gospel vision for children GATHERING


Cultivating Gospel-living ideas for your church, home, and school

About GVFC

Get to know what makes this gathering unique.

This gathering began as a way to provide training for the Children's Ministry Team, that was open to everyone who interacts with children.

We all desire to co-operate with the Lord in raising up the next generation of disciples of Jesus, who love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength! And love their neighbors as themselves. Right? BUT HOW?

Every parent, educator, ministry leader has a “philosophy" of what a person is AND what “educating” a person constitutes - whether we have thought through it, or not.

Our interaction with children is where our understanding or “philosophy" of a person plays out most evidently.

When my firstborn was still an infant, I searched for a Biblical, practical understanding of a person that would inform my motherhood, and provide me with a tangible understanding of what an “education” of a person entails. The Lord led me to discover an educational philosophy called “Charlotte Mason," named after the 19th century British educator whose life was given to our Lord Jesus in service of children.

A CODE OF EDUCATION FROM THE GOSPELS was discovered, which was then implemented in schools and teacher colleges, with wondrous effect. Parents took the principles and methods, and implemented them in their homes as well.
Similar to what we have learned from the writings of theologians, such as Calvin or Luther, in helping to inform our doctrines, Charlotte's writings have helped to inform our teaching and parenting in the field of education.

The Word of God transforms.
The Gospel transforms.

Who would have thought there was a way to practically work out the gospel in our methods of teaching, and interacting with children - in Children's Sunday Schools, Youth Group Ministry, elementary, middle, and high schools, colleges, and yes, even in our living rooms and kitchens?

Come and discover the Gospel-centric principles I too, along with thousands upon thousands of teachers, families, and missionaries (remember Amy Carmichael?) across nations and throughout the past century, have discovered in the words and life of our Lord Jesus.

For the King & His kids,
Min Hwang
Pascack Bible Church, Director of Children's Ministry

You're invited to JOIN US in taking time to pray & work out
a philosophy of education for your children, your church,
and your home.

Come and discuss with like-minded educators and parents on questions, such as:

How do I
disciple my children so that they have direct, personal interaction with God and His word?
How do I cultivate an atmosphere (in my home or classroom) where each child is truly “seen” and valued as an image-bearer of God?
What does having God-granted parental authority mean, and how does it play out practically in my day to day interaction with my child/ren?
What “instruments of education” are available to me that are effective in aiding character + spiritual formation (in cooperation with God)?
What is “narration?"  Why is it so effective, and how can I use this tool in our Children and Youth Ministries, as well as in our Family Devotions?

Meet the Speakers

Art Middlekauff

 Art tells the story of how his discovery
of Charlotte Mason led to a personal transformation and a dangerous adventure. Art and his wife Barbara have been home educating their three children for almost two decades. Over this time, Art has been studying Charlotte Mason’s writings and applying her living ideas to his family’s homeschool.

Art has written several essays about Charlotte Mason’s theology and philosophy which have been published in the two volumes of Essays on the Life and Work of
Charlotte Mason, published by Riverbend Press. He has also produced a popular video about Charlotte Mason’s twenty principles.

 Art walks in Mason’s theological tradition as a
member of an Anglican church near Detroit, Michigan.

Nancy Kelly

Nancy Kelly lives in a little town on the prairie called Windom, Minnesota. She and her husband Kent have home-educated their six children for 27 years using the principles and practices of Charlotte Mason.

 Nancy has helped build a thriving CM educational community in southwest Minnesota that continues to grow. She started the Parents’ Midwest Educational Union (PMEU), a parents’ book discussion group; Truth, Beauty, Goodness (TBG), a student learning cooperative; Living Education Lessons; and the Living Education Retreat, now in its 16th year of sharing and spreading the ideas of Charlotte Mason.

Sixteen years ago she began sharing her knowledge and experience across the country speaking on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy at conferences and retreats. She is a sought-after educational consultant and mentor.  She enjoys family, ‘bright eyes’, helping others implement the CM method with peace, Shakespeare, exploring the flora and fauna of new places, and of course…books.

Richele Baburina

Richele Baburina began her venture of faith with Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education at university, implementing picture talks as part of a museum program. Mason’s statements regarding the beauty and truth of mathematics particularly intrigued her as a humanities major. Later, as a mother, she wanted to experience that “delightful consciousness of drawing out… new power” in her own children and helps others do the same.

Richele is the author of The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series and Brush Drawing—a Basic Course. Passionate about sharing how simple methods rest on profound principles throughout Mason’s philosophy of education, she presents on a variety of topics and is a regular contributor to homeschool magazines. Both her children have graduated using Charlotte Mason’s gospel-based philosophy of education. They reside in the foothills of the Appalachians in NE Tennessee, where they still go on nature walks together.

Erika Alicea

Born and raised in NYC, Erika helps her husband pastor a church in the Bronx, NY. She leads the Children’s Ministry there  in which they follow a CM philosophy.

As a former public school teacher turned homeschooling mama, Erika loves sharing the beauty a Charlotte Mason education has to offer.  She enjoys encouraging others with how she creatively implements Miss Mason’s methods in the context of an urban family of color.

In addition, Erika is co-host on the "Charlotte Mason for All" podcast, a regular contributor to the "Common Place Quarterly" magazine, and co-founder of the "Art of Color Study," curated art appreciation resources showcasing artists of color (www.theartofcolorstudy.com).

On any given day, you can find Erika taking pictures of nature treasures in the city that often go unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Mariana Mastracchio

Mariana lives in Westchester, NY, and when she is not home-educating her two sons, she can be found daily with a delicious cup of black coffee paired with a good book. She enjoys serving the Children's Ministry at her church, taking family hikes, and soaking in the beauty of God’s creation at the seashore.

Mariana is active in the CM Brazil community, co-hosting a podcast and online membership in Portuguese: Descobrindo Charlotte Mason. She is also  a co-owner of a publishing company, Editora Ideias Vivas, that publishes living books in Portuguese for all ages.

In addition, Mariana co-hosts the podcast "Charlotte Mason for All,"  and serves as the COO of a nonprofit ministry, Life-Giving Motherhood (www.lifegivingmotherhood.org).

Damion Sanders

Damion is a Brooklyn born poet, graphic artist, and musician.  This husband and father of two is also a full time homeschooling dad, seminary student, and a children’s content producer better known by his alias, Book Papa.

 Damion serves at Elements Church in the Bronx, NY as a worship leader and preacher, as well as in the children’s ministry which employs the Charlotte Mason method.

When Damion is not wrestling the saltwater crocodiles affectionately known as his children or pursuing his latest artistic inspiration, he is binge-watching theological debates, top 10 animal videos, and sourcing top dad jokes — basically just being an all-round geek.

Min Hwang

Min  delights in sharing the Gospel-grounded Charlotte Mason philosophy and methods with every family and church. Over a decade ago, having become convinced of the life-giving paradigm the Charlotte Mason philosophy brings, she has embraced Miss Mason’s principles, allowing them to inform her ministry with moms, college students, and children.

If you were having tea with her, she'd tell you God doesn’t waste anything; she can testify to how her varied background in Nursing, law, and nonprofit work establishing safehomes for sexually exploited, pregnant mothers, has helped equip her for her current vocation.

Min is wife to her best friend, Young, PBC's pastor. In addition to serving as Pastor’s Wife,  Children’s Ministry Director, an artist, and home-educator, you’ll find her loving on moms at LifegivingMotherhood.org – a worldwide community of mothers desiring to grow in  the life-giving habits of Jesus – and podcasting at “Charlotte Mason For All” and “Charlotte Mason’s Volumes.”

Check out what we'll be doing together.



Plenary speakers and topics have been prayerfully chosen for you. It is our hope and prayer that you will come say from this gathering with a refreshed spirit, and renewed hope and inspiration for our Church's children.


You will be surrounded by like-minded ministry leaders, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, educators, and Sunday school teachers. This will be a wonderful time to connect and encourage one another... and all the more as we see the Day approaching. Fellowship over meals, but please note: MEALS ARE NOT PROVIDED. We encourage you to bring your Saturday meals, and picnic on our lovely field, OR enjoy one of the quaint, local restaurants minutes from Pascack Bible Church.


Thoughtfully and prayerfully chosen workshops will be presented for you to choose from during the Saturday afternoon sessions. These workshops provide a more intimate setting in which you may gain some hands-on experience, ask questions, and engage in discussion with our speakers and with one another. See below for topics and more information.


We are looking to have various resources available for you to purchase that will support your ministry work at church and at home.


Friday Evening, Sep.30th


Welcome & Praise

Plenary One


Saturday Morning, Oct.1st

Welcome & Praise

Plenary Two

Break & Refreshments

Plenary Three

Lunch Break & Fellowship

Saturday Afternoon, Oct.1st

Session One Workshops

Break & Refreshments

Session Two Workshops

Panel Discussion (TBA)

Dinner Break & Fellowship

Final Plenary

Closing Prayer



A Code of Education in the Gospels

By Art Middlekauff

Every parent or teacher sooner or later asks the question: what is the best way to teach our children? Then he or she looks in many places to find an answer: tradition, physiology, research, social science. But in 1886, Charlotte Mason wrote, “It may surprise parents who have not given much attention to the subject to discover also a code of education in the Gospels, expressly laid down by Christ.” Is it really possible to learn how to teach from the greatest Teacher of all? Let’s find out.



By Nancy Kelly

“The parent who would educate his children, in any large sense of the
word must lay himself out for high thinking and lowly living; the highest
thinking indeed possible to the human mind and the simplest, directest
living.” – Charlotte Mason

Simplicity is a topic near and dear to my  heart and
completely relevant in today’s complicated and consumeristic culture. Miss Mason
said that the quality of simplicity is “the first condition of all successful
work with children.”  Through Scripture,
poetry, art, and lanterns, we will examine the nature of simplicity and
uncover what hinders us from living simple lives and doing the deep work
required of us as educators.


The Gift of Beauty

By Richele Baburina

Miss Mason tells us that “There are few joys in life greater and more constant than our joy in Beauty.” And yet amazingly, this wonderful gift of beauty can actually foster pride, encourage selfishness, and divide people. How can we properly receive this gift without corrupting it and ourselves? If we take a close look at Charlotte Mason’s approach to developing and applying the beauty sense, we can find the answer. Hint: the gift of beauty is not meant to be hoarded. It’s meant to be given away.


The Way of the Teacher: Humility

By Nancy Kelly

What postures do we take in our homes, schools, and communities? There
are many lessons to be learned from L’Umile Pianta (The Humble Plant),
the publication by the alumni from Charlotte Mason’s House of Education
and the badge chosen by the Old Students’ Association. In this session,
we will explore how the lessons shared back then can help us today. This session will make you stop
and think about how you approach education in any venue.



Youth Bible Study Immersion


Charlotte Mason wrote, “Poetry is, perhaps, the most searching and intimate of our teachers… As we ’inwardly digest,’ reverence comes to us unawares…” Mason believed that poetry plays a crucial role in the spiritual formation of Christ’s disciples, so much so that she wrote six volumes of poems for use in school lessons. In this immersion session, we will experience an actual Bible lesson, illuminated by poetry, according to the method laid down by Mason herself.

Meditation: Narration of the Heart


Charlotte Mason put a heavy emphasis on meditation for the parent and
the child. This talk explores what she meant by meditation and looks
deeply at this neglected Christian practice. There is a not-surprising
correlation between how we read Scripture and our school books! We will
learn what Mason called “the most important part of the preparation of
the mother”.

Keeping a Nature Notebook


Science, writing, poetry, and art.
Discover how to brilliantly combine all four subjects and passions in a single activity: keeping a nature notebook. In this interactive session we’ll see how keeping a nature journal, perhaps more than any other single discipline, illustrates a key idea that education is the science of relations and, as we consider the lilies and the birds of the air, more of God's character and His great love toward us is revealed.


Faith Formation in Teens


“We ought to be extremely anxious to see our children becoming … what the Christian religion teaches us we all ought to be,” wrote Mary Alice Douglas in 1909. Our natural response might be, “Exactly! That’s why Bible lessons are the first the first priority in our home and church!” But Miss Douglas sounded a sober warning: “If people teach their children the Bible and the various things which are good for them to do and to be, and yet do not help them to carry the teaching out in their lives, they had far better leave the whole thing alone.” What can we do in our family and church so that the Bible forms an image in their hearts and not just their minds? We don’t just want the knowledge of Christianity to just pass through our children’s heads. Rather, as Miss Douglas said, “we want it to be the very rock beneath their feet.” What does that involve?

Watercolor Brushdrawing


Do you want to add life to your nature journal but don’t know where to begin? Brush drawing is a watercolor technique that captures the gesture and essence of flowers and plants with simple yet eloquent strokes. People of all ages and skill levels can cultivate an artist’s hand and eye with this friendly and effective technique. In this expanded, hands-on session, you will learn beginning brush drawing strokes, how to combine them into a finished drawing of a nature object, and tips on teaching children this living art.

CM Sunday School in an Urban Context


What does it mean to grow where we’re planted? Our gracious Father shows off the nature of his beautiful diversity in all observable creation. From the plant and animal kingdoms to the beautiful ethnicities that abound in the world all round us, we see no lack in variation. And yet, this only accounts for the exterior — each inhabitant of this world has within them still more that sets them apart. Charlotte Mason education, which by design focuses on the individual, is the perfect platform for tailoring the already personal and intimate experience of learning. Whether or not we may find God in the quietude of the countryside as easily as in the uproar of the inner city is no real question. God gave Noah the task of building the ark and Noah used the wood that was available to him. God is the same today and delights to meet us where we are. When Moses was yet unsure of himself and of his credibility among his Jewish brethren, God (referring to the staff he was holding) asked him what was in his hand. This was the very same staff that performed the wonders and proliferated the plagues that moved pharaoh to eventually let God’s people go. When we like trees, grow where we are planted by God,  it is impossible that we should be stunted in our outreach. Acclimating CM education to match that is native to the environmental context of our Sunday easily presents as the only natural response.

Picture Study for Bible Lessons:
The Art of Seeing


How can art enhance Bible lessons? Which artwork do I choose? And what does that look like in a Charlotte Mason Sunday School classroom?

These questions and more are what we’ll be answering through our picture study immersion workshop together.

The Act of Knowing


Narration is a  foundational skill that is innate in all of us, and yet it can seem intimidating! Children tell back the Bible passage they have heard. You will be marvelously surprised by the details they are able to recall, even after just one reading. The Holy Spirit speaks Do you wonder how to start narration? Or what to do if your student does not want to narrate? Or how this practice builds the act of knowing?

During our time together we will explore those questions and marvel at the simple, natural beauty of narration, which God has given to every person.

A Living Sunday School:
Give Them the Best


The Charlotte Mason philosophy is truly for all children and all families! Why not, therefore, bless our local churches? Whether your home church has a children’s church, a children’s Sunday school hour, or ministry opportunities during the week rather than on a Sunday, let us share the tremendous blessing of Miss Mason’s “code of education from the Gospels” with our home church families. Let us bring in her excellent principles, as well as the Bible Lessons, Narration, Recitation, Picture Study, Poetry, Handicrafts, and much more. Moreover, this philosophy and methods are not merely for when the children are with their home church. As the parents are nurtured and nourished by the Charlotte Mason, Gospel-centric paradigm, our prayer is for a revival of family devotions, mother’s growing in their “thinking love,” and fathers turning their hearts back to their children (Malachi 4:6). This workshop will be a time of discussing the practicalities, as well as vision-casting for those who are longing for something like this in their home church.


Gospel Vision
Sep 30 - Oct 1

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a new vision.
for the children's sake.

But let the imaginations of children be stored with the pictures, their minds nourished upon the words, of the gradually unfolding story of the Scriptures, and they will come to look out upon a wide horizon within which persons and events take shape in their due place and in due proportion.
By degrees, they will see that the world is a stage whereon the goodness of God is continually striving with the wilfulness of man; that some heroic men take sides with God; and that others, foolish and headstrong, oppose themselves to Him. The fire of enthusiasm will kindle in their breast, and the children, too, will take their side, with- out much exhortation, or any thought or talk of spiritual experience.
--Charlotte Mason, Vol.1, P.249--