March 1, 2017 
Calvary Children's & Youth Ministries Newsletter
Children's & Youth Ministries Newsletter
Click here  to email Rev. Dr. Judith Lee

Click here for our Current CYM Calendar Calendar 

Lent is a time we set aside every year for reflection on what God is making possible in our lives, and on what we must do in order to make the love and peace of God unmistakably real to other people. I think of it as a time for "spiritual spring cleaning." It is a time to prepare for Easter, and the new  life that regularly arises from darkness. Traditionally, we give up something that we enjoy (we "fast" from something that makes us comfortable) and we do something to help the needy (we go outside our comfort zone). Because every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection, we take a break from our Lenten discipline on Sundays!

Every year, CYM undertakes a project through which we as a community do both of these things. This year's Lenten Project will benefit Episcopal Relief and Development. ERD provides disaster relief both overseas and in our country, and it supports projects for economic development throughout the world. (To learn more go to their website at We will do two things for this project:
  • The Children's Weekly Offering will be set aside for ERD.
  • We will have a recycling drive, asking members of the congregation to bring their returnable bottles and cans to church (rather than leaving them out for pickup at their homes), and our youth will bring these to a local Recycling Center to exchange for cash. We plan to do this on the weekends of March 17-19 and April 1st.
On Sunday April 2nd, each class will vote on how to designate their collection for items in the ERD Gifts for Life catalog. They might "purchase" chickens, goats, a well for a village, medical supplies, etc.

Family Lent
Here are some ideas for how to observe Lent as a family:
  • 1. Talk together about what comfort you might "fast" from as a family or as individuals. It might be dessert, or a favorite food, or a favorite TV program. Sometimes people "fast" from sitting in their favorite chair, or from listening to music for some time every day. You might consider changing seats at the dinner table each week, or being "unplugged" for a certain period every day.
  • Put out a large bowl into which everyone in the family puts some change every day as your offering for ERD. Bring this to Sunday School by April 2nd to be used for the ERD Gift Selection.
  • Set aside some time to go through closets, bookshelves, and/or toy collections to select donations. At Calvary, the large bins in the hallway leading to the Sunday School rooms are available for used clothing and household goods. The American Association of University Women uses the lower wing of the church to collect and sort books that they will sell later this spring, to benefit their fund for college scholarships. We will also bring any donated non-perishable food to the Food Bank of Western New York or the Family Justice Center.
  • Write a Gratitude Journal: Each evening, write down 1 - 3 good things from the day - things that you did not do, or could not have done, on your own.
A Family Prayer for Lent
Lord, we thank you for the blessings of this day, and for this time together as family. Help us to remember those who have so much less than we do. Bless us as a family. Help us to grow in love and care for each other. We ask you to comfort and give strength and peace to those who are sick or struggling in any way. We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN.


Teacher's Reflection - Carl and Pat Zebrowski
Lent is a very solemn time in the church, however, we feel that we can make it an interesting time for children. We always start off with a Pretzel Sunday event for the kids. The pretzel is called Prayer Bread and has a very old history as noted in a Vatican Manuscript.

The old church noted that we are to abstain from "flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese and eggs." People were also to have only one meal a day with small snacks to maintain strength. Per Snyders of Hanover "A young monk in the early 600's in Italy was preparing a special Lenten bread of water, flour and salt. To remind his brother monks that Lent was a time of prayer, he rolled the bread dough in strips and then shaped each strip in the form of crossed arms, mimicking the then popular prayer position of folding ones arms over each other on the chest. The bread was then baked as soft bread, just like the big soft pretzels one can find today."

We see this as another fun tradition we can share with our children at Calvary.

Sunday School Songs

Keeping our focus on our theme for Lent, we will be singing He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. In singing this song, we remember that all human beings are one large family, scattered across the world, children of one God. We express our faith that God will watch over all of us and we remind ourselves to care for each other.

"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"

                     He's got the whole world in His hands
                     He's got the whole world in His hands
                     He's got the whole world in His hands
                     He's got the whole world in His hands
                     He's got the tiny little baby in His hands
                     He's got the tiny little baby in His hands
                     He's got the tiny little baby in His hands
                     He's got the whole world in His hands
                     He's got you and me brother in His hands
                     He's got you and me sister in His hands
                     He's got you and me brother in His hands
                     He's got the whole world in His hands.
                     He's got everybody in His hands
                     He's got everybody in His hands
                     He's got everybody in His hands
                     He's got the whole world in His hands.

Nursery (infant - 3 years) 

Beginners  Class (Pre-K & K)

Primary Class (Grades 1-3) - March Message

During our class story time, I detoured from the curriculum to talk about Lent. 
My students had a vague idea about Lent, but they really weren't sure.

I explained that Lent is a 40 day journey (not including Sundays) to prepare and to celebrate what Jesus did for us. 
He died on the cross and rose up from death to save us all. It's a time of prayer and reflection.  

We talked about "giving up" things and/or preforming "acts of kindness". How to be more like Jesus.

I gave each student a small box to take home. Inside it were small tokens to remind them of the events in Jesus' life during Holy Week. 
I suggested that they keep the box in a place where they would see it every day during Lent to help them keep their Lenten promise.
Cinda Stone

Intermediate (Grades 4-6) - March  Message

The season of Lent is a time for introspection and a time for repentance. Someone has said: "When God says 'Don't' he means 'Don't hurt yourself!'" We are also reminded that when we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. During Lent, I find it helpful to think about these things when I meditate upon the ten commandments. Are you as convicted as I am? I desperately need a Savior, and my Savior is Jesus!

On the cross, Jesus said "It is finished." "It is accomplished." All our sins are forgiven. We are given the Gift of Eternal Life and the Holy Spirit dwells within us - if we believe that Jesus is (our) Lord!

Mr. Mayer

Junior High Youth (Grades 7-9) - March Message

Lent is a time to challenge ourselves to be more mindful, more aware of how we eat/think/pray/act and how we treat other people. We set limits on what we would normally do out of habit, or we strive to go beyond our ordinary routine in order to remind ourselves to put God first in our lives. Jesus told us, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind." In challenging ourselves to be mindful of putting God first in our daily lives, we hope to draw closer to Him and come to a more meaningful understanding of Easter.

Emily Sityar

The Choristers of Calvary
A New Community Youth Choir Program

Boys and Girls, 3rd Grade and up

Tuesdays - 4:30 - 6:30pm
Rehearsal 4:30-5:45pm
Choral Evensong 6:00-6:30pm

March 7 - June 11, 2017

World-class music education and after school program
No Sunday morning commitment; scholarship provided to all choristers covers the cost of workbooks, vestments, and music. Open to all community members. For more information contact:

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 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. To see the current acolyte schedule click here
If you and your parents would like to learn more please contact Doug Sandburg II at:

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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