Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

March 2019

During March, Calvary offers many opportunities for families to make their Lenten journey into Easter a meaningful one. Besides Calvary's family-friendly events listed below, your family might consider
  • donating some clothes to Calvary's clothing bins located just before the Sunday School Hallway
  • donating some used books to the AAUW's book drive located in our church basement 
  • signing up to bring CYM bottles & cans to one of our redemption centers
Emily Sityar
Calvary Sunday School Coordinator and CYM Co-Chair


What message do we share with our children regarding the season of Lent, the solemn season which shall begin shortly?

We, as Christians, believe that Lent is a time of reflection, prayer and fasting. We traditionally give up something we love whether that be a sweet confection or an activity we enjoy. 

We try to relate this time in our church calendar in terms understood by our young members. We use easily understood examples. One of these is the story of the "Pretzel" referred to as Prayer Bread.

Pretzels have an important meaning during Lent when certain foods, such as milk, eggs and fats were not used. 

Pretzels were made in the fifth century as a Lenten food in Austria, Germany, and Poland. People began to make them on Ash Wednesday, the very first day of Lent. The word "pretzel" is a German word meaning "little arms." The dough was shaped in such a way to look like two arms crossed in prayer. On certain days during Lent it was the custom to give pretzels to the townspeople who were poor.

On Sunday March 4th Mr. Z will be making Pretzels with the children in Hughson Hall. This is an event much loved by the youngsters at Calvary. We hope you will join us.

Pat Zebrowski

Upcoming Events in March

3/3 -   Pretzel Sunday begins at 9:15 am in Hughson Hall;  Distribution of UTO boxes

3/5 -  S hrove Tuesday Potluck at 6:30 pm

3/6 -  Ash Wednesday services at 7 am, noon & 7 pm; Ashes to Go from 8 am-6 pm in the parking lot.

3/10 -  ERD Sunday - Calvary Ark Project begins. Remember to change your clocks!

3/23 -   Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Event, Saturday noon-3 pm in Hughson Hall

3/31 -   Last Sunday of the Month Children's Service. Cym Forum

Pretzel Sunday on March 3 in Hughson Hall

Pretzel Sunday is our Sunday School's annual event to usher in the season of Lent. 

Parent volunteers are needed to help in the Scaife kitchen for Pretzel Sunday. Please contact Carl Zebrowski at 716 689-0256. 

Sunday School children should arrive in Hughson Hall by 9:15 am in order to help roll and shape our pretzels.

Shrove Tuesday Potluck on March 5, 6:30 pm

This free parish-wide event is open to all ages to celebrate Mardi Gras. Bring a dish to pass around, come in costume if you wish, and join in the fun and games. Remember to bring palms from last year's Palm Sunday to burn for Ash Wednesday.

CYM Forum March 31

Every committee at Calvary has been asked to give a presentation at one of the 9 am Adult Forums on Sunday. On March 31st, it will be CYM's turn to talk about our ministry to the children and youth. As part of the presentation, I would like to present some photos and video clips of Sunday School and CYM events. If you have any photos or clips that could be included in the presentation, please email them to Emily Sityar at


United Thank Offering boxes will be distributed on Pretzel Sunday and collected on Palm Sunday, April 14. UTO encourages people to notice the good things that happen each day, give thanks to God for those blessings and make an offering for each blessing using a UTO Blue Box. UTO is entrusted to receive the offerings, and to distribute the 100% of what is collected to support innovative mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The Blue Box Prayer
Almighty God, I give you praise
for blessing me in many ways.

Create in me a grateful heart
and with this gift a blessing
start.   Amen.

Calvary Ark Project

The Presiding Bishop has declared March 10 as Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) Sunday. 

To support ERD, Calvary is spearheading another parish-wide Ark Project to buy farm animals and other gift packages for the communities served by ERD. Households throughout the congregation are encouraged to contribute an animal or item to the ark.

Using funds raised through the Children's Offertory collection and CYM's Bottle & Can Drive, Sunday School classes will choose ERD gifts to purchase for Calvary's Ark Project.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Event

On Saturday March 23 from noon until 3 pm, Calvary families and friends of all ages are invited to our first ever Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper event in Hughson Hall. The event will feature a presentation about Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper's environmental work, service activities, and a pizza lunch. 

Sign up for this event or on the church sign up sheet in the Reception Room. The event is free, but attendees may bring an appetizer or dessert. 

We are also collecting old t-shirts for one of our service activities. For more information about Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, go to .

HELP WANTED: Nursery Assistant 

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.  

Youth Window Painting 

Middle School and High School youths interested in painting our Sunday School hallway windows please contact Emily Sityar at . We will be painting water scenes to promote our Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper event.

Bottle & Can Drive 

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

If you can spare the time, please sign up to empty our bins and bring the  bottles and cans to either of our two redemption centers
  • The Integrity Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 2790 Sheridan Dr. or 
  • The Millersport Recycling Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 803 Millersport Highway. 
Remember to tell them to credit your returns to "Calvary Episcopal Church."


Children's Chapel

Ellie Yuhasz will be leading Children's Chapel for the months of March and April. We will continue to learn to sing the verses of "Rise and Shine," which tells the story of Noah's Ark.
Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey
Madeline Fleming, assistant

The nursery has been active the last few months. 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 

Can you believe that March is already here? It's a busy month for our CYM program. With five Sundays in March we will get it all in.
March 3rd is our annual pre-Lenten Pretzel Sunday with Mr. Z. in Hughson Hall. We will shape, boil and bake a big batch of pretzels. The event starts extra early so we have time to EAT our yummy pretzels. Please be there by 9:15. We will have our pretzels already rolled, shaped and in to boil by 9:30. If you arrive late you will miss this fun part. While the pretzels bake we will have Children's Chapel, a lesson and make Mardi Gras masks before we eat our pretzels and join our families in Church.
March 10th is the start of Daylights Savings Time! Make sure you spring forward and set your alarms so you wake up in time for our class. This is the first Sunday in Lent. We will learn about the time that Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the desert with the devil. Come to class and find out what happened!
March 17th is the second Sunday in Lent and St. Patrick's Day! I'll be wearing something green, how about you? The lesson is about Love. We will talk about unconditional love and what that means. I will also read story about St. Patrick. He did something with snakes, can you guess what it was?
On the third Sunday in Lent, we learn about another kind of love. The story is about The Barren Fig Tree.
We round out the month with our Family Service on March 31st. Check out the sign-up sheet in the CYM hallway to be a participant in this service and other end of the month Family Services.
During Lent CYM has a church wide Lenten project involving an ARK. We hope you and your family want to be a part of it! Details are coming soon!
-Cinda Stone,  Natalie Bottomley, and  Wes Stone
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Sue Schroeder, Patty Rooss & Carl Zebrowski 

The intermediate class  will talk about what families choose to do during Lent when they know Easter is coming. We will also read stories from the book of Luke and talk about what it looks and feels like when we live by the word of God, enjoy Jesus' tender love, and value God's second chances.

-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.

Looking Ahead to April

April 7
Palm Crosses Crafts 
and Easter Egg Hunt

April 12
Pizza & Game Night

This social will include pizza, salad and dessert with games to follow. 

April 14
Palm Sunday

No Children's Chapel. Gather in Hughson Hall at 10 am for a blessing of the Palms, then process to Sunday School Classes while the congregation continues to the church.

UTO Ingathering - Return coin boxes.

April 21 
Easter Sunday
No Children's Chapel or Sunday School.

April 28
Children's Service
Please sign up to participate as readers, oblation bearers, and usher helpers.
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.