Due to concerns about COVID-19/Coronavirus, all in-person Christian Education programs are cancelled until further notice. But join us online for learning, thoughtful fun, and wonder!
Check the Events Calendar and posts on our home page for links, follow us on Facebook, sign up for emails, or contact our office to learn more about at-home learning options for children and youth. Fresh Bible and lectionary-based activities are offered each week! Online learning and activities are presented weekly for our Godly Play children (preK – grade 4), and for our youth – “Weaving God’s Promises” (grades 5 and older).
To download and print the Christian Education Registration Form for our programs (open all year), click here: REGISTRATION FORM FOR 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR
When St James is open for in-person worship, here is what we offer (and we’ll offer again, once it’s safe!):
8:00 am – Rite 1 spoken service, formal language – a quiet service
9:45 am – preK-4th grade: gather for Godly Play in downstairs classrooms; children come upstairs to join in worship at Eucharist.
10:00 am – Rite II sung service, contemporary language – hymns, organ, choir
Children are welcome at every service at St James! There’s a rocker and blanket, and space to play. You’ll find toys, books, coloring, and activities for small hands to use while they absorb the sounds and motions of church.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 3:30-4:15 pm – Cherub Chapel meets in Parish Hall (see below for more info)
1st and 3rd Friday eves, 6:30-7:45pm – Youth Class, 5th-9th grade: meet for Weaving God’s Promises
Sunday morning Christian Education programs (September-May)
PreK-4th Grade: Godly Play. “I wonder. . .” Led by certified Godly Play teachers, children meet on Sundays at 9:45 in beautifully appointed classrooms. Based on Montessori principles, children creatively and imaginatively explore their faith through the stories and parables of the Bible. They build a lifelong relationship with religious language and enhance their spiritual experience though wonder and play. Children are welcome to join at any time. (Learn more at godlyplayfoundation.org.)
5th-9th Grade: Weaving God’s Promises & more! God’s promises of Salvation are woven into our lives. On the first and third Fridays of each month, youth gather from 6:30-7:45pm, to share and learn by exploring the Bible, Episcopal tradition, and everyday challenges. We start with this specially prepared curriculum, focusing on God’s unconditional love for us, and our call to love our neighbors as ourselves, as people of God. Youth are encouraged to REACT: Reflect/Relate, Express/Engage, Ask/Answer, Conceptualize/Create, Translate/Tell. Youth can join at any time; friends are always welcome. (Learn more at weavinggodspromises.org.)
Youth Group: Middle School and High Schoolers (year-round)
Our teachers, Rector, and volunteers (all of whom have Safe Church training, and many of whom are certified in CPR and first aid) lead a variety of activities for fun and fellowship, service and learning. Most events are for the entire age group; some events are unique to either middle schoolers or high schoolers (such as special retreats to the Barbara C. Harris Camp). Friends are always welcome.
St James hosts game and movie nights, scavenger hunts, lock-ins, and more – and social excursions to off-site events, including bowling, ice skating, escape rooms, “Maudslay is Haunted” and more.
Special events and activities are offered during Christmas and Holy Week, to engage and encourage youth in the understanding of these pivotal times in our church year. Altar party training, workshops addressing current concerns, and other learning opportunities are also offered throughout the year.
This group also participates in Mission Work throughout the year, including local programs as well as trips to NYC and Washington, DC. We aim to love our neighbors as ourselves, as God loves us.
Youth Service Opportunities (Sundays and other days)
Helping hands, open minds, and warm hearts are always needed and appreciated throughout the year – youth participation is encouraged in most every aspect of church life. Training is always provided for all activities, so youth can serve with grace, dignity, confidence – and enthusiasm! St James offers Family Services several times a year, in addition to these service opportunities:
5th grade and older: Youth are welcome and encouraged to serve at our Sunday morning services as readers, intercessors, and acolytes. They process with the cross, torches, flag, and banner as appropriate to the service; they light and put out the altar candles, and help in many ways throughout the service. Training is provided: we encourage, support, and are grateful for them!
7th grade and older: In addition to the above, youth are invited to serve as Chalice Bearers. Other ways for involvement and service include Altar Guild and our Audio/Visual support program. Youth are invited to brainstorm other opportunities to act as the hands and feet of Jesus in the world!
Special Offerings for Children and Youth
Cherub Chapel – Little ones and their caregivers gather as they are able on 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 3:30-4:15pm (September to the end of May). Come to any session, at your convenience – no registration or church membership needed, and friends are always welcome! This 45-minute program offers child-centered, easy-going, informal worship using songs, games, movement, and other activities – and it’s
an opportunity for caregivers to receive encouragement and socialize, too. Drop by and play!
Christmas Pageant – at our 4pm Christmas Eve Family Service, our memorable and heartwarming annual pageant features younger students as characters and our youth as narrators. Church membership is not required; all children are invited! Let us know if your child would like to participate.
Summer Fun Mornings (for K-4th grade) – six mornings of earth-friendly fun in the early summer, this 3-day/2-week program offers music, prayers, movement, crafts, and more. Sign up in advance, for a nominal fee, for this creative camp: “This Fragile Earth, Our Island Home” – play and learn about God’s gifts of stars and planets, animals, plants, the sea. . . and more!
Baptism – Holy Baptism is the Sacrament by which one becomes a Christian, an event of importance and celebration both for the individual and the whole church. St James celebrates Holy Baptism in the context of community worship. Those seeking baptism for their child must be members of St James, and attend a preparatory class. We welcome you!
Confirmation – This sacrament is usually offered every other year to our high school-age and older students. The Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer defines confirmation as the sacramental rite in which the candidates “express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” Those who were baptized at an early age are expected to make a mature public affirmation of their faith, recommit themselves to the responsibilities of their baptism, and receive laying on of hands by a bishop. Preparatory classes are taught by our clergy and laity; sometimes we collaborate with other Episcopal Churches. This commitment is warmly celebrated by our St James community.
Contact St James for more information,
or to reserve a time to talk with Fr John Satula:
parish office: 978-388-0030
parish e-mail: email@example.com
Children and Youth Program Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us on Facebook – and click here to sign up for emails!