Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

May 2018

May is such a busy time for families with class field trips, sports, graduations,  Mother's Day, and Memorial Day. Life seems to be bursting through the seams as our neighborhoods bloom with color, new growth, and activity. We hope that you can continue to make involvement at Calvary a priority for your family and find some connection and peace in the midst of this month's whirlwind.
-Emily Sityar
CYM Coordinator

Upcoming CYM Events

Friday, May 4
Family Game Night 
We are excited to offer our first Family Game Night and Ice Cream Social on Friday, May 4 from 7 to 8:30 pm. It's meant as a time for families to have fun, relax, and become better acquainted with each other.

Sunday, May 13
Mother's Day
We will have our semi-annual ingathering for the United Thank Offering (UTO). Every Sunday School student received a blue & white box to bring home. We have asked the children to think prayerfully of all the blessings in their lives each time they drop a coin into their box. The collected offerings are used by the UTO Committee of the Episcopal Church to fund service projects in this country and throughout the world. At the 10 am service on May 13, the children will bring up their boxes to the altar during the Offertory.
On Mother's Day weekend, every woman attending any of the services on Saturday or Sunday will receive a flower. At the 10 am service on Sunday, the children will be handing out the flowers to women during the Peace.

Sunday, May 20
Regular Children's Chapel and Sunday School

Sunday, May 27
Memorial Day Weekend
No Sunday School or Children's Chapel

Sunday, June 3
Last Day of Sunday School, 9:15-9:45 am  Family Chapel; 9:45 - 10:30 am Moving Up Day & End of the Year Picnic; and 11:15 am CYM meeting.

Sunday, June 10
Trinity Sunday
Calvary's Middle School Youth Group joint event with the youth group of St. Paul's Harris Hill from 1-4pm. Save the date and stay tuned for more information!

CYM Survey and Family Children's Chapel

As we near the end of our Sunday School year at Calvary, we invite Sunday School families to give us feedback on this year's CYM programs and offer suggestions for next year. 
  • What would you like to see in Sunday School or what would you like CYM to offer beyond Sunday School?
  • What events have been most meaningful? 
  • What can we be doing better? 
Please take the time to fill out CYM's survey online and to come to our Family Children's Chapel at 9:15 am on June 3 to discuss the results of the CYM survey and brainstorm ways we can improve our programs and ministries next year.  

Sunday School Recruitment

CYM is recruiting volunteers to teach Sunday School class on a short-term (one-to-two month) rotation or to substitute for a teacher on occasional Sundays. Having more volunteers will allow Sunday School teachers to go on a vacation, carry out other commitments, or attend a full 10 am service. 

A good Sunday School is essential to the vitality and future of any church, and teaching children and youth about God's love and the Christian way of life can be a deeply rewarding experience. But without some respite for spiritual renewal, teachers may experience burn-out. 

If you feel God is calling you to be part of our Sunday School team, please contact Emily Sityar at All Sunday School volunteers will need to undergo Safe Church training and have a background check done. Thank you!

End of the Year
June 3rd is the last day of Sunday School. We will begin with the Family Children's Chapel at 9:15 am to 9:45 am. From 9:45 am to 10 am, students will be directed to the classes that they will attend next year, with some of the children "moving up" to the next class to meet their new teachers and classmates. At around 10 am, all the classes will gather for our end-of-the-year picnic, outdoors if the weather permits, or upstairs in Hughson Hall. The children will be dismissed at 10:30 am to join the congregation at the 10 am service.

Coins Can Cure Cancer
Through the continued efforts of 7th grader Olivia Fleming, Calvary's Coins Can Cure Cancer drive raised over $350 this year to support the Courage of Carly Fund at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Well done, Liv! And thanks to everyone who has dropped their spare change in the Coins Can Cure Cancer container at the back of the church. This ministry was begun by Liv's older sister Maddie and has raised close to $1000 for Roswell Park's pediatric patients and cancer research. She has recently expanded to a website and purple bracelet sales to help increase donations. Please spread the word and share the website at

Bishop's visitation
Congratulations to Calvary's newly confirmed youths Ryan Bevilaqua, Andrew Cohen, Gregory Fiegel, and Shea Suffoletta. We hope that you continue to grow in faith and involvement with Calvary Church. Bishop Franklin was very pleased with the butterfly card containing the colorful fingerprints of Calvary's kids. We wish him well in his upcoming retirement.


How strong is your Faith? More importantly, is your Faith growing stronger? This might be a helpful clue. How much time do you devote to prayer every day?

We are commanded to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. But do we? Of course not. It is impossible. However, Jesus tells us that if we seek God, we will find Him. So, how hard and how long are we seeking Him? If I am really striving to place God first and at the center of my life, then I should try to tithe 10% of my time each day to Him (2.4 hours). For me, the early morning hours from 3:00 to 5:30 am work best - no distractions, no interruptions.

Growing up, I remember these lyrics from a popular song; "To know, know, know Him is to love, love, love Him-and I do." God speaks to us through His Living Word, our Holy Bible. Prayer is simply speaking to God, communicating with Him. The more we love Him, the more time we want to spend with Him in prayer. 

How good it is to know that because of God's kindness to us our prayers can touch heaven. Sometimes when we pray, we may struggle with words and feelings of inadequacy, but Jesus taught his followers that we "should always pray and not give up." (Luke 18:1) God's Word shows us that one of the reasons we can do this is that Jesus Himself "is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (Romans 8:34)

We never pray alone, because Jesus is praying for us. He hears us as we pray, and speaks to the Father on our behalf. We don't have to worry about the eloquence of our words, because no one understands us like Jesus. He helps us in every way, presenting our needs before God.

Jesus is the perfect prayer partner - the friend who intercedes for us with immeasurable kindness. His prayers for us are beautiful beyond words, and should encourage us to always pray with thankfulness.

And, there is even more help for us. "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us..." (Romans 8:26)

Imagine that! The Son and the Spirit help us as we pray. What great assurance that gives!

Do you struggle with your prayers? Knowing that divine help is available encourages us to keep praying - even when we aren't sure how.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for interceding for us with love. Help us to love and serve You with our prayers today.  Amen! (There is no greater privilege than praying with Jesus!)
-Mr. George Mayer

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 not only fun, but also spiritually fulfilling. They learn to serve with dignity, humility, and care, always with the 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.

If you and your parents would like to learn more, please contact Doug Sandburg II


Children's Chapel
Ellie Yuhasz and Carol Mayo

The children have been busy learning the song "This is the Day." They will sing it for the congregation on Pentecost, May 20.

-Ellie Yuhasz
Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey

The Nursery is available from 9:45 - 11:30 a.m.
Beginners Class (Pre-K & K)
Dr. Sarah English
Assistant: Andria McCarthy

-Dr. Sarah English
Primary Class (Grades 1-3)
Cinda & Wes Stone and Natalie Bottomley
Class Parents: Brian & Christina Donaghy

May is here! This program year has flown by.
We will wrap up our lessons about the Book of Common Prayer this month. One of the last lessons is about the calendar of Saints. There are many interesting stories about the Saints who lived in different times in our Church's history.
Our final lesson this month is about Pentecost. The students will hear the story of the Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles fifty days after Easter while they were gathered together during the Jewish feast of Pentecost. This is what Jesus promised them when he ascended into heaven. Pentecost is always a favorite story in our classroom. Who wouldn't love a story about fire, wind and suddenly knowing how to speak a different language on the spot?
Don't forget the Sunday school classes will not meet on May 27th, which is Memorial Day weekend.
-Cinda Stone
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Mr. George Mayer & Mr. Brian Donaghy

See the reflection about Prayer. 

-Mr. George Mayer 
Junior Youth
Christina McCormick 
Assistant: Jim Greno 

Even though another Sunday School year nears an end there are still some great lessons left. Due to various special events, vacations, and weather we did not get through all the Parables. The Parables have been a popular study and I'm going to fit in a few more of them. If there is time we will go through the church lessons. We have a new student this month, proving it's never too late to join in on the class! During the classes in May I will hand out any crafts that a student may have missed. We will continue to use our Calvary Coloring Book in conjunction with the Parable lessons. Should be a fun and informative month. 

-Christina McCormick

From the Diocese

Visit the diocesan website at
A Sr. High Sleepover 
will take place 7 pm Fri., May 4 to 10 am Sat., May 5 at the Diocesan Ministry Center. The event is open to all those in grades 8-12 and costs $30. The group will go to Lasertron for a round or two of laser tag. Email Wendy Schumacher, First Thirty Coordinator,  to confirm participation. Download the permission slip from
and bring it signed with payment on the 4th.
Sleep Away Camp
New and exciting things are happening this summer at Camp. Sleep Away is expanding to include all youth exiting grades 2 through 8 this June. The camp will be running two different tracks to accommodate the needs of the different age groups. The first track will be those exiting grades 2-5 and the second track will be for those exiting grades 6-8. Each track will have their own schedule to follow but will have some overlapping activities.

Sleep Away Camp will take place Sunday August 12 to Wednesday August 15 at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Canter in Bemus Point, NY. To register campers, please download the  Camp Application and Health Form and send in with $50 deposit to the Ministry Center by July 15.

Sue Stanislawski's Annual Sleep Away Camp Scholarship: Sue Stanislawski is a member of St. Patrick's, Cheektowaga and has fond memories of her camp experience when she was younger. She is looking to sponsor two youth with full-registration camp scholarships to Sleep Away Camp this year. Sue would like the child requesting the scholarship to submit a short essay telling why the child wants to attend camp and what the child hopes to get out of camp. Sue also requests that only those with a financial need apply. Download the Sue S Scholarship Form. Completed forms can either be sent to the ministry center or emailed to Scholarship applications are due by June 1.
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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