Babies, children, teens, young adults: join us 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 keep up-to-date on our offerings for children and youth.
To download and print the Christian Education Registration Form for our programs (open all year), click here: REGISTRATION FORM FOR SCHOOL YEAR
Here is what we offer:
Children are welcome at every service at St James: in the pews, the classrooms, everywhere! In the sanctuary, there are rockers, pillows, and blankets, and space to play. You’ll find special toys, books, themed coloring pages, and activities for small hands to use in that space, or in the pews, while they absorb the sounds and motions of church.
8:00 am – Rite 1 spoken service, formal language – a quiet service
9:45 am – age 3-3rd grade: Godly Play in downstairs classrooms; after lessons, children come upstairs to join in worship in time for Holy Communion. Join any Sunday, no pre-registration needed.
10:00 am – Rite II sung service, contemporary language – hymns, organ, choir. Babies and children are also welcome in church, any time, in the pews or their play space.
after worship (around 11:30am) – youth in grades 4-8 (give or take!): gather in the Library, off the Parish Hall, for their own classtime: Journey of Exploration!
Sunday morning Christian Education programs (September-May)
Age 3-Grade 3: 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.)
4th-8th Grade (give or take!): Journey of Exploration & more! God’s promises of Salvation are woven into our lives. After the 10am worship service, teens meet to share and learn by exploring the Bible, Episcopal tradition, and everyday challenges. Our lessons focus on God’s unconditional love for us, and our call to love our neighbors as ourselves, as people of God. Youth can join at any time; friends are always welcome.
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
Christmas Pageant – at our 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.
“Faith & Fun” Summer Mornings (all ages) – offered during the 10am worship service in the summer months – June, July, August – children and youth are invited for informal themed sessions that meet for the first part of worship. Everyone joins their families and friends in time for Holy Communion.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Children and Youth Program Coordinator, Linda Davis Siess: email@example.com
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