Sunday Morning Education
Sunday School Program
Sunday School classes are offered for children ages 4 – 5th grade at 10:00 a.m. throughout the school year. Sunday School begins on Sunday, September 9. The ages are divided into the following groups…
4’s and K Class
1st and 2nd Grade Class
3rd and 4th Grade Class
5th Grade Class
A dedicated team of teachers works with each of these classes. The curriculum is lectionary based, meaning that each week the kids learn about the Gospel story (or significant Old Testament story) that they will hear in worship. This gives them a chance to prepare for worship and offers families a chance for deeper conversation following worship and throughout the coming week.
If you are interested in learning more about Sunday School, contact our Director of Children’s Ministries, Amelia McDaniel at email@example.com for more information. Download and fill out a Sunday School Registration form.
A nursery for infants and children up to age 4 is offered during the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 services as well as during the 10:00 a.m. education hour during the academic year. In the summer the nursery is offered during the 10:00 a.m. service.
During nursery, our older toddlers and 3’s will be engaged in song and story that help build their understanding of our scripture story and our life at church. Our nursery is staffed by caring professionals who offer the best of care and instruction to our littlest members.
Special Events & Worship Experiences
Easter for Children at St. Mary’s – Easter is a joyous day here for everyone, especially our children. The preparation begins the Saturday before Easter when we gather to hang the Alleluias that the children have created and hidden throughout Lent. On Easter Sunday our earliest of walkers – 5th graders are invited to come for an Easter Egg Hunt in the Church Yard after the 11:00 a.m. service. Before the 11 a.m. service, the children are able to join in a beautiful procession into the church with flowers to flower the cross.
All Saint’s Day Procession – In the weeks leading up to All Saint’s Day, our Sunday School classes learn about the lives of particular saints. They study the stories and attributes of these Holy Men and Women whose lives of faith have made them stand apart. Before All Saint’s Day the children make creations to represent the lives of these saints and share them as a part of the procession at the 11:00 a.m. service.
Children’s Christmas Lessons and Carols Service – December 24 at 4:00 p.m. This is a favorite St. Mary’s tradition that involves the children and youth in retelling the Christmas story through readings and music. This year the group is being led by Anne McCoy and Nancy Ritter. Rehearsals begin during Sunday School in December. There is a full rehearsal for all volunteers and participants on Saturday, December 22 at 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. All children are invited to participate. Please follow the link to learn about important dates and information. Also, please make sure to sign up your child to participate so we have plenty of costumes! If you are interested in volunteering to help in the many parts of this endeavor – costume making and sprucing, shepherding, etc. – please contact Amelia McDaniel for further information.
On Christmas Eve:
Our service will look a little different this year. Instead of the children waiting in the wings to come in during the pageant they will be seated with their families. That means that you should arrive at 3:30 p.m. to get your child in costume. Then you all will head into New St. Mary’s to get a seat. As the service moves along, there will be points when each of the groups of characters will be asked to come forward to join in the scene taking shape. The bulletins will be clearly marked when they are to join in the action, and they will be guided along. This way all the kids really get to SEE the whole pageant and participate in the WHOLE story.
At the conclusion of the pageant the kids will return to sit with you and we will all have Holy Eucharist together to celebrate the birth of our Savior. There will be many stations for communion as there are on Easter Sunday so this will not be a long process. The whole service should really be about the length of an average Sunday morning service. Following the service everyone is invited to come to the New Parish Hall for a Birthday Party! There will be mini cupcakes for all!
Lenten Wednesday Night Programming – During Lent we offer a regular Wednesday Night Supper and Program children and adults. Following a simple supper that is served from 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. the children gather to learn about the season of Lent through games and activities. The 2018 dates are Wednesdays, February 21, 28, and March 7, 14, and 21. They also help to prepare the Alleluias that are decorated and then hidden in the sanctuary until the Saturday before Easter.
Vacation Bible School 2020
June 2020 for ages 4 years – rising 3rd Graders
Information will be available in January 2020 regarding Vacation Bible School
What about the 4th and 5th Graders?
St. Mary’s will present its third year of On-the-Go Camp in June 2020. Last year, this was a great experience for our kids at St. Mary’s. It was a huge success so we are continuing it in 2019! Catherine Ashman, a St. Mary’s member and 5th grade teacher, will be leading our kids around Richmond. They will learn who their neighbor is by serving others a local non-profits such as Peter Paul Development Center, Shalom Farms, GoochlandCares, and more!
Stewardship and Outreach opportunities are integrated throughout the year for our children. During the 11:00 service there is a children’s offering taken during the offertory. Children are invited to come forward to place their offerings in the plates carried by children ushers. The children participate in pastoral care by creating cards to celebrate birthdays and other occasions to be shared with other children and with older parishioners throughout the year. During the month of November they help promote our food pantry collection for Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services. In December our children and families collect gifts and much needed items for families in need in the area through our Giving Tree program. In the winter they help the congregation prepare for the arrival of our CARITAS guests.
Many of the activities for these giving opportunities also take place during our monthly Wednesday Night Parish Suppers.
Children’s Ministries Committee
The Children’s Ministries Committee works to support the children, parents and all those who work with the children of St. Mary’s. This committee meets regularly to plan the events and programs that are offered to our children and families. Members serve in two year rotations and focus on one area of our ministry for that term. If you are interested in serving on the committee please contact Amelia McDaniel. If you have ideas you would like to share you can also reach out to Kerri White, Chair and Ashley Barlow, Co-Chair.
Liz Williams, Chair
Meredith Flippen – The Giving Tree
Ellen Hewit – The Giving Tree
Mary Talliaferro Keeney – Fellowship
Clara Laing – Special Services
Lauren Langley – Stewardship
Hillary Long – Nursery/New Parents
Mary Beth O’Hara – Special Services
Nancy Ritter – Christmas Lessons and Carols
BethAnn Romeo – VBS
Patsy Simril – Stewardship/Outreach
Jennifer Whitlock – The Giving Tree