Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

February 2019

Greetings from Calvary's Children and Youth Ministries! You are receiving this e-newsletter from Calvary Episcopal Church's Children and Youth Ministries because you signed up for it at the Village of Williamsville's Holiday in the Village & Stocking Stuffer event. 
I hope your Christmas season was blessed with joyful family celebrations and God's love.  

Thanks again to Deacon Mona, Pat Zebrowski, Ellie Yuhasz, Margo Davis, all our young readers and actors, and the teachers and parents who helped to make our Children's Christmas Pageant a great success! We were so sorry about Deacon Mona's illness, but through good leadership, hard work, and cooperation, we pulled off Calvary's first Children's Pageant in many years.

Thanks to Carl and Pat Zebrowski and their kitchen crew for the delicious Pancake Breakfast during Epiphany Sunday. What a feast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls!  

Many thanks to everyone who donated goods for Foster Love Closet and to those who braved the wintery cold to attend our joint MLK Day of Service with Congregation Shir Shalom. Since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coincided with Tu B'Shevat (Jewish Arbor Day), we celebrated with a Seder meal and a beautiful prayer service created by Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein commemorating both feasts. After listening to an interesting environmental presentation by youths in the Environmental Children's Organization (ECO), we assembled care packages for foster families served by Foster Love Closet.

Finally, thanks to all who participated in our recent last Sunday of the month Children's Service. How pleased God must be to see our young people share their talents and play an active part in our worship service! I hope that your children are discovering a sense of belonging and empowerment within our faith community.

February looks to be another eventful but hopefully less hectic month for families at Calvary....
Emily Sityar
Calvary Sunday School Coordinator and CYM Co-Chair

Love and Caring

In February what holiday comes to mind? Valentine's Day! This holiday is filled with hearts, candy, cards, love and so much more. This holiday can create great satisfaction by celebrating love you have between you, your spouse, and your friends and family. For others it can cause feelings of loneliness. We all may celebrate it differently, but one common theme we can most likely agree upon is love and caring.

St. Valentine, an actual patron saint of love, was a priest in Rome in the 200's. The ruler at that time, Claudius made a rule that people couldn't get married because he wanted young men to fight in wars. He thought if young men got married and had families they would not want to go off and fight. St. Valentine married many couples. His actions were discovered and he was put to death. He was just one of the many saints named Valentine.

In our confusing world today it may be hard trying to teach our children about the beauty and gift of marriage, but we can teach our children how to love and care for one another. Last year in Sunday school the children and adults made valentines for some of our church members. God's love is always around us and what better time to share it than Valentine's Day.

God has unconditional and indescribable love for us. No matter your age or stage in life, Valentine's Day can be celebrated because of God's great love. In February let's celebrate God's love and caring for one another! "We Love each other because He first loved us." John 4:19. "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" John 4:8.

February is a month that is associated with love and caring. It should be an excellent reminder that we should love and care throughout the months of the year, not just in February.
Natalie Bottomley
Primary class teacher

Nursery Assistant &  Sunday School Volunteers Needed

Please spread the word that Calvary is seeking to hire a Nursery Assistant to work from 8:45 am to 11 am on Sundays (9:45 am to 11 am Sundays during July and August) and at other church events. We need adequate staff coverage in order to provide a safe and caring environment for our youngest parishioners. Applicants should be at least 18 years old and will be required to undergo a background check and safe church training. Please contact the office or Fr. Harvey if you wish to apply or have suggestions for recruiting applicants.  
Our Sunday School also needs volunteers to serve as Sunday School Teachers, or Teaching Assistants and Substitutes. 
All staff and volunteers must have Safe Church Training. To sign up for online Safe Church classes, please email Elisabeth Brauza-Hughes at or contact Emily Sityar at

Valentine Prayer

St. Valentine's Day reminds us that all love is a reflection of God's love. 

God of love, you give us St. Valentine as an example of love. As we gather to celebrate the feast of this loving and caring saint we ask you to bless our friendships. May the love and affection we share with each other, always come from a sense of care and respect. May we always follow the example of your Son, Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

- adapted from


Children's Chapel
Pat Zebrowski 
Music is an important element for worship in the church. We continue to be blessed with the piano playing of Ms. Carol Mayo.

I will attempt to show our youth the art of ringing hand bells. I think they will enjoy trying the bells. In addition we will learn other verses to the song "Rise and Shine" which tells the story of Noah and his Ark.

Father Robert and Deacon Mona will continue to give devotional messages regarding the lessons of the day.

On March 3rd we will be having Pretzel Sunday.

We look forward to seeing you in Chapel!

-Pat Zebrowski
Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey
Madeline Fleming, assistant

The nursery has been active the last few months.  In November we made Thanksgiving pine cone turkeys and for Christmas, we created Christmas tree-shaped ornaments. We are planning more craft projects for February and March.  The children have had fun tossing bean bags from the "fort" to either Maddie or me and playing with all the toys. Maddie and I are looking forward to having the nursery grow with more babies from the congregation...don't forget we are able to support ages 6 weeks to 3-4 years old. We also are in need of a third person (aged 18 and up) to work in the nursery to ensure that we always have two people in case someone is not able to be there - Safe Church would be required.

Come down to the nursery to see what it is all about and to volunteer to help with these wonderful little children.
-Kelly Blackey and Maddie Fleming  
Beginners Class (Pre-K, K & 1)
Dr. Sarah English
Assistant: Andria McCarthy

Greetings from the beginner class! 

-Sarah English and Andria McCarthy
Primary Class (Grades 1-3)
Cinda Stone, Natalie Bottomley & Wes Stone 

Warm winter greetings to the Primary class students and families.

I'm calling February the month of Luke. All of our lessons are from the book of Luke. The theme is Jesus The Teacher.
We will learn about the day Jesus returned to the town he grew up in and was asked to read the scripture in his synagogue. As he read he said that he was chosen by God to tell the good news. The people were skeptical. They thought of him as a carpenter, the son of Joseph. They turned on him and chased him out.
We will talk about this and try to decide if Jesus was a carpenter or Rabbi.
Our next lesson is an Invitation to Follow. This is a favorite story of mine. We will imagine that we are fishermen out in our boats all night long casting nets and coming up empty. As soon as Jesus gets involved something wonderful happens. Let's find out why Jesus' fishermen friends leave everything, including their boats, to go out into the world to become "fishers of men, women, boys and girls."  And what does that mean?
The following week we learn about Love. Jesus tells us that God and Jesus love us in good times and bad. God's love is always with you and God will always love you.
On the last Sunday of the month we won't meet in our classroom because it's the family service. Be sure to check out the sign up sheet and sign up to be a Reader, an Usher, or Oblation Bearer. Everyone loves to see our Calvary Kids helping out during the service.
Stay warm and enjoy all the snow!
-Cinda Stone,  Natalie Bottomley, and  Wes Stone
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Sue Schroeder, Patty Rooss & Carl Zebrowski 

The intermediate class will explore God's truth and the power and freedom of  truthfulness. We will take a closer look at what it was like for the disciples when Jesus called them and also what Jesus regarded as hard times and ways to cope.

-Sue Schroeder and Patty Rooss with Carl Zebrowski

  For Older Youths

Instead of a traditional Sunday School class this year, those in grades 7 and up are encouraged to participate in the life of Calvary in various ways.  
They are welcome to join us at Children's Chapel and, with appropriate Safe Church training, they can assist in the Nursery, Sunday School, or any of our CYM Special Events. Other opportunities would be to serve as an acolyte, join the Middle School Youth Group, or participate in the hand bell group. High School students needing community service hours can find plenty of opportunities within Calvary's various ministries and events.  
We know how busy you may be with school, sports, scouting, jobs, etc, but please remember that you are always welcome and needed here at Calvary.  

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

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 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. 
It's possible that being an acolyte could count for community service. If you and your parents would like to learn more, please contact Doug Sandburg II at


CYM Calendar & Parish Events

To view the CYM Google Calendar, click here.

Parent volunteers are needed throughout the year to help supervise the children & youth during our special events at Sunday School. Please sign up on the sign up sheet in the Sunday School Hallway.

Feb 3
Bishop's Visitation & Confirmation  

Bishop Franklin will make his last visitation to Calvary and will confirm and receive parishioners. Confirmation youth candidates include Brooke Bommer, Olivia Fleming, Mason Howell, Daniel Mogavero, and Heather Wingerter. Congratulations on affirming your faith! Please join us for a potluck reception following the 10 am service.

Feb 10
Scout Sunday  

On Sunday February 10, Calvary will celebrate Scout Sunday. All scouts and scout leaders are invited to wear their uniforms to church and receive a blessing from  Fr. Robert for their service.

Feb 10
Middle School
Youth Group Event
On Sunday February 10, 
Calvary and St. Paul's Youth Groups will gather for board games and cards. Please let Deacon Mona know you are interested.
The Youth Group meets after church on the second Sunday of the month.   

Feb 17
CYM Meeting
At 11:15 am, CYM members and anyone interested in joining CYM are invited to come to our general meeting.

Feb 17
At the 10 am service on February 17, Myles Harvey will receive the sacrament of Baptism. Myles is the son of parishioners Elizabeth and Colby Harvey. 

February 24
Children's Service
Please sign up to participate as readers, oblation bearers, and usher helpers.

March 3
Pretzel Sunday
At 9:15 am, all Sunday School classes will gather at Hughson Hall to have Children's Chapel and bake and eat pretzels in preparation for Lent.

March 23, Noon - 3pm 
Community Service Project with 
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper
As part of our Lenten Focus on the Environment, we will assemble supply boxes for Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper's Spring Shoreline Sweep.

  Aid for California Wildfires

Last month, CYM donated $500 to ERD's US Disaster Fund to help long-term recovery efforts for those affected by the California wildfires. The $500 came from CYM's Bottle & Can Drive, CYM's December 16 Coffee Hour collection, and the Sunday School children's offertory collection.

  Bottle and Can Drive

Thanks to everyone at Calvary who have been donating their bottles and cans to CYM's drive.  

Calvary has accounts in two bottle redemption places: The Integrity Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 2790 Sheridan Dr. and the Millersport Recycling Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 803 Millersport Highway. You can bring your bottles and cans directly to either place and ask them to credit your returns to "Calvary Episcopal Church." Or simply leave your bottles and cans in the bins by Calvary's parking lot entrance. Please make sure the bottles or cans are labeled "NY 5ยข Deposit."
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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To view the CYM Calendar,   click here.