Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter
April 2021
Reflection of the Month

How would it feel if someone you knew died, but, when you visited his grave, it was empty?

The women who went to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning did not find Jesus there. If that wasn’t surprise enough, an angel asked why they would come looking for a living person in a place for the dead?

And what if the friend who was not in his grave showed up alive and began talking to you?

That’s what happened to Jesus’ friends and disciples. He walked with them and shared important bits he wanted them to know from the Bible. He ate solid food. Then they realized He was Jesus. They were so glad. They knew He was the Son of God and that everything he had said about Himself was true. He was fully alive and did not stay dead.

Instead of running away to hide or grieving the loss of their best friend Jesus, they could celebrate. They did. And we do today. We have traditions in America enjoyed for many years, often coming to us from other countries. They help us focus on Easter.

Have you tasted a Hot Cross Bun? It is a sweet roll studded with raisins or currants and marked with a cross on top to remind us of Jesus’ cross. The buns are baked before Easter. They are popular in Great Britain. It is said a monk in the 12th century was the first to bake buns marked with a cross for a meal on Good Friday.

Have you ever seen an Easter Sunrise Service? Young men in Saxony, Germany held the first one in order to remember the empty tomb that greeted Mary at dawn that first Easter morning. Their entire church congregation came the next year. Sunrise Services started at the same time in America, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We have had them ever since.

Do you dye eggs for Easter? Pennsylvania Dutch settlers in the early 1700’s were the first to dye eggs here we're told. Early Christians considered eggs “the seed of life”. That's why they were and continue to be a reminder of the resurrection of Jesus. In ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Persia, eggs were dyed for spring festivals. In medieval Europe, they were decorated as gifts.

Egg rolling down hills, Easter morning, is a game connected to rolling away the rock from Jesus’ tomb when he rose from death. The British brought this custom to America. Egg knocking, when two persons tap the pointed ends of their eggs against each other to see which one cracks and which one “survives”, is a game started in medieval Europe. Families in Marksville, Louisiana gather at the Courthouse Square on Easter Sunday to battle their eggs. Some families prepare in advance by giving their chickens special feed in hopes of producing stronger eggs!

There are other traditions you may know about and can share with others to help them celebrate Easter. 
However, people who have no idea what is so great about Easter, friends you know in Buffalo, might like to hear you explain its importance by comparing it and the way we prepare for it, to a football season.

Lent, for instance, is like a football season. Enthusiasm for football causes us to plan ahead, buy tickets, and organize parties. We have been waiting all year to get together with other friends who are fans and celebrate with them on weekends. 

If Sundays during Lent are regular game days, Easter is the Super Bowl. Easter is the celebration of Jesus defeating death and rising from the grave. It’s the big event and we come in celebrating because we know our team wins. Go ahead. Say it.

-Susan Schroeder
In This Issue

Upcoming Events in April
March Zoom Sunday School
Planning for CYM in the Fall
Church-in-the-Park & Picnic
Holy Week Resources
Planting in Church Courtyard
Calvary Vestry Questions
CYM Bottle & Can Drive
Upcoming Events in April

  • 4/1 Maundy Thursday service streamed on Calvary's website
  • 4/2 Good Friday Liturgy streamed on Calvary's website; 6 p.m. Intergenerational Stations of the Cross on Zoom.
  • 4/4 Easter Day Eucharist streamed on Calvary's website; in-person services outside at Calvary at 8 and 10 a.m. All COVID protocols will be followed. Pre-registration required. Register here for 8 a.m. Register here for 10 a.m.
  • 4/25 Zoom Sunday School at 10 a.m. on Zoom.
March 28 Zoom Sunday School

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Palm Sunday Zoom Sunday School, especially our candle lighters, prayer leaders, readers, musicians/singers, illustrators, poets, and commenters. Here’s a link to the meeting’s slideshow. We watched the Bible Builders present The Easter Story in Lego and had our Sunday School children tell us about the meaning of Easter and what happened during Holy Week. Fr. Robert’s sermon was about finding opposites in the events of Holy Week. You may watch it here, about 43 minutes into the service. If you have not done so already, remember to pick up your child’s Easter bag at Calvary's lobby link during church office hours, along with palms blessed on Palm Sunday.

Starting in April, Calvary’s worship service will stream at 10 am instead of 9 am, so it will be concurrent with our Sunday School timeslot. Deacon Mona will present the Children’s Sermon during our final two Zoom Sunday School meetings on 4/25 (Good Shepherd Sunday) and 5/23 (Pentecost Sunday). 

The optional homework assignment for our April meeting is based on the Good Shepherd Sunday theme: 
Please answer either or both of the following questions using words and/or pictures. A shepherd takes care of the sheep in every way. How could someone do this for you? How could you do this for someone else (for example, a pet)? 
Planning for Fall 2021 Sunday School

The next CYM General meeting will take place on Zoom in early May to discuss future plans for CYM and Sunday School. 

Bishop Rowe sent a letter on March 19 about the partnership's updated reopening guidelines. The guidelines for Christian formation are as follows:

"Group activities like vacation bible school, mission trips, and other gatherings are to be held online where possible or postponed. We do not anticipate that these activities will be able to take place in 2021. Congregations that choose to return to holding Sunday School and youth group programs in person should refer to the Centers for Disease Control guidance for schools."

If in-person Sunday School does reopen next fall, we will need volunteers to teach the Intermediate Class (Grades 4 to 6), lead Children’s Chapel, serve as CYM co-chair, and be substitutes for teachers, assistants, and/or Children’s Chapel leaders. Many thanks to all the volunteers who have contacted me and recommitted to serving in Sunday School. Thanks especially to Doug Sandburg I who has agreed to serve as the next CYM chair. As of today, if Sunday School can reopen in the fall, the Sunday School team will be as follows:

CYM Chair: Doug Sandburg I
Co-chair of CYM: (position open)
Nursery: Kelly Blackey
Children’s Chapel Music Leaders: Carol Mayo, Lora Bunting 
Children’s Chapel Leader: (1 or 2 positions open)
Beginner’s Class: Natalie Bottomley, Andria McCarthy
Primary Class: Cinda Stone, Wes Stone, Jency John
Intermediate Class: (2 positions open)
Substitutes for teachers, assistants, and/or Children’s Chapel leaders: Sue Schroeder, (several needed)

To help us plan for Sunday School and other CYM events in the fall, please complete the  CYM Fall 2021 survey

Prayer For the Care of Children (from the Book of Common Prayer)
Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of
our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Church-in-the-Park and Picnic

A bit in the future but something to look forward to this coming September assuming we continue to make progress with containing Covid-19. Proposed activity by the Fellowship Committee is to have our September 12 Sunday Service at Island Park followed by a picnic with great activities for all Sunday School students. I have offered to Chair the event and am looking to get support from all our great CYM Families. In short, mark the calendar for a great Sunday activity.

-Doug Sandburg I
Holy Week Resources for Families

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon has a link on its website to Holy Week Practices for Families, a 43-page pdf file of assorted publications by Church Publishing Inc. and Morehouse Publishing. This resource includes suggestions for family observances of Lent (p 5-7, 26-34), Holy Week prayers (p 9-13, 37), children’s activities and coloring sheets (p21-24,36, 42). A recipe for Hot Cross buns appears on p 31-32 of the pdf, and Trinity Cathedral has put out a tutorial video for the recipe.

Photo By Cjorsch - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Planting in Church Courtyard

A CYM Family activity of doing a planting in the Church Court Yard with the purpose of having a memorial for all those we lost to the Covid-19 Epidemic. The type of planting to be determined but probably a flowering shrub. The proposed activities would be doing the planting and then a picnic were each family brought their own food. Will keep you informed by e-mail. 

-Doug Sandburg I
Calvary Vestry Questions
Calvary's Vestry discussed the following questions. Vestry members would love to hear your thoughts as well! Contact Jency John (713-5313)
At Calvary Episcopal Church, Williamsville:
  1. What are we doing well?
  2. What do we do that is distinctive or unique?
  3. How do we welcome and engage the community outside our church?
  4. How are we an asset in our local area?
CYM Bottle & Can Drive

Please continue to bring your redeemable beverage bottles and cans to The Millersport Recycling Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 803 Millersport Highway and credit your refund to "Calvary Episcopal Church."  We plan to donate our next check to Buffalo City Mission.
This Joyous Time of Year

May the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year
bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear.
And may Christ, Our Risen Savior, always be there by your side
to bless you most abundantly and be your loving guide.
— Author Unknown
20 Milton Street, Williamsville, NY 14221