Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

December 2019 - January 2020

Thanks to all the youth who participated in last month's Children's Service. Well done! There will be no Children's Service on the last Sunday of December, but there will be other chances for children and youth to be involved in worship services during Advent, from lighting Advent candles at the 10 am service to performing in the Children's Christmas Pageant. 

CYM is gearing up for Advent and Christmas, and we hope that you can join us for some fun and festive events. 
  • On December 7, the CYM and the Parents Ministry is hosting a Parents Free Day from noon to 3 pm. Drop off your children to run errands while they eat a snack and watch a movie. 
  • On December 8, Sunday School families are invited to our Advent Crafts Celebration. Cinda Stone has been planning some beautiful crafts for families to make and take home. The children will also be making a present for Bishop Rowe, who will visit us that day. Refreshments will be served. 
  • December 15 is the day of Children's Christmas Pageant, directed by Deacon Mona. Please stay for coffee hour after the Pageant to welcome a special surprise visitor (Ho! Ho! Ho!). 
Below is a list of Calvary events for children and families, so that you can mark your calendars.

At this time of year, opportunities abound from school, sports, scouting, etc. to help others in need. To teach your children even more about the season of giving, please consider some of the Outreach opportunities at Calvary. Take a mitten from the Mitten Tree to buy a book and fleece jacket for a student at School 30. Bring in some toiletries/nonperishable food items for the Family Justice Center (baskets are located by the coat room); donate clothes or blankets to the bins at the entrance to the Sunday School hallway; or bring in some books for  AAUW's Book Sale collection drive in our church basement (collection times are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings 9:30 -11:30 am). Or encourage your child to follow some of the simple suggestions in the Random Acts of Kindness Calendar, which will be given to each family at Children's Chapel.

God bless your families with peace, love, and joy through Advent, Christmas and into the New Year!

Best wishes,
Emily Sityar
CYM Chair

Upcoming Events at Calvary
December 1: Regular Sunday School, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Nursery care available.

December 7: Parents Free Day noon - 3 p.m., Reception Room. Sign up children here.

December 8: Advent Crafts Celebration, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., Sunday School Wing. Nursery care available. Parents, sign up to help!

December 14: Christmas Pageant Rehearsal 9:30 - 11:30 in the sanctuary.

December 15: No Sunday School. Children's Christmas Pageant at the 10 a.m. service. Nursery care available. 

December 22: Regular Sunday School, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Nursery care available.

December 24: Christmas Eve services at 4, 7, 10 p.m. No Nursery care.

December 25: Christmas Service, 10 am. No Nursery care.

December 29: No Sunday School. Nursery care available.

January 20: MLK Day Project TBA


Advent season begins on December 1st. It's a time of preparing, anticipation and      
waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas day.
During this time we have Advent calendars to help us count the days. We also have an Advent Wreath to help us to be more thoughtful and reflect on the birth of Christ.

An Advent wreath is created out of evergreens which represents everlasting life in the midst of winter, darkness and death. The circle is a symbol of God's unending love and eternal life He makes possible. The four candles that are nestled in the evergreens represent Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. A new candle is lit each of the four Sunday's before Christmas. There is a special candle in the middle that is lit on Christmas Day.
In Children's Chapel and in Church we will have an Advent Wreath. On December 1st we will light the first candle, which is the "Hope" candle. Hope and pray for those who have lost all hope.
The second Sunday in Advent is on December 8th. This candle represents Love. Perhaps you could pray for those who feel they are not worthy of love. Pray that they will feel Christ's love surround them.
On the third Sunday in Advent we will light the Joy candle. Let's think about what Mother Teresa said "Joy is prayer-Joy is strength-Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." This candle is pink which signifies Joy.
The fourth Sunday of Advent we light the Peace candle. We can offer prayers of peace to those who do not have peace in their lives.
Christmas Day we all rejoice! The Christ candle is lit.
It's a good day to reflect on this poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson:
Loving God, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the doors of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which
Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May Christmas morning make us happy
to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.
While you are busy preparing your homes with trees and garlands and cookies and treats, remember the true reason we are celebrating Christmas.
Take time to slow down and prepare, by treating people fairly, sharing with others and being kind.
Cinda Stone
Primary Class Teacher


Children's Chapel
Carol Mayo, Lora Bunting and Emily Sityar
We will celebrate Advent by lighting candles on our Advent wreath and praying for the coming birth of Jesus Christ. We will be singing Go Tell It on the Mountain , the chorus only:

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born!

The complete song will be sung by the choir and congregation at the Children's Pageant on December 15. Here is a link to the music

Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey
Olivia Fleming, assistant

We are ready to welcome more children! Nursery doors are open at 8:45 a.m. Livi and I will stay after Sunday School for those kiddos that are too restless to go upstairs. Any parental volunteers are more than welcome to come assist on any Sunday.
Kelly Blackey - Nursery Supervisor/Coordinator
Olivia (Livi) Fleming - Nursery Assistant

Beginners Class (Pre-K & K)
Natalie Bottomley
Assistant: Andria McCarthy

Hello from the Beginner Class!! In December we will continue to discuss Jesus with readings from the children's Bible. 

Don't forget we will be having our Advent Craft celebration on December 8th during Sunday school. There will be many crafts for all ages, it is a fun morning! 

December 15th we will perform our Christmas pageant. Please sign up if you haven't already. We will have one rehearsal on Saturday December 14th from 9:30 to 11:30. 

No Sunday School or children's service the last Sunday of December. Merry Christmas!
-Natalie Bottomley and Andria McCarthy

Primary Class (Grades 1-3)
Cinda Stone, Jency John & Wes Stone 

Our students are learning how to find different books in the Bible.  We even have had more hands go up when I ask for a volunteer to read a passage. I am so proud of them!
Coming up in December, we will celebrate Advent with an Advent Festival on the 8th. Join us for fun Christmas crafts and snacks in the Sunday school corridor. We will also welcome the Bishop to Calvary Church.
The children are going to delight the congregation on the 15th with a Christmas pageant during the 10 a.m. service. Sign up with Deacon Mona if you haven't already.
During class on the 4th Sunday of Advent we will talk about the role of angels in the Nativity story.
After the Christmas break we will focus on the early life of Jesus. He is baptized by John the Baptist and John the Baptist proclaims Jesus the Lamb of God.
We hope to see you each and every week for all the special events leading up to Christmas! 

Primary team, 
Cinda Stone, Jency John, and Wes Stone

Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Patty Rooss & Kelly Mogavero

In November, the Intermediate Class explored some challenging topics including life after death, our resurrection and end times. We learned that no matter what happens, God will be with us every step of the way to guide and protect us and love us unconditionally.
Advent begins on Sunday, December 1. During this time, we watchfully await Jesus' arrival by preparing the way and making peace with our fellows. We celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25.
A lot happens in January - we have gratitude for God's gifts to His people and the immeasurable grace He gives us. Then Jesus is Baptized by John the Baptist and becomes recognized as the Lamb of God.
You don't want to miss the fun activities we have planned including the Advent Craft Celebration on December 8 and the Christmas Pageant on December 15.

-Patty Rooss and Kelly Mogavero

Attention Busy Parents!

As part of Calvary's budding new Parents Ministry, we are offering you an afternoon to yourselves! On Saturday, December 7th, from noon until 3:00 p.m., we would love the pleasure of your children's company in Calvary's Reception Room. While you do your Christmas shopping, run errands, meet friends for lunch, or just take a nap, our Safe Church trained volunteers will entertain your kids with a movie and a bite to eat! So, mark your calendars for some all-important "ME Time" and enjoy a child-free afternoon!

Signups are not required, but would be appreciated so we are able to prepare appropriately. Sign up here.

Liz Harten
Pastoral Care Ministries Chair

Christmas Pageant

Deacon Mona is still looking for narrators to read during the Children's Christmas Pageant at the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, December 15. It's not too late to sign up for actor parts. We will be distributing scripts and fitting costumes at Sunday School on Dec. 1 and 8. Dress rehearsal will be on Saturday December 14 from 9:30 to 11:30 in the sanctuary. Thanks for your participation!

Children's Offering Donation

Many thanks to the families who donate to the offertory collection at Children's Chapel every Sunday. Your gifts have funded CYM's $400 donation to Episcopal Relief and Development's US Disaster Fund to aid victims of the recent California wildfires.

CYM Meeting Minutes

Here is a link to the minutes of CYM's General Meeting on 11/17/2019.

Bottle & Can  Redemption Drive 

Redeemable bottles and cans labeled with "NY State 5ยข refund" may be placed in the bins by Calvary's parking lot entrance or returned directly to either of our two redemption centers.  
  • The Integrity Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 2790 Sheridan Drive, or
  • The Millersport Recycling Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 803 Millersport Highway.
Remember to tell them to credit your returns to "Calvary Episcopal Church." If you can, please sign up on the sheet posted on the Sunday School Bulletin Board to empty our bins and bring the bottles and cans to our redemption centers. 

Many thanks for contributing to our drive!

From the Diocese

Junior and Senior High Overnight

On December 13 and 14, youth in grades 6-12 will gather at the Diocesan Ministry Center in Tonawanda for an overnight The event will start at 7 p.m. Friday and end at 3 p.m. Saturday. Most of the program will include activities for youth by age group, but everyone will go to LaserTron to play laser tag.
The cost is $20 per person and scholarships are available.  Register online and email   Wendy Schumacher with questions.

Diocesan Parents Day Out

On December 15 from noon-5 p.m., the partnership youth program will hold a Parents' Day Out for children ages 3-12 at the Diocesan Ministry Center in Tonawanda. The afternoon will include play and crafts supervised by adults and teenagers.
High school and college-aged youth who want to assist with this event can earn volunteer hours for school requirements. Email Wendy Schumacher with questions or to volunteer. 

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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