Would Circle of Grace replace the Sunday school curriculum we're using now?
No. The Circle of Grace curriculum provides one to four lessons each year, depending on the grade level. We recommend choosing one month each year to focus on child protection and to teach the Circle of Grace curriculum across all grade levels. Choose a month that will offer the most consistency in attendance and does not have competing holidays.
Would our current teachers be the ones who teach Circle of Grace?
Your current teachers are the best ones to teach Circle of Grace because your children and youth already know and trust these individuals. Each teacher needs to be trained and needs to be comfortable teaching the material. It may be helpful or necessary to bring in another teacher, especially one of a different gender, when Circle of Grace is taught. We strongly advise there be at least two teachers in every class.
How do we teach Circle of Grace in classes with multiple grades?
Many of our churches teach child and youth Sunday school in groups (e.g., "Middlers" are grades 3–5). We recommend teaching the lessons for one of the grade levels the first year. The next year, teach the lessons for the next grade level. The first time you offer Circle of Grace, we recommend you teach one of the comprehensive grade levels (kindergarten, grades 1, 2, 3, 6, or 9).
When beginning to offer Circle of Grace, do we offer it only to children in kindergarten?
We recommend you offer the Circle of Grace curriculum to all children and youth in your church or school. Each grade level reviews the basic concepts of the curriculum. See the Curriculum Overview.
How are parents included when we teach Circle of Grace?
Parents are children's first and (hopefully) best teachers. It is important to talk with parents (one-on-one or as a group) about the Circle of Grace curriculum before it is taught to their children and youth. Parents' letters are available in the curriculum.
How can we engage the entire church in Circle of Grace?
We encourage you to incorporate Circle of Grace into many areas of church life during the time it is being taught to your children and youth. Consider making a Circle of Grace banner for your worship space and including a child protection theme in worship (children's times, prayers, sermons, guest speakers). You may also choose this month to remind all adults of your child protection policy and provide a class or invite a guest speaker to talk about some aspect of child abuse and neglect.
Can Circle of Grace be taught at times other than Sunday school?
Perhaps. As much as possible, we want each child and youth to receive all lessons for his/her grade level and to receive it from a consistent teacher(s) and in a safe, quiet setting. The lessons for older grade levels could perhaps be taught in a retreat setting.
If we teach Circle of Grace, do we also need to have a child protection policy?
Absolutely, yes! It is our responsibility as adults to keep our children and youth safe. A checklist and sample policies are available. A child protection policy must be adopted, implemented, and made accessible.
What do we do if we suspect a child is being abused or neglected?
Make sure your church's child protection policy has a response plan you follow should you suspect child abuse or neglect. Do not investigate yourself, but rather make observations and report to Child Protective Services or the police as soon as possible.