Christmas Pageant 2021
St. Mary’s is excited to share the plans for the 2021 Christmas Eve Festival of Lessons and Carols where our youngest members gather to tell the Christmas Story! The service is at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24, in New St. Mary’s.
- This year will be an abbreviated service that should last around 30 minutes (no communion will be served this year).
- Masks are required for all those in attendance (regardless of vaccination status).
- Seating is limited to a maximum of 400 people and registration is required. This Friday, December 10, registration for the service opens to all.
- If you would like to register your child(ren) of 4-years-old to 5th Grade to participate in the service, follow this link or please contact Amelia McDaniel at (804) 784-5678 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The deadline to register your child(ren) is this Thursday, December 9 at 4 p.m.
This year’s Festival of Lessons and Carols will be unique in some ways and just the same in others. But either way, it will be glorious!
Information for those participating in the Christmas Pageant:
- All children participating in the pageant are invited to a rehearsal on Friday, December 23 at 9:30 a.m. Parents are asked to stay and serve as the “congregation” for practice.
- Costumes will be passed out at rehearsal.
- On Christmas Eve, families are asked to start arriving no earlier than 3:30 p.m. Children will arrive in costume, sit with their families during the service and invited to come forward as their parts emerge in the story.
- Following the service, you will be able to leave the costumes on hanging racks and boxes on the terrace.
Register Your Child in our Program!
Even though we are not meeting in person, please take a moment to go online and fill out a registration form for your child(ren). This information helps us so much to stay connected and up-to-date with your family. And it helps us have updated and accurate information, especially birth dates! We don’t want to miss a single one!
Outdoor Sunday School – Fall 2021
For Sunday School this fall, we are planning for as much outdoor time as possible. Our hope is to provide safe and fun ways of being together and learning. On Sunday, September 12, we begin outdoor Sunday School. The meeting location is behind New St. Mary’s in the big grassy area. There will be a check-in desk and helpers will guide your child to their age-designated meeting group.
For the first few weeks, we will learn the stories of Jesus’ life and the stories He told. We will have singing and storytelling before breaking into age-designated groups for small group time. Afterwards, everyone will head to the playgrounds. You may come pick your child up at 10:50 a.m. for the 11 a.m. service (if that is where you are headed).
Children’s Chapel is during the 11 o’clock service. Children are invited during the Gospel hymn to come with Amelia and/or another group leader to the Block Room. During this time, children hear the Gospel story, have time for prayer, and sing. They return to the service at the Peace.
Nursery on Sunday Mornings
Our nursery is open for infants through children age 4. Our nursery staff, headed by Meg Zehmer, is fully vaccinated and wears masks in an effort to keep our youngest members healthy. Nursery opens at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings and runs through the end of the 11 a.m. service.
Volunteer with Children’s Ministries!
The new outdoor format for Sunday School means need parent volunteers who are willing to check-in kids to Sunday School, pass out snacks, and guide kids from a big group setting to a smaller classroom. These volunteer roles require no preparation and are flexible around your availability. The hope is to build a team of 15-20 parents willing to rotate every few weeks to assist with Sunday School. Or go straight to the sign up genius link here to go ahead and sign up!
Note: Volunteers will need to participate in some Diocesan training.
If you are interested, contact Amelia McDaniel at email@example.com.
If you’d like to check out more resources to do at home, you can download, watch, or print them below:
- Children’s Chapel Worship
- Order a Sparkhouse Spark Story Bible through Amazon or Sparkhouse Publishing
- The music used during Children’s Chapel is from the CD All Creatures, published y Rain for Roots. Order a copy of All Creatures album.
Children’s Chapel Online
We created Worship Kits that are referenced in the videos. They contain items that help set the stage for learning, including The Sunday Paper. The Sunday Paper is a great resource to explore the week’s reading for your children and even has a parent guide on the back. We send out copies of the Sunday Paper periodically to keep the kids up to date with the lessons. In addition to the Sunday paper, there are copies of prayers we say, a liturgical wheel guide, and books of the Bible guide.
Our storytellers use the Spark Story Bible, published by Sparkhouse, to tell most of the stories shared. Follow this link to order one for your own home.
St. Mary’s Storytime
Do your kids enjoy being read to and love a wonderful story? St. Mary’s is excited to offer a new component to Children’s Formation this summer – St. Mary’s Storytime! In addition to weekly Children’s Chapel, we are offering Storytime each week! A different storyteller will share brief part of the Old Testament, Psalms, Epistle or the Gospel story from the previous Sunday’s readings. Then they will read a wonderful illustrated children’s book and talk about how the stories and their themes relate.
In addition, Denise Bennett, our summer intern, is a professional storyteller and has included some of her favorite stories to share with our kids. We are so grateful for her incredible gift!
St. Mary’s Storytime Stories:
Check out all the stories relating to recent Bible lessons shared by some of our favorite storytellers, follow the links below
- “When I Pray for You” – relates to Psalm 139
- “Wemberly Worried” – relates to Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
- “God’s Dream” by The Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
- “King Maen’s Secret” as told by Denise Bennett
- “The Magic Garden of the Poor” as told by Denise Bennett
- “One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference” – relates to Matthew 14:13-21
- “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” – relates to Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
- “The Day the Crayons Quit” – relates to Genesis 45:1-15
- “Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure” – relates to Exodus 1:8-2:10
- “Rosa” – relates to Romans 12:1-8
- “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom” – relates to Exodus 3:1-15