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Notes And News

Pastoral Letter: Children, Youth, and Families

by Zack Nyein on September 02, 2022

Dear Ones,

I write with news about significant changes to our children and youth ministries beginning on September 18, 2022. These changes have not come without a great deal of prayer, listening, and discernment.  I believe they will set us up for sustainable growth and impact.  Nevertheless, change — however positive — always comes with a sense of loss. Thankfully, if we find after a season that we have made a wrong decision then we can always reassess!  My door remains open, and my sincere hope is that we will approach these changes with open hearts and minds to the possibilities they create.

Choristers, Acolytes, Readers, and Vergers at 11am

Choristers, along with Youth Acolytes, Readers, and Vergers, will now serve at the 11am service on Sundays. 

This is an effort to more fully integrate young people into the life of the wider congregation. Currently the 11am service is St. Bart's largest gathering of the week, and young people are minimally represented.  It is also our broadcasted service, which makes it the public face of St. Bart’s. It is important that our many online visitors see and experience the diversity of our parish, including people of all ages.  Moreover, surveys have suggested that a majority of our families would actually prefer the 11am service. St. Bart’s continues to be a destination church, and 9am is prohibitively early for many families commuting from other parts of the city and beyond.

The 9am congregation will now remain seated in the round for the duration of the service — recapturing the sense of togetherness and intimacy it was originally designed to foster.  Of course, families and individuals of all ages are still warmly welcome to attend this liturgy, which will continue to be timely and relaxed. 

StoryMakers (10am) and Kids’ Church (11am)

Programming for elementary aged children returns during the 10am hour with StoryMakers, an interactive arts, crafts, and drama based program for kids (Sunday School).  Kids' Church will resume during the 11am service, in the chapel, during the sermon. 

Youth at the Center Moving to Room 33

Youth at the Center (our Middle and High School Youth Group) will continue gathering at 10am Sundays.  However, it will now take place in Room 33 on the 3rd floor.  This space is larger and more conducive to group games and movement, with access to the outdoor terrace.  We have also purchased some new furnishings, such as bean bags and a rug, to make it feel youthful and alive! 

Children, Youth, and Families Community Lunch

All kids, teens, and their families are invited to a complementary lunch most weeks between the 11am service and Choristers rehearsal at 1pm.  You do not have to be affiliated with choristers to attend. No one will be turned away, but we encourage you to RSVP each week to help us plan, using a link provided in the weekly announcements. 

New Sunday Schedule and Programs

  • 9:30am Chorister Warmup in the Choir Room

  • 10:00am Children and Youth Activities Hour in the Community House

    • StoryMakers (Sunday School) for Grades K-5 (Room 43)
    • Youth at the Center for Grades 6 - 12 (Room 33)
    • At 10:45am Youth Acolytes and Vergers Report to Church
    • The Forum for adults takes place during this hour
  • 11:00am  Worship with Kids’ Church

    • Choristers Sing Most Weeks
    • Youth Acolytes, Readers, and Vergers Regularly Participating
  • 12:15pm  Children, Youth, & Families Lunch in the Great Hall (Most Weeks)

  • 1:00pm Choristers Rehearsal in the Chapel

Nursery Care available for ages 0 - 4 from 8:45am until 12:45pm

Leadership 

As was recently announced, we are thrilled that St. Bart’s Summer Camp Director Effie Hanakis will be taking on an expanded role as Children’s Minister beginning in September.  Effie is already known and beloved among the preschool and summer camp and brings a wealth of experience in education and ministry.  She will be a remarkable addition to our Sunday team.

We are equally thrilled that Julie and Steve Ross will continue to spearhead Youth at the Center as volunteer leaders.  Their decades of service have been a priceless gift to multiple generations of young people at St. Bart’s, and I remain tremendously grateful.  They model for all of us the ministry of all the baptized! 

Register for the 2022-2023 Program Year

Whether participating in Choristers, Acolytes, Youth Group, Kids’ Church, StoryMakers, or Nursery, etc… we are asking that everyone use a common form to register your children with St. Bart’s for the 2022-23 school year.

 Register Now

Everybody needs a place, and I thank you for making St. Bart’s yours.  It’s one that we build together, and I look forward to building and growing with you in the year ahead. 

Peace,

The Reverend Zack Nyein | Senior Associate Rector

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