Godly Play & Children’s Choir
On Sundays at 9:30 AM children in kindergarten through 5th grade participate in Godly Play and Children’s Choir. We begin mid-September with an orientation for our young people and their families and continue through May. Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired program that models our worship. During class time children gather to share a feast, listen to the lesson that is presented through handmade wooden materials, wonder together about the story, and respond in creative ways through a variety of art materials. Spring lessons include parable stories such as the Good Shepherd and the Mustard Seed, as well seasonal stories related to Lent, Easter and Pentecost. To learn more about Godly Play, visit their website and YouTube channel.
In Children’s Choir, children learn music that they will sing once per month as the Offertory Song during the 10:30 AM Sunday Mass. Children also provide occasional music on piano and other instruments during our worship. Older children (5th grade and older) are welcome to sing with the adult choir in consultation with the music director where they will learn sight reading, music theory, choral training and history.
Youth Group (6th-12th grade) meets weekly on Sundays at 9:30 AM to explore scripture, The Book of Common Prayer, missional living, church history, prayer forms and art. Spring units include sacred geometry and woodworking; your life as a story; contemplative practices such as meditation, movement, imaginative prayer and sacred chant; and being disciples on the basics of the faith, which will serve as preparation for Confirmation. We also gather for monthly social, prayer and service outings as Saint James youth and in conjunction with other nearby Episcopal churches and our diocese.
Youth assist in worship on Sundays at 10:30 AM as acolytes who carry the processional cross, light and extinguish candles, carry torches in the procession, and carry the gospel book. Youth also serve as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, musicians, and choir members. During an annual Youth Takeover Mass, youth serve as worship assistants and preach on the Sunday gospel.
Summer provides the opportunity for weeklong mission trips as we live out our baptismal call to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” Throughout the week we serve the community through painting projects, summer camp leadership, outdoor work or other simple cleaning and maintenance tasks as we partner with local organizations. Rutland, Vermont and Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana are among our recent mission locations. In 2017 we will travel to Lynn, Massachusetts (near Boston).
Children’s Chapel meets during the 10:30 AM Sunday Mass. Children ages 4 through 5th grade gather at the beginning of the service for songs, prayers, brief meditation and storytelling. We return to the sanctuary at the Peace. Beautiful wooden figures, candles, and symbolic colors aid our biblical storytelling in our Montessori-inspired Godly Play program. During the summer months we will work together in the garden to grow fruits and vegetables to share with our community, while exploring creation themes through Episcopal Relief & Development’s Abundant Life Garden Project curriculum.
Children’s full participation is welcome in all aspects of Saint James’ life and worship. For those who would like the option, Saint James provides a nursery each Sunday for infants and young children (birth through age 4). The nursery is a large room equipped with age-appropriate toys, books and learning materials. Nursery care is provided Sundays during the forum hour and during the 10:30 AM Mass, September – May. During the summer months Saint James provides nursery care during the 10:30 AM Mass only.
Fellowship, prayer and service events take place throughout the year. These events, along with a resource for faith at home, can be found in the weekly CYF e-newsletter.
Mothers & Others meets two Mondays each month from 9:30-11:00 AM during the school year. We select fiction and non-fiction books to read together and TED talks to watch and discuss. Childcare is available in the nursery.
Resources for Children, Youth and Families
Keep current with children, youth and family opportunities at Saint James. The CYF calendar can be found here.