2017 YOUNG PEOPLE’S REPORT
Sunday School (Ages 3-10):
2017 was another satisfying year for the Sunday School. We started in January with six children, but Charlie moved on to Rite 13 in September, and we had a small group of about four children who attended regularly throughout the year, with a team of loyal and enthusiastic leaders.
We meet every Sunday, with the exception of school vacations. The children begin the service in church with their parents, and after the Children’s Talk with the rector, we leave for the Sunday School room. We start by discussing a story from the Bible, and read a simplified, often dramatized, version. This is followed by games and crafts, designed to help the children to remember the story, characters, and events. We continue to use a program called ‘One Room Sunday School’, although we include many activities of our own choosing to enliven the lessons and make them relevant.
Anna Morgan, Kathy Van Allen, Sarah Autio and I all took turns to lead the group, while Karen Archer was in charge of setting up schedules, no small feat. Ulo Valdma, the organist, comes in 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 communion. When the crafts and games are finished, we conclude 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 from Sunday School and Rite 13 read the lesson and lead the congregation in a hymn or song. They work hard to prepare their readings and do a wonderful job from a very young age.
On special occasions the children participate with enthusiasm in church, such as helping to arrange food around the altar when parishioners bring their donations in support of the Food Bank. They also go down for baptisms and other special occasions.
The Sunday School and Rite 13 have the financial responsibility for Claudia, the foster child in Guatemala who has been supported by Holy Trinity for the past few years. In 2017 we raised money by holding bottle drives, sustained by many in the congregation who faithfully brought their bottles and cans to the Sunday School room. Members of the Sunday School and Rite 13 groups fearlessly ventured out during coffee hour, soliciting small change from the congregation to augment the amount collected for Claudia. Thanks to the generosity of the congregation and the hard work of the children, we made a total of $454.00 to support Claudia’s high school education and to help the village in Guatemala where she lives with her family.
The Rector had obtained a grant of $3200 from the diocese in order to hire a consultant to help grow our small Sunday School, and a team from Holy Trinity met several times with Janice Lowell to discuss innovative ideas to attract more children into our Sunday School, using the book “Sustainable Youth Ministry’ by Mark DeVries. Many of you will remember Janice, who was an assistant priest here a few years ago. Final decisions have yet to be made, but we are considering introducing ‘Godly Play’ to Holy Trinity this year.
Many thanks to all those who contributed to the Sunday School this year.
R-Team (ages 9-13):
R-Team welcomed a new participant as Charlie graduated from Sunday School to join the older group of children, bringing our total to 5 regular attendees. New lessons were introduced from the 622 Program of the Prayer Book Society of Canada, a free, online, Anglican organization. Each week we begin with a very short liturgy for young people, which introduced the Apostles’ Creed. The group continues to work on their awareness of the liturgical calendar, and on understanding all the parts of the liturgy. The Sacraments were reviewed. Some interesting discussions ensued after talking about how God loves us and knows us fully.
The children were more comfortable with each other and were able to discuss what made church different from school. There was increased trust among them and they expressed positive feelings about our church. The Christmas Bazaar was an opportunity for them to contribute through helping to serve the luncheon and buy selling off cloth bags created by the previous youth group.
A roster of parishioners willing to sit in with our group was made. Kathy Van Allen, Patrick Finch, Marlene Taylor, Laurie Kruger, Rebecca Soberon-Blake, Richard Bury, Dianne Keats, and Karen Archer participated. The children enjoyed this, and it provided additional perspective during discussions.
With new user groups moving into the church soon, the group will be moving upstairs to the storage area, and they were absolutely thrilled at the idea. They would like to spend some of the money that they fundraised previously to decorate the new space.