Christian Formation

Emmanuel’s Programs

Children’s Sunday School

During the school year, Children’s Sunday is held every Sunday starting at 9:30 am. The curriculum is aligned with scriptures that follow the church seasonal calendar. The group lesson co-ordinates with the scripture, but has a modern day correlation. Lessons focus on the weekly bible story and are appropriate for all ages. Accompanying activities are designed and developed for multiple levels. There are crafts, games, puzzles, and videos which encourage discussion and interaction among participants. Sunday school is taught by dedicated adult volunteers, all of whom have completed “Safe Church Training”.

Adult Sunday School

During the school year, Emmanuel holds adult Sunday School at 9:30 am, preceding the 10:30 am service. High lights of Emmanuel’s adult Sunday School are:

  • Mixed age group which welcomes all adults to participate.
  • Continental – style breakfast available before/after lesson is provided (volunteers who are participants in the class provide the simple breakfast on a rotating basis)
  • Curriculum for the class is chosen by the rector, but all are encouraged to ask questions, make comments, etc.
  • Typically, the lessons are not designed to be sequentially connected in that there is usually a common framework that lends itself to great flexibility (missing a lesson will not affect the overall theme)
  • Relaxed, informal gathering of people who are open to other opinions and desire honest conversation regarding modern day problems/issues as they are reflected in the teachings of Jesus.

Wednesday Night Bible Study

During the school year, a Wednesday night dinner and adult bible study is held. Typically a semester long curriculum is selected by the group. The study features a lead in video followed by group discussion. The Rector leads the study but it is essentially an informal, free flowing conversation with all participants offering their views and opinions. It is a time to socialize and learn in a Christian environment among people who truly care for one another.

As we are a church in transition (we are searching for a new Rector and have an interim priest), the members of the Bible study group will explore what format is pursued in the future.

Confirmation Classes

Children who have been baptized in the Episcopal Church as well as those baptized in other denominations may choose to be confirmed upon reaching an age by which they can make a more mature commitment to their faith. If you were previously confirmed in another denomination either in apostolic succession or in full communion with the Episcopal Church you can be received into the Episcopal Church instead of being confirmed again. The Rector typically offers youth Confirmation classes on an as needed basis in coordination with a visit from the Bishop (all confirmations are conducted by a Bishop). Topics include:

  • A brief outline of the Bible
  • The contents of the Book of Common Prayer (how we worship)
  • The Sacraments (what they are and what they mean)
  • What we believe (about God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Creeds)
  • The Story of the Church
  • The church’s structure
  • Prayer (how to pray and different kinds of prayer)

Provided Through the Diocese


Many of our church members are active in the Cursillo ministry. Cursillo, (Spanish for short course) is a 3-day retreat that provides an opportunity to renew and strengthen your Christian faith. If you are looking for life long ‘tools’ to help you with your faith journey, are looking for more opportunities for Christian fellowship, faith sharing, and discipleship; a Cursillo weekend retreat at Camp Chanco, our beautiful Diocesan Conference Center, may be just what you’re looking for. More information can be found at, or, let us know and we can arrange a visit with one of our church members who is involved with Cursillo.

Youth Happening

Youth ‘Happening’ Program. Over the years, many of our youth have participated in a weekend Episcopal retreat called ‘Happening’. This is a Christian experience presented by teenagers, for teenagers with the help of a clergy and lay adult leadership. The Happening weekend is an opportunity for bringing young persons and a few adult leaders together to experience a fuller personal knowledge of and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. During the Happening weekend, which usually begins Friday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon, there are many activities designed for fun and Christian community building among participants. Youth build lifelong friendships with others from throughout our Diocese…and it happens at our beautiful Diocesan Conference Center, Camp Chanco, on a bluff overlooking the James River. For more information go to