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Children, Youth, and Families

Sunday, September 21 is the first day of Sunday School for the '14-'15 program year!

Please join us for Sunday School at the end of the 9:30 service. Children and Youth leave during the recessional hymn to go down to classes divided by age/grade. Adults stay in church to listen to the lessons and sermon. If you didn't register for Sunday School on September 14th that's okay! All children are welcome to join at any point during the year.



St. Mary's has a very active children and youth program. All baptized members are full members of the Body of Christ, therefore, our children and youth are encouraged to participate in the many ministries of St. Mary's, either with their families, or when appropriate, as individuals. We also have several educational and fellowship activities geared towards the various age groups.



Sunday School Programs

St. Mary's offers a comprehensive Christian education program for children and youth beginning at infancy. Our curriculum includes the Episcopal Children's Curriculum and the Journey to Adulthood program.
3 months to 4 years old: Nursery
Our nursery is open Sundays from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM and is staffed by a professional caregiver who is assisted by parent and youth volunteers. Childcare is also available during the Spanish service. An age appropriate, theme-based curriculum introduces children to the Episcopal church through Bible stories, art, music, and play. It is our goal to provide a creative and fun first church experience in which children and parents feel comfortable.

Pre-K & Kindergarten
Uses the Weaving God’s Promises curriculum. Storytelling is the principal means of helping children focus on key Christian teachings and the person of Jesus.

1st and 2nd Grade: Primary
Builds on curriculum from previous years, incorporating greater exploration of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. These grade levels focus on the Weaving God’s Promises Curriculum. This curriculum teaches children how God’s promises of salvation are woven into our lives and focuses on the way of Christ, not only in the church but also in the world as Christ’s ambassadors.

3rd through 5th Grade: Intermediate
Builds on curriculum from previous years, incorporating greater exploration of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. These grade levels focus on the Weaving God’s Promises Curriculum. This curriculum teaches children how God’s promises of salvation are woven into our lives and focuses on the way of Christ, not only in the church but also in the world as Christ’s ambassadors.

6th -12th Grades: Journey to Adulthood Program
Currently two classes. See descriptions below

Follows the Journey to Adulthood program that uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries, and both serious and playful activities. These levels of students learn to create and understand the importance of Christian community as they develop critical thinking and other skills they will need in adulthood.  The J2A program includes a spiritual pilgrimage that is often a life-changing experience for the group.

The curriculum falls into four distinct phases:

Rite-13: Beginning the journey to adulthood
(2 yrs; Currently 6th through 8th Grades)

The Rite-13 curriculum assists young people as they take their first steps of passage into their own lives. Youth typically enter Rite-13 in the 5th, 6th, or 7th grade and upon turning 13 years old participate in the Rite-13 Ceremony (a liturgical celebration of the gift of womanhood and manhood). During the two years, the community acknowledges the gift of gender, celebrates the amazing creative power and potential of these young people, and creates a safe haven to explore new ideas, new interests and new abilities.

J2A: Developing core values for the journey
(2 yrs; Currently 9th and 10th Grades)

J2A, the core program, blends action and contemplation in teaching young people faithful living. To prepare them for adulthood, they learn six basic skills:
Active listening
Negotiation
Assertion
Partnership
Leadership
Research/Information Management
The program also helps them understand and affirm Christian living. During J2A the group determines a theme and destination for their pilgrimage and begins fundraising for this.

CAP: Confirmation and Pilgrimage
(1 yr; Not currently a class)

After two years of J2A the group enters into their CAP year in which they are invited to be confirmed and to make a holy pilgrimage. These are different but complimentary ways in which the community recognizes that the youth are now young adults, rather than children, and equipped for new levels of responsibility.

YAC: Young adults in the Church
(2+ yrs; Not currently a class)

YAC encourages older youth to take on adult responsibilities in all aspects of parish life and community. They are challenged to become good stewards of their time, talent and treasure. Guided by adult mentors, they use the Anglican model of Scripture, tradition, and reason of the Church to guide the lifelong pilgrimage in their faith.

Two important elements of YAC are the Mentorship program (an apprenticeship to an adult with a particular duty/responsibility in the church) and the development of their Personal Credo.


Confirmation

At St. Mary’s our youth Confirmation is part of our Journey to Adulthood Sunday School curriculum. Please check out the CAP (Confirmation and Pilgrimage) class section of the Sunday School Programs page for more information. You can also contact our Sunday School Director, Sue Ann Hinman.



Family Fun Nights

Family Fun Nights are periodic events St. Mary’s hosts for families with children elementary school age or younger (older siblings are welcome to join in, too). Past events have included game nights, BBQs, and cookie decorating parties. You can find out about upcoming Family Fun Night events by checking this site, reading your monthly Bellringer, listening for announcements at Sunday services, or checking out our Children and Youth bulletin board at St. Mary’s.



Journey Fellowship is St. Mary's Youth Group.



There are many musical opportunities for children and youth at St. Mary’s:
In our nursery, the younger kids listen to Bible songs on CD and get to play with toddler-friendly instruments.

All pre-K through 2nd grade children get to sing in our Cherub Choir. The rehearsals and music instruction are part of their Sunday School program. (There are no outside rehearsals.) This fall Cherub choir will sing once a month at the 9:30 AM service.

Joyful Noise choir is for children and youth 3rd grade on up. They sing at the 9:30 service two Sundays a month. For more information or questions, contact our Children and Youth Music Director, Paula Ward, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)!

Divinity is a band made up of members 7th grade on up. Kids who feel comfortable playing their instruments in front of an audience or singing solo are invited to become members of this group. Divinity plays several times throughout the year. Divinity rehearsals will be set based on members' schedules. Please contact our Children and Youth Music Director, Paula Ward, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you or your youth are interested in joining.




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