Dear St. James’s Families:
We hope this letter finds you and your family well. We are very excited to share with you the Children and Youth Ministry offerings at St. James’s for the 2020-2021 program year. We are extremely grateful for the many faithful people who contributed to this new design. All of us at St. James’s are committed to supporting and nurturing the spiritual well-being of your entire family. Please reach out to us if there’s anything we can do for you.
Children and Youth Ministry for 2020-2021
We hope all families who consider St. James’s their church home will register their child online so we can be good shepherds of our flock. Please Register your child/youth for 2020-2021 Children and Youth Ministry offerings by September 15, 2020. This will tremendously improve our ability to communicate effectively even if you’re already in our church membership database.
Children’s Ministry (Birth through Grade 5)
- Baptism: Baptisms will be offered for individual families in a private service and will be scheduled directly with clergy. Gatherings will be limited to 20 and face covering will be worn.
- Children’s Chapel on Sundays: We will offer a children’s chapel liturgy each Sunday for children of all ages. It will include the Gospel reading, a brief children’s sermon from our clergy, and favorite songs lead by Dr. Whitmire. *
- Storytime at Home: Sunday Storytime is a curated list of books to read with your pre-school aged children. It will come with a parent information sheet which offers guided questions, a Bible verse, and a highlighted character trait.
- Godly Play Videos: Godly Play is a curriculum for young children that helps them learn and visualize stories of the bible and liturgy. Volunteer Godly Play storytellers will share stories with props. Godly Play parent page will be available on-line. This will allow families to watch on your own schedule and discuss the story together. Our Godly Play curriculum is offered to children age three through 1st grade and is also offered as a supplement to older children.*
- Sept. 20 The Church Year
- Oct. 4 Holy Bible
- Oct. 11 Holy Family
- Oct. 18 Creation
- Oct. 25 The Flood and the Ark
- Nov. 1 The Great Family
- Nov. 8 Exodus
- Nov. 15 The Ten Best Ways
- Nov. 22 The Exile and Return
- Dec. 6 Advent I & II
- Dec. 13 Advent III & IV
- Bible Stories: Our curriculum for older children in grades 2 through 5, Growing in Faith, has wonderful bible story lessons. We will offer one bible story each month with opportunities for children and families to Watch, Read, Pray, Serve, and Do. Families will be able to engage with these materials at any time as works best for their schedules.
- Sept. 20 Welcome video
- Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25 Creation
- Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22 Exodus
- Nov. 29 Dec. 6, 13 Advent – Gift of Jesus
- Gatherings for Children: We will also offer facilitated monthly Zoom meetings or Google hang-outs for children and their parents to connect with their peers. Details will be provided on an on-going basis.
- Outreach and Mission: See the Family section below for more information.
* All videos and materials will be available on the St. James’s website www.doers.org for families to use/watch as best suits their schedules.
Youth Ministry (Grades 6 – 12)
- Youth Groups: We are offering two virtual youth groups this year: JYF (junior youth fellowship) for middle schoolers in grades 6-8, and SYF (senior youth fellowship) for high schoolers in grades 9-12. We hear your desire to “see your friends.” Social interactions are developmentally essential for teenagers as you seek to discover your own identity, so our youth groups this year will focus on relationships and social interactions with other peers and adults from our church community. We’ll share stories, play games, build friendships, and grow in our faith together through stories, video, discussions, and put our faith into action through service projects. And if you prefer to watch but not contribute (hello introverts), there’s still space for you to be present too without any requirement to participate. We’ll meet for about 45-60 minutes most Sundays beginning September 20 via Zoom at a time TBD.
JYF & SYF Youth Group Schedule:
- September 20
- October 4, 11, 18, 25
- November 1, 8, 15, 22
- December 6, 13, 20
- Confirmation: We are offering a mixed-age virtual confirmation process for youth with a parent, as well as adult who desire to be confirmed. Instead of taking place weekly on Sunday morning as in years past, we will offer 5 “deep dive” sessions spread out once a month throughout the program year. Students beginning in 9th grade can attend with a parent. It’s intended as a “family” process, not just youth attending by themselves. Youth from the 2019-2020 confirmation class that was interrupted by the pandemic will be invited to participate in this 5-session model during 2020-2021 to complete their process. Details and online registration are on the website www.doers.org. Registration for confirmation is required by September 20, 2020.
- Racial Justice: This winter we’ll offer a 6-week course for youth and their parents on dismantling racism within the Christian (Episcopal) context.
- Reading for Worship: Youth are invited to record scripture readings that will be offered as part of Children’s Chapel and online corporate worship.
- Outreach & Mission: See the Family section below for more information.
- Virtual School: We are exploring the possibility of hosting MS and HS students in our church buildings with supervision while they attend virtual school. We’re awaiting approval from the diocese.
- Online Sundays
- Wednesdays evenings
- Sunday, September 13 In-person worship outside at Rock Bottom
- St. Francis Open-air Chapel worship hopefully coming soon (surface parking lot)
- Outreach & Mission: Each month we have a project families can do in service to others.
- August = Families for food (gleaning Aug. 22, donate food, organize your own neighborhood food drive)
- September = Servant Sunday is September 27
- October = East End Cemetery clean up
- November = PPDC Christmas Gift Drive
- December = TBD
- Shrine Mont Parish Retreat
- October 23-25, 2020
- Our retreat planning team is exploring the possibility that this retreat can still take place with social distancing. Save the date and stay tuned and details develop.
- Pastoral Care & Prayer Requests
- The clergy and church staff are here to support you and your entire family. Please let us know how we can be praying for you and supporting the needs of your family. We’re never too busy for a pastoral call.
- Parenting Forums will be offered by Zoom on these topics:
- August 26 at 8:00 p.m. “Tips for Managing School & Work during Virtual Learning” lead by Ashley Soukup, LMFT,
- November 8, Time TBD “Faith at Home Practices” featuring Jerusalem Greer
- December 6, Time TBD Common Prayer for Children and Family – featuring co-author Timothy J.S. Seamans
- Online Bible study for Moms of Preschoolers
As we mentioned before, our priority is to support and nurture the spiritual well-being of the children, youth, adults, and families of St. James’s. We recognize the virtual format is not the ideal method of ministering to families. If there are other ways we can support and encourage your family, please contact us so we can explore those options together. You and your family are in our prayers.
God Bless you all,
Becky Page & Mary Beth