Children & Youth Ministries Newsletter

September 2018

CYM's monthly e-newsletter shares news and insights about Calvary's Children and Youth Ministries. It is one way that CYM hopes to build community within our parish family and to participate together in our children's spiritual formation.

For more news, please visit Calvary's CYM Facebook page and the Children & Youth page on Calvary's website. Contact Alice Brown to sign up for this CYM e-newsletter, CYM e-blast announcements, and the weekly parish bulletin.

Sunday School begins September 9
Sunday School Program (except on the last Sunday of the month) :
9:30-9:45 am Children's Chapel
9:45-10:30 am Sunday School Classes
10:30 am Children join their families for the service

Last Sunday of the Month:
There will be no Children's Chapel or Sunday School on the last Sunday of the month. Instead, families are encouraged to participate in the 10 am Children's Service.

Nursery Care (infant - 3 years of age) will be available from 8:45-11:00 am on every Sunday of the month.


WOW! Another school year is starting and it's a chance for new beginnings. It's an exciting time to meet new teachers, make new friends and renew friendships that we may have missed over the summer. I hope you had a fun summer. I know I did. 
Starting a new school year can be a lot of fun, but it can be a bit scary too, especially if you are going to a new school. I remember going to the same school from kindergarten through sixth grade in my hometown. (Yes, that was a long time ago!) I lived very close to that school so I could easily walk to school every day. I knew that school inside and outside. I knew all the teachers and students. I knew every classroom in that school.
But when I started into the seventh grade I starting attending a middle school in a different town. It was the first time I ever had to ride a school bus. That was scary. Suddenly I didn't know anyone on the bus and at the school. That was scary too. I went from having the same teacher all day long to multiple teachers for each subject. Oh boy, that was scary. The school work and homework got a lot harder too. That was REALLY scary. It took a long time for me to know my new teachers and make new friends at a school that felt so unfamiliar. Perhaps you've felt that way too as you start a new school year.
Change can be a scary thing. But facing our fears is an important part of growing up. In fact the Bible tells us that, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of a sound mind." (II Timothy  1:7) It was the Apostle Paul who said these words to the young man, Timothy to help him face what made him afraid. Having a "sound mind" comes from God, and as we grow up we learn what that means more and more.
We here at Calvary Episcopal Church are so glad you are part of our church family. We are here to help you in any way we can, even facing what might make you afraid.
May God bless you abundantly in this new school year.
Yours in Christ,
Father Robert Harvey

Upcoming Event
Sunday, September 9
for  Middle School Youth

On September 9, Middle School Youth from Calvary and St. Paul's Harris Hill will gather at St. Paul's, then  take a great trip to Darien Lake! See Deacon Mona for permission slips and more information.

Looking forward, the Youth Group will meet after church on the second Sunday of the month. The gathering location will alternate between Calvary and St. Paul's.

Backpack Blessing!
This Sunday, September 9
10 am service

Remember to bring your backpack to church on Sunday for a blessing!

The Sunday School Team
  • Sunday School Coordinator: Emily Sityar
  • Nursery (Infant - 3 years): Kelly Blackey, Kiernan Haywood
  • Children's Chapel Music Leader: Pat Zebrowski, Carol Mayo
  • Beginners (PreK - Gr 1): Sarah English, Andria McCarthy
  • Primary (Gr 1 - 3): Cinda Stone, Natalie Bottomley, Wes Stone
  • Intermediate (Gr 4 - 6): Susan Schroeder, Patty Rooss, Carl Zebrowski
  • Special Events Leaders: Carl and Pat Zebrowski

Hail and Farewell

The CYM Committee is happy to welcome Joan Scalfani as our new vestry liaison, Natalie Bottomley as our CYM Co-Chair, Pat Zebrowski as our Children's Chapel Leader, new/returning Sunday School teachers Sue Schroeder, Patty Rooss, and Carl Zebrowski, and our new Family Events Coordinator Kelly Sandburg. 

We wish to express our gratitude and well wishes to our retiring teachers/leaders Ellie Yuhasz, George Mayer, Brian Donaghy, and Chris McCormick, though we may still see some of them as Sunday School substitutes. Many thanks to Parent Board members who helped to shepherd Fr. Robert in his first year at Calvary. Parents and interested parishioners are always welcome to sit in on our meetings or help in our events. We are always happy to have more volunteers!

FAQs about Calvary Sunday School:

What curriculum do you use?
Our curriculum this year is Living the Good News , an online lectionary-based, fully-graded Christian education curriculum published by Morehouse Education Resources, a division of Church Publishing, Inc.

Why do you begin Sunday School with Children's Chapel?
We want all our young people to gather together to experience fellowship and communal worship, and we want them to learn that our study and learning all begin with prayer - expressed in hymns, liturgy, and a brief sermon given by our rector and/or deacon. Children's Chapel provides our children and youth with training in the basics of our liturgy so that they become comfortable taking liturgical roles in worship with adults.

What if we arrive after 9:30? Should we wait for our child's class to begin?
You and your children are welcome to come into the chapel at any time. Even if it's just for a few minutes, it will help them to feel part of the group and to be ready for their class.

What happens on the Last Sunday of the month Children's Service?
On the last Sunday of the month, all families are encouraged to participate in a special 10 am Children's Service in lieu of Sunday School or Children's Chapel. Children or youth who received training on the previous Sunday will serve as lectors and intercessors at the Children's Service. Other young people may serve as ushers or oblation bearers. Families will be invited up to the altar to participate more closely in the Eucharistic liturgy. Nursery Care will still be available on the last Sunday of the month.
What is there for me to do between 9:30 and 10?
You are welcome to visit your child's class, or any other class before worship begins in the church at 10. We also have coffee available upstairs in the Reception Room, and places where you can sit and relax, catch up on news, texts, or email (free wifi is available), or visit with other adults. Weather permitting, you may choose to spend a few quiet minutes outside in the courtyard or the churchyard, where there are benches or room for a short walk. You are also welcome to go into the church and listen to the choir prepare for the service. Some parents like to go for a short walk in the neighborhood.

What if there is no parking available in the lot and the village lot is too far for my child, or we are running late?
There is a "drop off" lane by the entrance off the parking lot where you can leave your car for a couple of minutes while you walk your child into the Sunday School area. Then you can drive to the village lot (across Cayuga), and return to the church in plenty of time for the 10 am service.


Special Events
Pat and Carl Zebrowski

Hello children & parents,
Carl & I, also known as the Z's, are in charge of special events. We handle the CYM Pancake Breakfast and bible story in January, Pretzel Sunday the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, Palm Cross Sunday 2 weeks before Palm Sunday and the Last Supper reenactment on Palm Sunday. This year Deacon Mona plans to organize a Christmas event with costumes which Mrs. Z will provide. We are looking forward to our Sunday School year.
-Pat and Carl Zebrowski
Nursery (infant - 3 years)
Kelly Blackey
Kiernan Hayward, assistant

Greetings! Welcome back after a fabulous summer break. This is our third year in the nursery and Kiernan and I are looking forward to seeing our youngest parishioners again. We cannot wait to see how they have grown over the summer! We also look forward to meeting new little ones. This year we are planning to do some interesting, age appropriate crafts with the children (I promise NO GLITTER!!). If you have any extra buttons, or craft supplies laying around, please bring them in. We would also like to have nice family picture to incorporate into a project for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Any suggestions would be welcome.
We are also hoping to bring on another permanent nursery helper, so that each child has the care and attention they need. This will also help if someone needs to be off on a given Sunday; two qualified staff will always be there.
In the nursery we try to have juice boxes, goldfish crackers and/or TimBits (courtesy of Kiernan) for the kids, however, if you want your child to have something special, please provide that. Every parent is encouraged, but not expected, to volunteer in the nursery at least once or twice during the year. 
Finally, we are hoping to create a new playground area just outside the nursery that will be a fun experience for the children. Further details will be provided once everything is finalized.
Peace and Love in Christ,
Kelly Blackey and Kiernan Hayward
Beginners Class (Pre-K, K & 1)
Dr. Sarah English
Assistant: Andria McCarthy

Looking forward to seeing our returning students and meeting our new ones!

-Sarah English and Andria McCarthy
Primary Class (Grades 1-3)
Cinda Stone, Natalie Bottomlyey & Wes Stone 

As I walk around my garden in late August, I notice that my Heavenly Blue Morning Glories are just starting to bloom. I think about my anticipation to see their pretty blue flowers when I planted the seedlings last May. It takes time, nurturing and patience for their full glory to emerge. They are a favorite of mine, although I find it a little bittersweet as it marks the end of summer.
I'm looking forward to getting to know our new students in September. Our youngest students are like the seedlings I planted in May. With time and patience they will be like our third graders, learning, growing and blooming in all their glory.
This year we are using a new curriculum 'Living the Good News.' It is lectionary based. Family members will hear the same Gospel story in Church that we teach in the classroom. I like that. Families can talk about the lesson they heard and hopefully it will have a lasting impression.
Natalie Bottomley, Wes Stone and I are looking forward to greeting our students and their families on September 9th. Until then, enjoy the last few days of summer fun.
-Cinda Stone
Intermediate (Grades 4-6)
Sue Schroeder, Patty Rooss & Carl Zebrowski 

Welcome back to the Intermediate classroom! We are excited to see our returning and new Sunday school friends--and look forward to spending the year together. Time will be taken to get to know one another as we begin. Our September lessons will focus on Jesus' healing touch, faith in action and the importance of childlike humility. In October, lessons will foreground the gifts of God's people, God's plan for companionship, and the significance of treasure in heaven. We plan to read stories, create skits and find new ways to depict what matters in each lesson. We can't wait to welcome you and begin!

-Patty Rooss and Sue Schroeder 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 other ways. With appropriate Safe Church training, they can assist in the Nursery or Sunday School. Other opportunities include serving as acolytes or joining the newly forming Children's Choir, the Handbell Choir, or the Middle School Youth 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.

Fr. Robert will be forming a Confirmation Class in later in 2018, in preparation for Confirmation by Bishop Franklin on February 3, 2019. It will be Bishop Franklin's last Confirmation at Calvary before his retirement.

Musical Opportunities

Coming in September and October is an intergenerational hand bell group that will meet a few times to prepare pieces for the 10AM service on October 28th. Youth are especially invited to 
consider joining for this performance- 
let Kevin Durkin know you are interested.

A group of interested people met over the summer to discuss the possibility of building a children's choir. From the conversation, the idea arose to create a children's choir that would rehearse weekly and then present choral evensong here at Calvary each week. The choir would be open to all youth across Western New York, even if they are involved in a church music program at their home church on Sundays. We are continuing to gather ideas and work out logistics for the program. If you have thoughts you would like to share, please see Kevin Durkin or email him at

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. 
We will start having acolytes serve again on September 9, so a schedule will be coming out soon!
If you and your parents would like to learn more, please contact Doug Sandburg II at


Intergenerational Event

Save Saturday, October 6!
Sky High Adventure Park
Holiday Valley, Ellicottville, NY
Saturday, October 6th, 9:00 - 2:00
Ropes course, zip lines, roller coaster
Minimum age 7
$54 per person. Bring a friend!
Organizers Norine Eaton and Jonathan Sandberg

United Thank Offering

Begun in 1889, UTO is a grassroots ministry of the Episcopal Church that can teach children about the Christian way of giving thanks and helping someone else. 

Sunday School students will receive a United Thank Offering (UTO) box when they come to Sunday School. When your child takes his/her box home, encourage all members of the household to give thanks daily to God for blessings in life and to offer a coin in thanksgiving. The boxes will be collected during all Calvary Church services on the weekend of October 13-14 and blessed at an Ingathering during the 10 am service on Sunday October 14. Then Calvary will hand over the collected amount to the diocese at the Diocesan Convention. 
The funds will then be awarded in grants to churches and ministries worldwide. 

The United Thank Offering could be described as a pay-it-forward ministry - we help others who in turn help others, most often in life-changing ways. A Blue Box placed anywhere in your home can serve as a visual reminder that all blessings, big or small, are gifts from God and that all offerings, big or small, are used for the glory of God and the building of God's Kingdom.
Almighty God, I give you praise
for blessing me in many ways.
Create in me a grateful heart
and with this gift a blessing

  Bottle and Can Drive

CYM is continuing our recycling drive for NY State redeemable bottles and cans. In July, Calvary sent a check for $360 to Episcopal Relief and Development's Hurricane Relief Fund. 

Only containers that have the phrase "NY State 5ยข refund" on their labels can be redeemed for cash. Bottles/cans of iced tea, hard cider, or Canadian bottles/cans are not eligible for the refund. Place your bottles/cans in the bins by Calvary's parking lot entrance or bring them directly to the Buffalo Bottle & Can Redemption Center at 2790 Sheridan Dr. in Tonawanda, asking them to credit your refund to "Calvary Episcopal Church."

Many thanks for contributing to our drive!

From the Diocese

Visit the Diocesan Website 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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