Young People at St. John’s, 2023:
To add your name to the Youth Ministry email list, please send an email with your name, email address, and the names, birthdays, and grade levels of your children or grandchildren to email@example.com.
Young People and Worship
At St. John’s we strive to incorporate children and young people fully into our worship and enable them to know they are loved, wanted, and needed within our communal worshiping life. Young people serve independently or alongside older children or adults in any ministerial role they wish. Each Sunday we seek to remove barriers to full participation by children while enhancing the worship experience for all members of the community. Also, there are lectionary themed coloring pages, flags for waving, stickers, colored pencils, and other materials available in the vestibule to use in the pews. If kids need a break from the pew, there is a space in the back of the church that’s stocked with cushions and multiple sensory materials. There’s also space for bigger body movements and dancing in the front of the church on the Park Street side. For noisier play, the Upper Room has lots of open floor space and a tv with the service streaming live. Know that you and your children and grandchildren are welcome here. Noises and needs for movement are welcome here. At St. John’s, our worship is for everyone!
The Nursery/Drop-In Playspace:
Children of any age are always welcome in our services! The nursery is there, though, to give caregivers a break when they would like one. On Sunday mornings from 8:55-11:30am, the nursery is staffed by Safe-Church-trained, experienced adults and is available to young children so they can receive care from the community while their parents/caregivers worship or participate in formation groups. Our nursery features books and toys carefully chosen to reflect the values of our worshiping community as well as a lofted gathering space, a hidey-hole reading nook, art supplies, soft sculpture elements, and comfortable seating for adults. The playspace is also available to the wider community for use under parent/care-provider supervision during non-holiday weekdays from 9am-4:30pm.
Godly Play & Godly Circle (K-5th grade):
Godly Play is a Montessori based Christian formation program that uses tactile materials to explore sacred story, parables, and liturgical action. The class time follows the rhythm of a Sunday service and creates a prayerful, playful environment where the Holy Spirit can work through the community to help children discern meaning. Godly Play (for grades K-2) and Godly Circle (for grades 3-5) both meet in the Godly Play room at 8:55am. All ages hear the story together, and then the older children have the option of a more sophisticated response time.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and the Young People’s Fellowship (6th-12th grade):
The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer guides formation for our older young people using Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the Teen/Music room on most Sundays. Our tweens and teens also have the opportunity to gather for fun activities and service projects with a larger group of their peers from neighboring Episcopal and Lutheran churches through the YPF (Young People’s Fellowship), and they are always encouraged to invite their friends along! YPF events are chosen and planned by teen representatives from each participating parish and are generally held every 4th Sunday. Keep an eye on the Friday email newsletters and the church’s website calendar for details.