Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

March 2018

Teacher Remarks

I'm on airplanes a lot. Airplanes scare me. They scare me, I think, because I have no control over them. I have to be on airplanes for work and so I try not to let them bother me. Sometimes I am more successful than other times.

I'm on an airplane this morning headed to NYC. It is a cloudy day in Buffalo and the ceiling is low. As we take off, I take a deep breath and will myself to trust the pilots and the mechanics and the flight attendant. Trust that they have all done their jobs just well enough to get me to NYC this morning without incident.

We took off into the clouds. The plane was surrounded by grey. It was the grey that the plane was able to slip through without bumping. The lack of bump gave me relief. It also gave me a moment to think about the pilots. I assume that they could only see the grey clouds too. Their vision of the sky was obscured like mine. They must now be trusting the tower and their instruments and their preparation and experience. Trusting that on top of the clouds is smooth air without another airplane in the way and a path to LaGuardia so that the 70 some people on board can get on with their days.

Lent is about reflection. Lent is about preparation. Lent is about trust. Am I really ready to acknowledge that God sent His son to die for me? Acknowledge that Jesus will be resurrected to give me further proof of his love? Can I trust in that without any control over it? Can I trust in that without the empirical evidence I demand in all other aspects of my life?

God loves me. I've been told that since way back in Sunday School. Some days the evidence of that is all encompassing. Some days, in spite of the evidence to the contrary, I don't believe it. Some days, I can't bring myself to trust. Some days I feel the need to attempt to wrestle control from God. I think this Lenten Season is here for me to surrender that match and to get off the mat. Give up because I am not in charge. The resurrection is yet another example of that simple but complicated fact.

The plane slipped through the top of the clouds and I was greeted by the orange and reds of crisp winter's day sunrise. It was partially obscured by the angle of my little window but that only added to the beauty. Again, I thought of my pilots. They had a more complete view. They were again able to trust what they could see and did not have to rely exclusively on the knobs and dials and radios that were in front of them in the cockpit. I however, still had to trust in them.

I don't have the view that God has. My view is always obscured from back in coach. But I have to trust that Jesus came for me and died for me and has risen for me. Just as I can trust that my plane will make it to NYC and I can get on with my day. I have no control over either of those set of facts.

-Brian Donaghy

March 2018 CYM Events

Saturday March 10,  9 am -  3 pm
Confirmation Class Fr. Robert will lead class for those who wish to be confirmed. You must be baptized and in grade 8 or older. Please see Fr. Robert if you are interested.

Sunday March 11, 11:30 am
CYM meeting in the Conference Room.

Sunday March 18
Palm Crosses and Crafts We will have Children's Chapel as usual, then move to the various classrooms to make palm crosses and other crafts.

Sunday March 25
Palm Sunday  After Children's Chapel, the Sunday School children will join the palm procession into the 10 am service, then go to their regular Sunday School classes.

Friday, March 30
Window Painting We will be painting Easter scenes in the Sunday School hallway windows. Contact Emily Sityar if you are interested in participating.

Sunday, April 1
Easter Sunday No Children's Chapel or Sunday School

Please keep bringing in your NY 5ยข refundable bottles and cans. We plan to connect our drive to an Earth Day Celebration in April as well as use it as a fundraising source for our outreach. In spring, we may organize a Saturday field trip to the recycling center.

Plans for Youth Ministry

A collaborative youth ministry with St. Paul's Harris Hill is beginning to take shape. It will target children from ages 10 to 14 years. Deacon Mona Gaddis will be coordinating this effort.

Fifth through eighth graders - Please save the date: June 10, 2018!

Family Lenten Practices

Traditional guidelines for Lent tell us to make it a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Here are suggestions for you to do individually or as a family. The purpose for our spiritual reflection, self denial, and generosity is to put God and service to Him first, so that we can draw closer to Him and His love.
  • If you haven't already, consider starting  the practice of saying grace at mealtimes or counting blessings before bedtime. 
  • Encourage children to sing along with the hymns at church. 
  • Take a scenic drive or hike to experience God's presence in nature. 
  • Sunday School children have also learned The Lord's Prayer and the The Five-Finger Prayer, prayer (pray for those closest to us, those who point us in the right direction, those who lead us, those who are weak, ourselves)
  • Sweets
  • Hitting the extra "snooze" button of a morning alarm
  • Extended screen time on TVs or electronic devices
  • Swear words or teasing sarcasm
  • Turn in your refundable bottles and cans to CYM's bottle drive.
  • Donate used books to the AAUW drive in Calvary's basement. 
  • Donate clothing to the large bins by the entrance to the Sunday School hallway. 
  • Give group hugs.
  • Open doors for others.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Send a card to a friend, teacher, or relative.
  • Donate some food to a food pantry.

A Lenten Prayer

Teach me a new freedom.
Freedom to reject comparison
And to embrace uniqueness.
Freedom to cut ties with greed
And feast on love.
Freedom to abstain from over indulgence
And feast on self-control.
Freedom to leave behind selfish thoughts
And to focus on the needs of others.
Freedom to fend off insecurity
And to embrace grace.
Lord, at this time of Lent,
Thank you for the freedom you bring.


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


Acolytes actively assist the clergy in leading the worship of God. Acolytes often find their service not only fun, but also spiritually fulfilling. They learn to serve with dignity, humility, and care, always with the love of Christ. We welcome you to this ministry if you are in 4th grade or higher. 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.

If you and your parents would like to learn more, please contact Doug Sandburg II


Children's Chapel
Ellie Yuhasz and Carol Mayo

We are delighted to welcome Deacon Mona Gaddis to our Children's Chapel. 

The Sunday School children received wonderful thank-you cards and yummy treats from parishioners who appreciated the Valentine cards the children made during Pretzel Sunday. 

For the month of March, we will continue to learn the parable song, "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man."
Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey

The Nursery is available from 9:45 - 11:30 a.m.
Beginners Class (Pre-K & K)
Dr. Sarah English
Assistant: Andria McCarthy

Greetings from the beginner class! During the last few weeks, our class has been exploring the parables of Jesus such as the story of the lost sheep and the good shepherd. Sheep and lambs have been very important in our group! Now we are moving from the theme of Jesus Storyteller to the idea of the Sacred Meal. We will be talking about the importance of having a meal together and the last supper. We are looking forward to continuing our learning and having a wonderful time together!

-Dr. Sarah English
Primary Class (Grades 1-3)
Cinda & Wes Stone and Natalie Bottomley
Class Parents: Brian & Christina Donaghy

In March the Primary class will continue our lessons about the way we celebrate the Holy Eucharist here at Calvary.
We are learning about all the elements of the service and why we do what we do. The traditions and prayers.
On March 11th as we start to prepare for Holy Week coming up, we learn about Passover in Jesus' time. How and why they celebrated the holiday. We then move on to the events that lead to the betrayal of Jesus and his crucifixion. I imagine our discussions will be very lively as to why God would let that happen the way it did.
The CYM will also have our annual Palm Cross Making Day on March 18th. This is group event with all the Sunday school classes. There is a lesson, crafts and we make crosses out of palms that will be handed out to the congregation on Palm Sunday.
We will not have class on Easter Sunday so we can celebrate Easter with our families.
I'm so very happy with the attendance in our class the past month. I love seeing all those smiling faces each week. 
-Cinda Stone
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Mr. George Mayer & Mr. Brian Donaghy

During the month of March, we will be studying and thinking about the parables of Jesus.

Parables open a new window into the heart of our great God, revealing the full splendor of His glory and
grace. We have the privilege of hearing Jesus speak through the ageless parables and learning eternal truths about our Savior, and, the parables teach us indispensable truth about ourselves. But, unlike the man-centered age in which we live, they do not permit us to fix our eyes upon ourselves. The parables call us to know our God, to enjoy and obey Him. Over and over, we meet a God whose love is unending, whose forgiveness is unfailing, whose power is transforming, whose ear is attentive, whose reward in unmerited, and whose Home is open to all who trust Him.

Have these parables deepened your delight in the Lord of parables? The stories are wonderful; the storyteller infinitely more so. Our world threatens to drown us in information, meanwhile, our souls thirst for wisdom. Our deepest need is a recognition of the grandeur of God in His grace and greatness. In the God-centered world of the parables, we see life as we should.

May God in his grace give us a delight in his person, a passion for his glory, and a confidence in his love. (We worship and adore you, most Precious and Beloved Triune God - Forever!)

-Mr. George Mayer 
Junior Youth
Christina McCormick 
Assistant: Jim Greno 

This month we will be continuing with the Parable lessons. There are still some Parable lessons left so we will continue with those for a few weeks. The Parable lessons are an interesting topic and students will be able to bring modern day examples into the lessons. I have some season oriented crafts that we will be doing, along with students working in the Episcopal Church Coloring Book. I encourage all students to come on Sundays. The lesson topics are interesting and you can enjoy age appropriate crafts as well. Come learn and have fun! 

-Christina McCormick

From the Diocese

Visit the diocesan website at
April 20-21
Journeys at St. Luke's, Jamestown
The next Journeys Event for our Jr. High youth will be Friday April 20 - Saturday April 21 (7 pm to 3 pm) at St. Luke's in Jamestown. Journeys underlying premise is that we are all on a spiritual journey and that in all journeys there are choices, bumps, smooth passages, dead ends, and unexpected surprises. Throughout the weekend, the youth will be able to explore various ways in which they might be able to "Find God". The adult leaders and high school age youth will share something that they do that brings them closer to God.

To register a 6 th to 8 th grader for the event, please print the  Journeys Registration Form and send with payment to the Diocesan Ministry Center. Contact Wendy Schumacher at  with questions.
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]

In This Issue
Quick Reminders
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