we complete our journey through 2nd Samuel. Each week we will explore the biblical text together and do so with the assistance of a theological commentary alongside it. Please know that EVERYONE is welcome—this includes people who read the Bible and commentaries regularly, as well as people who don’t even know what a commentary is! No knowledge of King David or of 1st or 2nd Samuel is needed in advance—we are learning and growing together! The Bible Study will meet every Wednesday from Noon - 1:00 p.m. over Zoom. The “Brown Bag” part of our title means that you are welcome to bring lunch and eat during Bible Study. Following our Bible Study, folks are also welcome to stay for our weekly prayer meeting that meets for about 15-20 minutes on Zoom. If you would like to attend Brown Bag & Bible Study this year (or are at least interested enough to check it out for a couple of weeks), please contact Pastor Rachel at email@example.com. We hope you will join us this fall as we study God’s Word together!
Small Groups – Not all adults can participate in Adult Education classes that meet during the Sunday School hour, so we have formed a variety of small groups that can be flexible about meeting times. For more information about specific meeting dates and times, contact Susanklight@gmail.com.
K-12 CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
We believe in providing meaningful Christian education programs for children of all ages. During this unusual homebound year, we are providing Faith Formation materials in monthly packets, designed by Sunday School teachers and leaders, which are delivered to the homes of all children aged 2 years through 5th grade. These “care” packages focus on a new theme each month and include a Bible memory verse, a Bible story, prayers for meal time and bedtime, and varied activities to reinforce the lesson of the month. Our hope is that these home packets may foster a renewed family-oriented focus on faith formation.
Students in grades 6-12 are meeting on Wednesday evenings either via Zoom or in socially distanced in-person gatherings. Various meetings include Bible study, discussion, service projects, and recreational activities.
Education for All (9:30 am Sunday)
Pre-School (3 and 4 year olds): Little children are often our greatest learners. They frequently remember details from Bible stories that adults overlook – and accept the teachings of God’s love with tender hearts. These children will be cared for by our nursery staff during the Education Hour.
Kindergarten – First Grade: Children entering school who are just learning to read are in for a real treat. Quick to tell you they’re not babies any more, these children thrive on repetition of Bible stories.
2nd and 3rd Grade class, 4th and 5th Grade class: Full of energy, children in these classes are offered creative, interactive lessons. Each week’s material involves a story from scripture, reinforced with a hands-on activity of some kind.
6th and 7th Grade: Our Quest class follows a two-year exploration of Old Testament and New Testament, which is great preparation for what will be discussed in Confirmation class.
9th – 12th Grades: The High School Seminar Class uses a combination of core curriculum (e.g. Faith and Spirituality, Stewardship, PC(USA), and Biblical studies) and ad hoc (current event) topics. We have moved away from the traditional “lecture” format and implemented “Coffee Chats”. We have coffee, tea or hot chocolate with our facilitated discussion and interactive learning of the topics. Students frequently have opportunity to read, perform or draw. We integrate video and music from Pop culture wherever possible and appropriate. Our hope is that we are not only growing in faith, but also providing insights that are useful today by our Youth.
4th and 5th Grade Retreat – Each spring, 4th and 5th grade children, with the help of teachers and parent volunteers, spend an evening of fun, fellowship, and learning at MPC. The children study scripture, connect with the scripture lesson through activities such as art, drama, or bible games, worship in the chapel, and do a mission project. Letters of invitation are sent to all 4th and 5th graders in the church.
Quest Retreat (6th – 7th grades) Each spring, Quest students have the opportunity to enjoy a Friday to Saturday adult chaperoned retreat at the church. Students pack their bibles, sleeping bags, and running shoes and head to MPC for an evening of bible study, fellowship, food, and fun. The retreat dates and theme are announced each year via a take-home flyer and mailing.
Special Events for Children
Workshop Rotation Model – WORM – Occasionally, children in grades K-5 participate in special rotations through which a particular Bible stories or themes are developed with experiential science, cooking, storytelling, music, craft, math, or creative classes. The Educational Ministry Committee likes to include as teachers for these three-week classes, people in our congregation who have special gifts but who are not normally part of our teaching team. Keep your eye out for WORM!
One Room Summer Sunday School - During the Summer our Sunday morning teachers get some well-deserved time off, so there is no Education for All. Children in grades K-2 leave the worship service during the sermon for a special age-appropriate lesson. Want to be a One Room Summer Sunday School Teacher? Contact Carol Carpenter, chair of the Educational Ministry Committee.
Christmas Eve Family Worship We offer different ways of telling the story of the birth of Christ. Whether it’s a first person account through the eyes of Mary or a shepherd, a tableau with hymns, or a musical with costumes and props, MPC children are invited to offer their time and talent to help lead the congregation in worship.
Lord’s Supper Instruction – We offer age-appropriate instruction for 3-to-13-year-old children and their parents. As young children express interest in taking Communion, that is when Lord’s Supper instruction is most appropriate. Please watch the bulletin for dates of the next class. Eighth grade Confirmation class students receive instruction separately as part of their fall retreat. The PC(USA) Book of Order states that “Baptized children who are being nurtured and instructed in the significance of the invitation to the Table and the meaning of their response are invited to receive the Lord’s Supper, recognizing that their understanding of participation will vary according to their maturity.” W-2.4011
Children’s Sunday – Around Mother's Day, children of the church lead a special worship service. Children become our ministers, reading scripture, interpreting God’s word, and leading the congregation in prayer.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Once again this summer Morrisville Churches joined forces to offer the community an expanded Vacation Bible School experience.
At To Mars and Beyond VBS, the students enjoyed an interactive, energizing, Bible-based good time as they explored where God’s power could take them, becoming Voyagers to discover how to serve God.
Each VBS evening started with dinner, after which the Voyagers made their way to the Bible Story Station to experience Bible stories and lessons which reinforced our memory verse from Ephesians 3:20 – Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.
Students expanded on their discoveries by making their own art projects at the Craft Station, singing new songs at the Music Station, exploring the wonders of creation at the Science Station, and playing games at the Recreation Station. Along the way, the Voyagers heard about our mission project and responded to a call for action!
Watch this space for information about next summer’s VBS!