June 6, 2017 
Calvary Children's & Youth Ministries Newsletter
Children's & Youth Ministries Newsletter

June brings such bittersweet joy. We are excited to see our children reach a new milestone as another school year ends and we look toward the future with them.  As they take exams and  prepare for final performances and competitions, that future seems more open than at any other time of year. Looking forward to summer's pause, we glimpse the different possibilities that lie ahead, and we rejoice in the choices that they offer. These are also reminders that at each step we must let go, and allow each of our children to grow in their own unique way and at their own pace.
This June brings me, personally, bittersweet joy, as I prepare to leave Calvary on June 30th. My time at Calvary has been very meaningful, and I have especially enjoyed my ministry with CYM. I have learned myself from listening to the quiet passion of your teachers, to the joyous singing of our children and youth, and to the loving enthusiasm of our parents. I have been very moved by the faith and growth of our Confirmation students, and by their deep shared sense of Calvary being "home." I shall always remember you, with gratitude and-yes-with joy.

We honor the following young people and young adults who are graduating from high school and college this year. 

High School
Gabrielle Banach - Williamsville South - Daemon College
Ethan Bommer - Williamsville South - SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Alexandra Burch - Williamsville South - Charlotte NC
Lydia Miller - Williamsville South - George Washington University
Tirzah Peters - Sweet Home High School - Daemon College
Sydney Riedel - Clarence High School - Michigan State
Matthew Waack - Williamsville South - SUNY Oswego
Katie Dao - Cornell University
Patrick Donathen - Allegheny College
Eric Fiegel - Cornell University
Jenna Guadagna - Buffalo State College
Geoffrey Hobika - Canisius College
Conor Maxwell - Middlebury College
Evan Merrill - SUNY Polytechnic - Utica
Jeffrey Munschauer - Hobart & William Smith
Sara Sanderson - Loyola College of Baltimore
Lord God, Creator of the universe, we ask that you guide all those who graduate in this season, and let your purposes be known to them. Bless their lives from this day on with goodness and courage. Inspire them to stay true to their dreams, to use their gifts wisely, and to walk into the future with faith, hope, and compassion. Amen.

We have raised funds to purchase the share in a well!  Our children's weekly offerings, contributions from recycling, and other donations have made it possible for us to reach our goal of purchasing the share in a well through Episcopal Relief and Development.

CYM Parent Board
The CYM Parent Board and Sunday School teachers met for the first time on Sunday, June 4th. We had three areas for discussion:
  • To build community among the children, youth and families
  • To enhance communication between teachers and families
  • To prepare a strong partnership for your new Rector
The Board set three priorities for the coming year:
  • To organize some events to take place away from church so that children and families can get to know each other better
  • To initiate new apps and more Facebook postings
  • To increase participation in community outreach programs
To these ends, the Board formed four sub-committees:
  • Electronic Communication: Sarah English, Christine and Brian Donaghy, Laura Lohnes
  • CYM E-Newsletter editing and coordination with Alice Brown - Janis Bommer & Emily Sityar
  • Liaison with Diocesan Youth Ministries - Kelly Sandburg
  • Liaison with the Outreach Committee - Laura Lohnes & Emily Sityar
Emily Sityar will be the Administrative Liaison with Alice Brown and Diane Sprague, coordinating class lists and registration, class schedules, and budget management. In the short term, Emily will work with the new Rector to plan and lead meetings with the teachers and the CYM Board.

End of the Program Year
On June 4th about 25 children joined in an indoor Pentecost Picnic with breakfast pizza and a host of games. Hughson Hall rang with cheers and laughter as our children and youth competed with each other and shared in fun and fellowship. After the picnic, they joined the service in church with a recognition of our graduates and singing the songs they have learned in Sunday School.

On June 11th, the last day of the program year, our children will meet the teachers they will have next year. After the 10 am service we will have a pot-luck luncheon to celebrate our Sunday school teachers, our choir, and Mother Judith's ministry with us. Please plan to stay. 

We will welcome Ava Giglia in Holy Baptism on Saturday, June 10 at 4 pm. Please join us in prayers and celebration for our newest member!

Nursery (infant - 3 years) 

The Nursery 

Kelly Blackey and Kiernan Hayward
Beginners Class (Pre-K & K)  - June Message 

Dr. Sarah English
Primary Class (Grades 1-3) - June Message

The Primary Class had a wonderful year of listening to Bible stories, discovering how the people lived in those times and had fun creating crafts to help them remember the stories. Our class also learned how to find the different books in the Bible.

As we flip the calendar to June, we only have two more classes. On June 4th we celebrated Pentecost with our annual Sunday School picnic. This is also the day we celebrate the birth of the Christian Church. We played fun games and enjoyed delicious food! We wore wear RED for Pentecost. June 11th is our last class and moving up day. This is always bittersweet for me as a teacher. I have to let my third graders go on to the Intermediate class. They are more than ready, but I will miss them. With one group moving on, I look forward to getting to know next year's first graders. They will get a chance to meet the students that will continue in the Primary class next fall.

Thank you to all our students for coming to class this year. It's more fun when we have a nice gathering each Sunday. Wishing you all awesome adventures this summer. Be safe and I'll see you in September. 
Cinda and Wes Stone

Intermediate (Grades 4-6) - June  Message

Since next year will probably be my last year of teaching Sunday School, memories of this year's class will be particularly significant and meaningful.

I want to thank every student who attended class, even if you were not able to participate regularly. I am grateful for your cooperation, attentiveness, participation and willingness to treat each other with respect.

Our goal was to learn as much as we could about the nature of God, about the life, teachings, and ministry of Jesus Christ, and about the role and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Holy Bible is our main source for finding out about God's Magnificent Salvation Plan for each one of us. I pray that every student will continue to develop a strong faith and trust in our Lord.

I have observed the growth and development of so many Christ-like qualities in Adam, Patrick, Dylan, Natalie, Owen, Liv and Megan. I am glad that Heather, Alex, Callista, Mason, and Jack came to a few classes as well.

Because of you, I can better understand and appreciate what Jesus meant when He said, "Unless you become as little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God." Thanks for everything! 

Mr. Mayer

Junior High Youth (Grades 7-9) - June Message

Reflections on Sunday School 2016-2017

Under Mother Judith's guidance, we returned to a weekly Children's Chapel format, adding rituals and encouraging participation by assigning jobs, opening with a prayer, singing hymns, and reciting the 5-finger prayer. The highlight of this year's Children's Chapel was Dr. English's awesome presentation on her Peace Corps experience at the Gambia. Special events such as the Advent Celebration, Pancake Breakfast, Pretzel Sunday, and Palm Cross Sunday continued to be popular. For me, the most memorable event was the joint MLK Service Project with the Jewish Religious School at Congregation Shir Shalom, where we filled backpacks with donated school supplies for students of refugee families. 

My strongest recollections of Junior Youth class include carving pumpkins and decorating treats for the CYM-sponsored Halloween Coffee Hour. Thinking back on our class Jeopardy games, I am struck by how the youths displayed good sportsmanship-they were generally cheerful and supportive. Two of our most memorable class discussions stemmed from how to rate certain scenarios as violations of the ten commandments and whether to tolerate the free speech of others, even those whose views are offensive to us. But the topic that evoked the loudest degree of excitement this year was something completely incidental to the lesson of the day: zombie apocalypse! 
Emily  Sityar

Special Events - June Message

Carl and I have really enjoyed organizing and presenting the special events for CYM. The children always seem to enjoy the events from the CYM Breakfast to the Last Supper.

Pretzel Sunday is always a big hit where the children can get their hands into pretzel dough. What a joy to see them consuming the products of their hard work. We have fun making Palm Crosses along with the other events handled on that morning by our dedicated teaching staff. We are hoping for another year of special events. God Willing we are hoping to revise our Bonfire at the Zebrowski residence in the fall. We are working on plans for a couple of other events. Please enjoy a safe and joyful summer 2017. 
Pat and Carl Zebrowski

Looking Ahead

We are very pleased that our teachers will be returning to teach next year, and you will have a chance to talk with them on June 11th. We will also have a team of volunteer assisting teachers to help: Andria McCarthy (Beginners), Natalie Bottomley (Primary), Jim Marshall & Jim Greno (Children's Chapel and rotations); Samantha Banach & Haleigh Suffoletta (nursery & special events); Ellie Yuhasz will lead the Children's Chapel next year. Click here for the list of children who are eligible to change classes next year.


Click here for the 2017-2018 Calendar and Unit Topics.


I will go to the altar of God / To the God of my joy and gladness.

We welcome you to this ministry if you are in 4th grade or higher after our summer recess. Acolytes actively assist the clergy in leading the worship of God. Acolytes often find their service is not only fun, but also spiritually fulfilling. They learn to serve with dignity, humility, and care, always with love of Christ. We work with your schedule: it's not an "every Sunday" commitment, and you will get training and practice so that you will feel comfortable at the altar. 

Our regular schedule will resume September 10.  If you and your parents would like to learn more please contact Doug Sandburg II at: dougks@inbox.com

They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; everything they do shall prosper. [Psalm 1:3]
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