2016 YOUNG PEOPLE’S REPORT
Sunday School (ages 3 - 10)
We meet every Sunday, except in school vacations. The children begin the service in church with their parents, and after the Children’s Talk with the rector, we leave and go to the Sunday School room. We usually start by discussing a story from the Bible, and read a simplified, often dramatized, version. This is followed by games and crafts, which helps the children to remember the story, the characters, and the issues involved. We use a
program called ‘One Room Sunday School’, although we include many activities of our own choosing to spice things up and add variety.
2016 was a good year for the Sunday School. We had a larger group to start the year in January, but as several of the older children moved on to Rite 13 in September, this left a smaller core group of about five children, with a team of dedicated teachers providing leadership.
Gill Leakey, Anna Morgan, Kathy Van Allen, another teacher, and I all take turns to lead the group, while Karen Archer is in charge of organizing schedules, which can be quite a challenge. Victoria Finley was with us until September, when she took over the leadership of the Rite 13’s, or ‘R-Team’. Ulo Valdma, the organist, comes to the Sunday School room during the sermon to play for us, so that the children can practice songs and hymns for the Kids’ Days and special services such as Easter and Christmas. Two or more children take the offering down, and after that we go into the church for Holy Communion. When the crafts and games are finished, we end with the children’s favourite part of Sunday School: juice and cookies.
Kids’ Days take place on average once a month, and at these services the children read the lesson and lead the congregation in a hymn or song. Although it can be a little intimidating in the beginning, the children work hard to prepare their readings and do a wonderful job at a very young age.
The Sunday School now has the financial responsibility for Claudia, the foster child in Guatemala who has been supported by Holy Trinity for the past few years. In 2016 we raised money by holding two bottle drives, kindly supported by the many members of the congregation who created a mountain of empties to the Sunday School room. The intrepid children of the Sunday School also ventured out with their baskets during coffee hour, canvassing the adults to collect small change for Claudia. Thanks to the generosity of the congregation and the hard work of the children, we made a total of $400.25 to support Claudia’s education and help the village where she lives with her family.
This year one of our teachers offered to take responsibility for organizing the Christmas pageant, which was a great success. At the family service on Christmas Eve, the Rector narrated the story of the Nativity, with the children ably and enthusiastically playing the parts of the major characters: Mary and Joseph, shepherds and angels. If you missed it, there are photos on the church website.
And last but by no means least, a group of us joined the Rector when he used all his persuasive powers to obtain a grant of $3,200 from the diocese in order to hire a consultant to help grow our small Sunday School. We are hoping to see favourable developments related to this project next year.
Many thanks to all those who were involved in the Sunday School activities this year.
R-Team (ages 9-13)
R-Team is a small youth group that has just begun working through the Rite 13 materials together, learning the basics of Anglican worship, scripture reading, methods of prayer, being part of a faith community and experiencing God's love through caring for themselves and others in service. The group initiated selecting their own name. Over time, they are compiling interview footage featuring members of the clergy and congregation to hopefully form a short film about Holy Trinity. This was also initiated by the youth.
Fundraising - The group ran a very successful bake sale after the service. Thank you to the parents who supported this effort. Proceeds are being held by the office and are to be split 50/50 between the group and the Sunday School sponsor child, Claudia.
Church Ministry - The youth participated in the Christmas Bazaar as servers for the luncheon. They helped Sunday School with singing and a Christmas Party.
Celebrations - The group went skating together and had a craft party after church.