Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

October 2019

Last month seemed to fly by in a blur, but it's been a pleasure to see so many young faces in Sunday School and at church this year. Thanks to all the children and youth who participated in our Children's Service. Your faith ministry is a blessing to our church here and now and also the hope of our church for the future. 

Please read below for upcoming events, our monthly reflection, class announcements, some thoughts on developing a youth program at Calvary, and CYM's donation to the hurricane relief fund of Episcopal Relief and Development. 

Emily Sityar
CYM Co-Chair

Upcoming Events at Calvary

10/5 : The Blessing of the Animals at 2 p.m. in the Kryder Courtyard

10/13:  UTO Ingathering at the 10 a.m. service

10/27Children's Service Sunday at 10 a.m. Children may wear their Halloween costumes


A Biblical definition of stewardship is " having responsibility over the works of God." Stewardship may be broken down into four components: time as written in Ephesians, talent also noted in Ephesians, temple written in 1st Corinthians, and treasure as given in Haggai.

As good stewards, God expects us to manage our time, that is our life, according to his will.

God has given us talents and expects us to use them to do his good works.

As Christians we should care for our bodies as they are temples of the Holy Ghost. That is, God's spirit lives in you, but more than that, God is saying that you are a holy place.

As God's stewards, he has given us treasures to use  faithfully for his glory.

So how can our Children and Youth at Calvary Episcopal Church understand and carry out these components of stewardship? They can use some of their time and talents by becoming an acolyte, helping with our church service as a reader, or helping with ushering duties. When taking into account that our bodies are temples, that is, we are holy places, then we need to treat our bodies as such. We must care for them by our actions in all things, for instance by eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep and exercise.

Then we come to treasures that we often associate with the amount of money that is pledged or given to the church. Children and youth can consider giving to the United Thank Offering by putting coins into the UTO blue box that gives thanks for our blessings. Also they should consider placing treasures (coins) in the collection at Chapel. We hope the coins they use should not just be provided by their parents, but earned in some manner so they have value as treasures.
Douglas Sandburg


Children's Chapel
Carol Mayo and Lora Bunting
Have you noticed the rainbow colors in the newly painted Nursery/Children's Chapel? What a vibrant and joyful place to worship our Lord! Last month at Children's Chapel we sang "This Little Light of Mine," and then we sang it again as part of the congregation at the last Sunday of the month's Children's Service. This month, we will be singing the hymn, "Jesus Loves Me" during Children's Chapel and again at the Children's Service on the last Sunday of October.  

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

Welcome back to the nursery; this year has a few changes in store. The first change is welcoming my niece, Olivia (Livi/Liv) Fleming as our nursery helper. She has been very interactive with the children and came up with a great fall activity for the little ones to do - making acorns out of paper that they can paint/color/sticker.

Our second change is how FANTASTIC the nursery/Children's' Chapel looks. Thanks to a lot of hard work by my parents, Paul and Linda McKenna, CYM coordinator Emily Sityar, and Livi Fleming, there are bright colors on the walls and the nursery area was expanded. Linda took home every single toy and accessory to clean them; she also wiped down all the shelves in the nursery. Paul, after working a full day, came in to prep the walls, block off the colors, and began the awesome paint job. Emily assisted with painting the doors and drawers, then began replacing all the handles back. Livi helped with some of the painting when she wasn't enjoying her summer. Yours truly was the catalyst to get this project started and participated in almost every aspect of the change. From the feedback so far, I think every one likes it. Deacon Mona even stated that the kids "seemed livelier" during Children's Chapel.

We are ready to welcome more children! Nursery doors are open at 8:45 for anyone in the choir who happens to bring their children early. 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

I have been having an excellent time with the students in the beginner class!! Sunday school is new to almost all of the children. They are learning the routine along with making new friends. The students have chosen to put their work on the bulletin board in the classroom - feel free to come in and look at all the wonderful work they have already made!! 

In October we will continue with story time, games and crafts! Anyone is welcome! Don't forget there is a children's service the last Sunday of each month and we will not have Sunday school on those days.

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

The Primary class is off to a wonderful start. We have twelve children in our class. Five are new this year.
We begin the class with circle time around our 'campfire' in our 'tent'. We have this set-up as an example of how the stories were passed down through the ages, verbally around a fire or in a tent.  Our class loves to be read to and we have some lively discussions about our topic.  After our lesson we dive into our craft, which is a favorite activity with this age group.  During the month of September our stories have focused on the Gospel according to Luke.
Looking ahead to October, our lesson topics will include A Faithful Life, Returning to Wholeness, and Prayerful Perseverance.  All of these lessons are from the Gospel according to Luke.

The children have been very engaged and seem to enjoy their time in Sunday school.
Primary team, 
Cinda Stone, Jency John and Wes Stone

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

In September, we learned that Jesus calls us to follow Him, even when it is hard, and that His love is persistent, particularly for those who are lost. We also learned that we have God given talents that He wants us to value, grow and develop to assist God in doing His work on earth.

In October, we will explore how God makes the impossible possible and faith grows when we obey Jesus' teachings. We learn that we can see the world in a more favorable light, and help others see it too, when we have gratitude for the blessings that God bestows upon us. We will also be doing some fun activities including decorating cookies and painting pumpkins.

Patty Rooss and Kelly Mogavero

For Older Youths

We are exploring ways to further the faith development of our youth in grades 7 through high school in a new program that we are calling "Youth Helpers." Currently our youth can serve as acolytes or Sunday School helpers. We would like to create a program that gets youth involved with Calvary's various ministries while still being flexible enough to accommodate their busy schedules. 

Here at Calvary, there are so many committees and ministries doing good works: 
  • the Outreach Committee serves communities groups such as School 30, Journey's End Refugees, and Friends of Night People 
  • the Fellowship Committee organizes social events 
  • the Property Committee maintains our buildings and grounds 
  • the Communications Committee promotes Calvary's events and programs to the wider community
  • Pastoral Care Ministries include Congregational Care, the Flower Ministry, Eucharistic Visitors, and others 
  • There is even Fr. Robert's own Seeds of Hope project with WECK radio. 
We wish to encourage youth to discover ways to live out their faith and find spiritual inspirations through the programs and wonderful people here at Calvary. In addition, we will have two or three youth meetings this year, so that the youth can reflect on their ministry experiences and have fun getting to know one another. If you are interested in signing up your youth for this program, or if you would like to help, please email me at

Emily Sityar

Blessing of the Animals

Calvary's Blessing of the Animals will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 5. Invite your friends and neighbors, and bring all your creatures great and small!  All animals should be appropriately leashed, crated, carried, or contained, and under responsible supervision at all times. If you prefer to keep your pet home, you may bring a photo of your pet to be blessed. If you have no pets, bring a toy animal or just come for the love of animals. Calvary's Pet Ministry is collecting pet food donations for Pete's Pet Food Pantry at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Buffalo. Donations may also be brought to Children's Chapel the next day.  

UTO Ingathering 

Have you remembered to give thanks for your blessings by dropping a coin into your UTO box each day? Save a little of your pocket money, look for coins under your sofa cushions, or earn some money by doing an extra chore -- even pennies will add up!

UTO boxes will be collected on Sunday, October 13 at the 10 a.m. service. After communion at the end of the service, Fr. Robert will invite the children to bring up their UTO boxes to the basket on the altar. The United Thank Offering collection from all Episcopal churches will be used to help people throughout the world. Thank you for your kindness and generosity!

Children's Christmas Pageant 

Deacon Mona Gaddis will be directing the Children's Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 15 at the ten o'clock service. We are looking to have lots of sign-ups to tell the Christmas story about the birth of Jesus. Watch out for a sign-up sheet during the month of November. Think about being an angel, a shepherd, or even a wise man/wise person. Or, you could be Joseph or Mary or the angel Gabriel or...

Bottle & Can  Redemption Drive 

CYM is continuing the recycling drive for NY State redeemable bottles and cans. This month, CYM is donating $300 from our Bottle & Can Drive to Episcopal Relief and Development's Hurricane Relief Fund to help affected communities in the US and the Caribbean devastated after recent hurricanes and tropical storms.
We collect only beverage containers that have the phrase "NY State 5ยข refund." Bottles/cans of iced tea, hard cider, kombucha, or Canadian bottles/cans are not eligible for a refund.  Redeemable bottles and cans 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!

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

From the Diocese

Diocesan  Information
Register for Online Safe Church Training

Safe Church Training protects not only volunteers and employees, but also those under their charge. Volunteers such as Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and youth camp staff are required to take several modules. Clergy and employees of the diocese and its congregations are required to take even more. Learn more on the diocesan website.
Safe Church training is available online and is valid for three years. Once you register from the diocesan website, you will receive an email with log-in information for the classes you need to complete. Note, this email will not come immediately. Contact Michael Brown with any questions.
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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