Christian Education

The goal of children's ministry at St. Michael's is to bring each child nearer to the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ. We firmly believe in the innate spirituality of children, and hope to provide an environment in which that spirituality can deepen and flourish. Our focus is on scripture, worship, and service. Children are considered active participants and vital members of the parish community.

Preschool
Children up through preschool age are invited to attend our Nursery program during the 10:00 am church service. There they participate in songs, games, crafts, and stories in a safe and nurturing environment.

Church School
St. Michael’s Church offers religious education to children through Church School. Church school is divided by age into two classrooms. Two curriculums are used: Godly Play is used with students in grades K–2, and Weaving God’s Promises is used for students in grades 3–5. Both curriculums allow students to think theologically and contemplate what this story means for them through guided questions and free-flowing work or “play” time. Families are updated with a weekly email that outlines the upcoming lessons and activities.

Through church school children are learning:

  • About God’s love
  • About their unique relationship with God
  • About the history of the Episcopal Church and St. Michael’s church in particular
  • About the liturgy
  • How to worship God through song and prayer
  • How to appreciate and use the Bible
  • How to reach out to support others in our community
  • How to treat our materials, our environment, and each other with care and respect

Each week church school students:

  • Sing a hymn
  • Say a prayer
  • Write a prayer of gratitude and a prayer of petition to be read at the 10 o’clock service
  • Hear a story and learn a lesson from the bible
  • Create a craft based on the day’s lesson
  • Share in a snack, reminiscent of the Eucharist, beginning with grace
  • Attend and participate in services
  • Share in fellowship with the entire St. Michael’s community

All programs for our children are supported by parish volunteers. Families and parishioners volunteer as “storytellers” and “activity leaders” in the classroom each week. Adults also volunteer for special programs and assist with events such as the Christmas Pageant, Outreach, and Tercentenary activities. All of their hard work is greatly appreciated.

Other activities important to the Christian Education of St. Michael’s children include:

  • Monthly Children’s Chapel led by Father Andrew on the first Sunday of each month. Children’s Chapel is a condensed service geared toward the children.
  • Seasonal multigenerational services in which children take part in all aspects of the service.
  • Outreach programs such as our Marblehead Food Pantry Shopping Excursion, the annual mitten tree, and the “Souperbowl of Caring” just to name a few.
  • Liturgical events such as the annual Christmas Pageant.
  • Fellowship events such as the parish Christmas tree lighting and sing-along, the Christmas Pageant cast party, and Family movie nights.

Kelley and the Church School Children
Kelley Howells and the Church School Children

Church School Director: Kelley Howells
Kelley Howells, our Church School Director, has served on the board of the St. Michael’s Nursery School and is a certified elementary school teacher. Before assuming her current position in the Fall of 2013, Kelley served as our Nursery Care person on Sundays for eight years.

From Kelley
Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kelley Howells, and I am so excited to begin my new adventure as Church School Director here at St.Michael’s! I have been pleased to be a part of the St. Michael’s community in various capacities since 2004. My involvement began when my children attended the Nursery School here. Within a month I took the position providing child care in the nursery on Sundays, and soon afterward began working on the Board of the St. Michael’s Nursery School. I feel so fortunate to be able continue my involvement with such a welcoming parish.

I have two degrees in education, my BA cum laude from Tufts University, and my Masters degree from Lesley University. I have been fortunate to teach elementary school in England, and most recently in Swampscott, where I taught at Clarke School for 10 years. I am currently certified as a preschool Lead Teacher and as an Early Childhood Educator.

I would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome and would particularly like to thank all of the families who so generously gave of their time and talents to support the Church School during the director search and during my transition into this new position.

First Communion 2014
First Communion "Class of 2014"

Church School Notes

May Highlights
In May, both Church School Groups continued their study of Saints and Easter People. We learned about St. Augustine of Hippo and Mother Teresa of Calcutta and were inspired by their lives and their good works.

Some highlights this month include the wonderful job done by Church School and Supper Club members as they took on various roles in our Intergenerational Service on May 8th. Also, Church School members worked hard to beautify the grounds on the Pleasant Street side of the property on Rogation Sunday, May 15th. A huge thank you goes to all of the families who donated plants, loaned tools, and volunteered to help. Our garden looks spectacular!

High School Service Group and Supper Club
High School Youth, and Supper Club Members, we are looking for your help! On Friday, July 1st we will be gathering a group together in the morning to help carry, dust, and set up the tables and chairs in the tent for our annual Lobster Luncheon. The set up does not take a long time, especially if we get many volunteers, and your help would be much appreciated! If you think that you can assist with the set up on July 1st please let me know at Kelley@stmichaels1714.org 

End of the Year Family Breakfast
Celebration and 2016–2017 Registration—We will be gathering all Church School and Nursery families for our third annual end of the year breakfast celebration at 9:30 am on our last day June 5th! Please look for our Sign-Up Genius email to sign up for donations to the breakfast. We plan for parents and children to arrive to the Chapter Room by 9:30 am and for all to enjoy some breakfast treats while parents fill out registration forms for the fall to get a jump on next year’s program. By 10:00 am parents should head into services, while activities and fun continue for the children in our outside space, weather permitting. Children will join the service at our usual time.

Previous notes
Church School Outreach – Souperbowl of Caring
While planning our Super Bowl festivities, please keep in mind those less fortunate by donating to the “Souper Bowl of Caring”. The “Souper Bowl of Caring” Fundraiser is a nationally organized effort in which funds are raised for a local charity of our choice. Our children here at St. Michael’s have participated 7 times over the last 10 years and have collected a total of over $2,400 and nearly 500 food items. Last year was a great year, when we collected over $400 and 280 food items for the Marblehead Food Pantry. Can we break our own record this year? Let’s try! To contribute to this endeavor, just drop off unexpired non-perishables to our food pantry box, or make a cash donation to our soup pot on “Souper Bowl” Sunday, February 7.

First Communion Class
With the sacrament of Baptism, we are each invited to partake in the Eucharistic Feast. Here at St. Michael’s, we will be offering a special “First Communion” class for elementary school children so that they may deepen their appreciation for the sacrament. This class will be geared toward children in grade 2 and up, but it may also be appropriate for some first graders. This class is not a requirement for the sacrament, rather it is an invitation. It is for children who have not yet received communion, as well as give a deeper meaning for those who are already receiving.
            
Father Andrew and I will meet with children on February 25th, March 3rd, March 10th, and March 17th. We will meet from 3:30–4:30 pm here at St. Michael’s parish hall. The celebration of First Communion will be held on Palm Sunday, March 20th at 10:00 am. These dates may seem far off, but they are really right around the corner! Please assist us in our planning by signing up today. Please sign up for this class by contacting either revajs@stmichaels1714.org or kelley@stmichaels1714.org.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
  
Once again this year we will be commemorating Shrove Tuesday and marking the beginning of Lent, with a pancake supper on Tuesday, February 9th here in the Parish Hall from 5:00–7:00 pm. This supper is open to all. Tickets are $6 per person with a $20 family maximum. All profits from the supper go to benefit the Lucian Ladd fund. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the office; weekdays between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm, or at the door. Please contact Steve Clay at sbc@bullpenmedia.com <mailto:sbc@bullpenmedia.com> if you can assist us in any way with the Pancake supper.


Nursery Care
Children up through preschool age are invited to attend our Nursery program in our space in the lower hall. Nursery care will resume on 9/13 and runs from 9:30 am until the service has ended. It will be available every Sunday through June, even when church school is not in session.

Sign up as a Church School Volunteer!  
Now is the perfect time to join us as a Church School volunteer if you haven’t before. Please consider this worthwhile opportunity to share your gifts, and be part of the children’s religious education experience here at St. Michael’s. We really need your help! Please consider volunteering, and sign up on the St. Michael’s Sign-Up Genius or contact Kelley at kelley@stmichaels1714.org. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU WOULD BE COMMITTED TO HELPING EVERY WEEK. In fact, during much of the winter we will only need two helpers, so four people would have each week “off."

Upcoming Dates to Remember:
Ongoing—Sign up now for our First Communion Group
January 29—High School Service Group to serve at Lifebridge in Salem
January 31—Nursery Care, Church School
February 7—Nursery Care, Church School, “Souper Bowl of Caring”
February 8—Supper Club  
February 9—Shrove Tuesday pancake supper 5:00–7:00 pm
February 14—Nursery Care, No Church School (February vacation)
February 21—Nursery Care, Church School
February 23—Supper Club
February 25—First Communion Class
February 28—Nursery Care, Church School
March 3—First Communion Class
March 6—Nursery Care, Church School
March 7—Supper Club
March 10—First Communion Class
March 13—Nursery Care, Church School
March 17—First Communion Class
March 20—First Communion at the 10:00 am Palm Sunday Service
March 27—Easter Sunday

December 2015 Notes
First, a recap. We had a very full agenda in November highlighted by some very unique moments. On 11/1 we lit our steeple for the first time! This lighting has been provided by a generous parishioner, Jean Howe. The light will create a new night time sky line for Marblehead. Also on 11/1 we blessed and dedicated the new chasuble purchased with the proceeds from the St. Catherine’s Guild Thrift Shop fashion show, given in honor of deceased Guild members. On 11/15 we welcomed Colette Leung Stark to our Church family through baptism. We are so happy to have Colette and her family here at St. Michael’s.

Upcoming in December
Church School students have a lot to look forward to in December! During the month, Godly Play children will be working on a unit about the Holy Family and the Christmas Story while the Weaving God’s Promises group will learn about using their gifts and talents wisely and giving back to our community. We have also created a craft to sell at the Heart of Christmas Fair, and will be participating in rehearsals for the Pageant that will be held on Christmas Eve!

Supper Club
We will meet this coming month on Tuesday 12/8 from 6:00–8:00 pm in the Parish Hall. That evening we will have our Christmas movie and charitable giving night as we did last year. Thank you so much to our volunteer chefs! We can always count on delicious treats and nutritious meals at Supper Club!

Mitten Tree
A great opportunity for giving during the holidays, please consider taking a mitten and buying a gift this holiday season for someone less fortunate. Mittens should be on display in the Parish Hall. Please consider taking a mitten from our tree and fulfilling the wish of someone in need by purchasing them a gift ($30 suggested amount) and leaving it under the tree.

3rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Join us for Christmas Carols, hot cider and chili on Thursday 12/3 from 6:00–8:00 pm on the Summer Street lawn. We will begin with carols and light the tree at 7:00 pm.

Heart of Christmas Fair
The St. Michael’s Heart of Christmas Fair will begin with a Preview dinner on Friday 12/4 beginning at 6:00 pm. Helen Riegle and Kristen Clay will be organizing care and entertainment for the children downstairs by hosting a Children’s Craft Night, while adults enjoy the preview upstairs. Thank you Helen and Kristen! Tickets for the Preview Party are $5 for children 2–12 and $15 for adult in advance, $20 at the door. Tickets are available at the Church Office, the Thrift Shop and after the 10:00 am service. The Fair continues on Saturday 12/5 from 9:00 am–3:00 pm. Look for our Church School contribution of “Magical Reindeer Dust” on sale there!

Exciting News!
St. Michael’s is Souperbowl of Caring’s Featured Group. On 9/13 beginning at noon, the Souperbowl of Caring website will feature St. Michael’s Church in an ongoing report about their participants. This article will be on display for the rest of that week. On Monday 9/14 they will send the article they have written about us to their followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

St. Michael’s children and youth have participated in collecting food and funds for the Marblehead Food Pantry on Super bowl Sunday, in conjunction with the Souperbowl of Caring, since 2005. Over the years, our group has raised over $2,400 and 490 food items!

May Highlights
In May, both Church School groups will be learning about the Ten Commandments through stories and lessons appropriate for their age group. We will also be participating in the many annual spring traditions. We will begin the month with a Children’s Chapel service officiated by Father Andrew and our Seminarian Eric Fialho on Sunday May 3rd at 9:30 am. Please arrive on time so that you don’t miss any of it! Church school will follow. The Intergenerational Service will be held on Sunday May 10th. Children will be given a special role to play in the service. Please email me at kelley@stmichaels1714.org if you can make the commitment to attend, and I will help your child choose a role and prepare for the service. On that day we will not meet at the Davenport House. Instead we will meet in the Parish Hall just before 10:00 am to go over any logistics or last-minute details.

Rogation Sunday May 17th
We plan to celebrate Rogation Sunday with our customary planting of flowers. This year with construction completed, we will be able to plant on both the Pleasant and Summer Street sides. Please look for our Sign-Up Genius to sign up to donate the flowers, or to volunteer to help with the planting on that day.

Year-End Breakfast Celebration, Registration, and Volunteer Signup Sunday June 7th
On our last day, Sunday June 7th, we will be gathering all church school families for an end of the year breakfast celebration in the Chapter room! We plan for parents and children to arrive by 9:30 amand for all to enjoy some breakfast treats while parents fill out registration forms for the fall. This will help us to get a jump on next year’s programming. By 10:00 am parents should head into services, while activities and fun continue for the children. Hopefully the weather will be nice and we can enjoy our outdoor space, otherwise we will continue with activities in the Chapter room. Children will join the 10:00 am service at our usual time. Please look for a Sign-Up Genius coming soon, to do-nate foods for our celebration.

First Communion Class
Father Andrew and I enjoyed meeting with our First Communion group each Thursday afternoon in March. We had a focus on the Last Supper as we learned about the Eucharist. We had fun and learned through exploring the items in our Church and Sacristy. Ask a First Communion Group Member to name the items used on the altar, they can tell you many of the terms we use. The children also had a chance to share a snack each week reminiscent of the Eucharist, hear a bible story, and participate in a craft. A highlight was exploring St. Michael’s Bell Tower and seeing our Paul Revere bell. All of our preparation culminated with a beautiful First Communion shared with our Families and Parish community on March 29th.

April Highlights
In April we will continue Holy week on Maundy Thursday, April 2nd, with a Service at 7:30 pm featuring our Youth Choir! We hope that you can be there. Stations of the Cross—We invite all parishioners to a light lunch on Good Friday, April 3rd, beginning at 12:30 pm. After lunch, at about 1:15 pm, we will gather in the church for Stations of the Cross. Children in Marblehead Public Schools will have a half day on that day, we would love to have you join us after you pick them up at school. We will continue Holy Week observances with the Easter Vigil on April 4th at 7:30 pm and Easter Sunday services on April 5th at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. There will be no Church School on Easter Sunday, April 5th, or on Sunday April 19th due to School vacation week.

Supper Club News
Supper Club will be having its year-end celebration on Monday, April 6th, at 6:00 pm at Fen Yang House on Atlantic Avenue in Marblehead. All students entering grades 6, 7, or 8 in the fall are welcome. Please join us as we celebrate with food, fellowship, and fun. We will look back on a terrific year, recognize those who are moving on, and welcome the new members who will be joining Supper Club in the fall. Please RSVP to Kelley at Kelley@stmichaels1714.org if you are able to come. Outreach Rev. Holly Hartman, a Diocesan appointed deacon for global mission partnerships, will speak to us here at St. Michael’s on Sunday, April 19th after the 10:00 am service. Holly has just returned from a partnership trip to Haiti and has a lot to share with us. She will also speak about the Mission Tithe Matching Grant program offered by the diocese.

300th Anniversary Special Worship Service
On Sunday, April 26th we will be holding the last in our series of “historic” church services. We have greatly enjoyed seeing what services here at St. Michael’s looked like through the centuries, and now we look to the future! We will be holding our “4th Century” Worship Service, looking ahead to the future at 10:00 am on April 26th. We will borrow from what progressive services look like in other places, and will use conjecture and imagination to create our image of the church service of the future! As with past Historic Services, older children in our Weaving God’s Promises group may choose to either participate in Church School as usual on that day, or attend the service in its entirety.

Church School in March

Looking back we have had a very busy month! We began with Children’s Chapel, officiated by our Seminarian, Eric Fialho and we gathered donations to give to our guest speaker, Sister Linda Bessom, for distribution to those served by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. We ended the month with a beautiful celebration of Palm Sunday, which included the First Holy Communion of four of our Church School members on March 29th. In March we also learned about the season of Lent, St. Patrick, the Last Supper, and the Mystery of Easter. We had fun making our traditional Lenten pretzels and weaving palm crosses. First Communion Class Father Andrew and I enjoyed meeting with our First Communion group each Thursday afternoon in March. We had a focus on the Last Supper as we learned about the Eucharist. We had fun and learned through exploring the items in our Church and Sacristy. Ask a First Communion Group Member to name the items used on the altar, they can tell you many of the terms we use. The children also had a chance to share a snack each week reminiscent of the Eucharist, hear a bible story, and participate in a craft. A highlight was exploring St. Michael’s Bell Tower and seeing our Paul Revere bell. All of our preparation culminated with a beautiful First Communion shared with our Families and Parish community on March 29th.

Sign up for the Christmas Pageant!
Can you believe it? We are mending costumes and beginning to prepare for our Christmas Pageant which is coming up soon! The Pageant will be held on Wednesday, December 24th at 5:00 p.m. and is part of the Christmas Eve service. Rehearsals for the Pageant will be held in the church following the 10:00 services on December 7, 14, and 21st. Each rehearsal will take less than an hour. Children may leave after the service, and eat a quick snack, then return to the Church to practice. Our rehearsal on December 21st will be a dress rehearsal and will be followed by a cast party in the parish hall featuring a special lunch.

If your child is able to attend our rehearsals and would like to participate in the pageant, please email me the following information: your child’s name, and any special considerations so that we can cast parts. For example, perhaps your child may worry about reading in front of a crowd, or gets nervous about trying to memorize lines, or prefers not to speak at all.  Please let me know if your child has been a shepherd for the last 5 years and wants to try something new, or if they prefer to continue as a shepherd! Although we are limited and can’t have 10 “Marys,” we want everyone to feel as happy and comfortable as possible on Christmas Eve.
 
2nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Join us for Christmas Carols, Hot Chocolate and “Chili in a Bag” on Thursday, December 4th from 6-8pm on the Summer Street lawn. We will begin with carols, and will light the tree at 7pm.
 
Heart of Christmas Fair
The St. Michael’s Heart of Christmas Fair will begin with a Preview dinner on Friday December 5th. The fair continues on Saturday, December 6th. Look for our Church School contribution on sale there; Magical Reindeer Dust!
 
Christmas Walk Parade
St. Michael’s Church is organizing to participate in the Christmas Walk Parade on Saturday, December 6th. The theme this year is “Winter Wonderland”. Look for more information to follow.

Christmas Dinner Shopping for the Food Pantry
As in years past, St. Michael’s Church will be organizing a group to take gift cards provided by the Marblehead Food Pantry and use them to shop for food items at Market Basket. Those food items need to be delivered to The Marblehead Food Pantry by Monday, December 22nd. They will then be distributed to provide Christmas dinner to those in need. We will be getting the list of items needed and the gift cards sometime after Thanksgiving. If you are interested in helping us with this outreach effort, please contact Linda Smidt at lindasmidt@comcast.net <mailto:lindasmidt@comcast.net> .
 
Mitten Tree
A great opportunity for giving during the holidays, please consider taking a mitten and buying a gift this holiday season for someone less fortunate. Look for more information to come.

Happy News!
We shared news with the children this week at Church School, that former St. Michael’s Church School Director Aileen (Ryder) DiBenedetto and her husband Anthony welcomed a baby boy named Nicholas on November 12th! Nicholas weighed in at 6 lbs. 5 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. He and his mother are doing well. Congratulations and best wishes to Aileen and Anthony.
 
Church School
Sunday, November 23rd, we begin our preparations for Advent and will create an item for the Church School to sell at the Heart of Christmas Fair on December 5th and 6th.

This is a reminder that there will be no Church School on Sunday, November 30th because of the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

Please remember how important it is for the children to arrive on time. If everyone arrives by 9:30, then we don’t have to repeat ourselves for late comers or have children disappointed because they have missed out on something.

Last Sunday, November 16th, our Church School Students continued their lessons on Parables, with the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It was reassuring to see that our children were horrified to think that people would pass by a wounded and robbed traveler and not help him! In the parable, no one helped the traveler until the Good Samaritan arrived. Our children came up with many examples of how they can help others today. In fact, all of the children became “Good Samaritans” for me, when they helped me create the items at craft time which will be displayed on our bulletin board in the parish hall during Advent.

October Highlights:
Bishop Alan Gates' visit Sunday, 10/12
This Sunday, October 12th, we are honored to be the second parish visited by our new Bishop, Alan Gates. There will be no church school that day, and no 8 o’clock service. We realize that it is a long weekend for many, but hope that you will all come at 10 o’clock to welcome the Bishop.
Following the service the Bishop will offer a blessing for all of the capital campaign projects and join us for fellowship in the newly carpeted parish hall.

Michaelmas and Tercentenary Celebration
What a lovely celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Michael’s last weekend! If you were unable to attend, the Evensong service on Saturday was well attended and enjoyed by all. Sunday’s 10 o’clock service was beautiful, made extra special by the gorgeous music and accompanying youth and adult choirs. Many people commented that they left feeling spiritually renewed and bolstered in faith to commence the next 300 years of St. Michael’s! We were honored to have many clergy and special guests at the service and the festivities following. The Bishop of London; Bishop Richard Chartres, and Father Max Accime from St. Thomas Church Arachaie, Haiti were especially well received by our parishioners who found them to be very knowledgeable and engaging. Many enjoyed brushing up on their French when speaking with Father Max!
 
Following the service, we processed to the Lee Mansion to attend the reception, which was a unique experience in itself, filling the streets surrounding the church with our congregation. At the reception, we were treated to a delicious luncheon, thanks were given, and proclamations made. At that time, the children’s quilt gift was unveiled and blessed, and gifted to St. Michael’s Church on behalf of the children and youth, in honor of the 300th Anniversary. Once again I cannot express enough our gratitude to Sue Cool and Gillian Petty for all of their efforts over the past year to make this gift a reality!

Children's Chapel and Blessing of the Animals

On October 5th we will begin at 9:30 am with Children’s Chapel in the Davenport House, where our theme will be St. Francis and his loving care for all of God’s creatures. We will then continue with Church School. At 1:00 pm that afternoon, Father Andrew will meet parishioners and their pets on the Summer Street lawn for our annual blessing of the animals.

September Highlights:
Welcome back, everyone. We have a great year ahead with new and returning activities. Don’t miss Sunday, September 13th when we will have an overview for everyone. But here’s a quick review:

Acolyte Opportunity
Father Andrew has asked all supper club members, and students entering the 6th grade and up, to consider serving this coming year as acolytes. There will be training given on Saturday. September 6th from 10 am–11 am. Please give it some consideration. It is a great way to give back to St. Michael’s Parish.

NEW!—Youth Service Group Begins September 9th
Karin McCarthy and I have been working this summer to create a special outreach program geared for High School Students. Students need not be members of St. Michael’s parish. We encourage all High School students to consider joining our group, and to bring along friends! Many young people need to fulfill community service requirements for their school, for National Honor Society, for college applications, for their religious affiliation, or for other reasons. Many times the annual requirement for students is 30–40 hours of commitment per year. We will coordinate opportunities for students to fulfill many if not all of these necessary hours, while providing a peer group to connect with. It is our goal to provide experiences that will enable students to learn about themselves, while giving much needed aid to others. We will be based at St. Michael’s with local outreach to Marblehead, Salem, and Lynn. We are planning four main activities to complete as a group over the school year, and will provide opportunities for individuals to take part in service that interests them. Our first meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 9th at 6:30 pm in the parish hall. Please bring a friend and join us for pizza! At that time, we will offer a number of potential opportunities to the students and have them decide which plans are of interest to them. Some possibilities that could be chosen by the group include: volunteer opportunities at St. Michael’s including St. Michael’s Thrift Shop, Lifebridge, Habitat for Humanity, My Brother’s Table, Marblehead Food Pantry, Marblehead Council on Aging, among others. We hope to see you there! Please RSVP to kelley@stmichaels1714.org if you plan on joining us.

Blessing of the Backpacks—September 14th
This annual tradition continues this year on September 14th. Children are invited to bring their backpacks to the 10 o’clock service where they will be blessed by Father An-drew in anticipation of a wonderful school year ahead. Parish Church School Meeting–September 14th On September 14th following the 10 o’clock service, there will be a brief presentation in the parish hall to update the whole congregation on church school activities. We will have a quick slideshow of last year’s programs, a look ahead to our goals for the coming year, and an opportunity to register children if you have not already done so. Please bring your calendars, we hope to schedule as many volun-teers as possible for church school this year at our assembly.

Nursery Care—Begins September 14th
Children up through preschool age are invited to attend our Nursery program in our newly renovated space in the lower hall. Nursery care will resume on September 14th.

Church School—Begins September 21st
St. Michael’s Church offers religious education to children through Church School which is held at the Davenport House. Church school is divided by age into two classrooms. Two curriculums are used: “Godly Play” is used with students in grades K–2, and “Weaving God’s Promises” is used for students in grades 3–5.

Supper Club—Begins Monday, September 22nd
Supper Club is a group of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who meet 12 times over the course of the school year for food, fellowship and fun with a bible story, biblical figure, or spiritual question, theme; here at St. Michael’s Church. Youth are encouraged to build their own personal relationship with God and ask questions! We will have our first meeting on Monday, September 22nd. All meetings are from 6pm to 8 pm in the Parish Hall.

The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels 300th Anniversary Service with the Bishop of London to preside—September 28th
Our 10 o’clock service on September 28th will be a very special one, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of St. Michael’s Church. There will not be church school that day in order that the children may participate in this very special service. Children in the youth choir will be processing in and will be seated in the choir loft. All other children are invited to sit with their families and enjoy this important event.

Following the service, all are invited to attend a reception at the Lee Mansion where the children’s hard work on the quilt will be unveiled. There, the quilt will be blessed, and gifted to St. Michael’s Church in honor of the 300th Anniversary.

May Highlights:
In May, we will be learning about Pentecost, and Paul spreading the Good News. We will also participate in the Intergenerational Service, will attend the 1928 Historical Service, and will hopefully participate in Rogation Sunday by planting flowers (May 18)... if the construction materials outside will allow!

April Highlights:
Children’s Chapel
Location Change
We will begin the month with a Children’s Chapel service on April 6th at 9:30am. Because of construction, we will hold Children’s Chapel in the Church School room at the Davenport House as we did in March. Church school will follow.

Stations of the Cross
A bit different than in years past, we will begin Stations of the Cross at noon but will not be following with lunch. We hope that you can join us!

Photo Opportunities
Over the next few weeks, Frances Nilsson will be coordinating the taking of photos of all of the youth of the parish for the “Our Future” portion of the Tercentenary exhibit. Please try to attend church school so that your child can be part of our history! This picture-taking will culminate with a group photo of the entire congregation following services on Palm Sunday.
 

Supper Club
In March, Supper Club continued learning about important figures in the Old Testament of the Bible with a study of Solomon. In April, Supper Club will be meeting on Tuesday April 8th. We will have a lesson on Jesus’ death and resurrection.

First Communion Class
With the sacrament of Baptism, we are each invited to partake in the Eucharistic Feast. Here at St. Michael’s we will be offering a special “First Communion” class for elementary school children so that they may deepen their appreciation for the sacrament. This month, Father Andrew and I will meet with children on April 3rd and April 10th. We will meet from 3:30 pm until 4:30 pm in the Parish Hall. The celebration of First Communion will be held on Palm Sunday, April 13th, at 10 am.

Volunteers Needed!
Now is the perfect time to join us as a Church School volunteer if you haven’t before. Please consider this worthwhile opportunity to share your gifts and be part of the children’s religious education experience here at St. Michael’s. We really need your help! We have returned to our two-classroom format and will need four adult volunteers each week. The Storytellers lead the lesson. The lesson is all set up for you and I will get you a copy in advance. The Activity Leaders help with a craft, which will be all set up for you also. This person also helps by setting up snacks and taking care of odds and ends as they come up. Please consider volunteering! Sign up on the St. Michael’s Sign-Up Genius or contact Kelley.

Quilt Making
Thanks to Sue Cool and Gillian Petty, Church School and Supper Club students are hard at work, making a quilt to give as a gift to St. Michael’s Parish in honor of the Tercentenary. We will be concentrating on the quilt as part of our craft at our Church School sessions. We would like to have as many children represented as possible on what is sure to become a priceless heirloom! Please make sure that your child attends, so that they can see their artwork on the quilt for many years to come.

Family Camp at the Barbara C. Harris Camp & Conference Center
When making your summer plans, here's something to consider: The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts has scheduled its annual Family Camp weekend in New Hampshire from June 26–29th. Registration closes June 5th.

March Highlights:
Church School in March

In March we began by learning about Lent, we even made a traditional Lenten food; pretzels, to eat and share with the congregation. Also, we have all continued work on our quilt which will be our gift to the parish in honor of the Tercentenary. Also in March, our younger children in Godly Play learned about the Parable of the Good Shepherd, St. Patrick, and Baptism. Older children in our Weaving God’s Promises group have learned about Passover, Exodus from Egypt, the journey to the Promised Land, and Building Israel and the Temple of God. We have worked to perfect all three verses of our song this month “Hymn to Joy” (Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee). The children sound great; ask your child to perform it for you! We have learned some new “Grace before meals” prayers, and have read and reviewed Psalm 23.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Once again this year we will be commemorating Shrove Tuesday and marking the beginning of Lent, with a pancake supper on March 4, 2014. This supper is open to all. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12 and go to benefit the Lucian Ladd fund. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the office; weekdays between 8:30 and 12:30, or at the door.

Souper Bowl of Caring
Thanks once again for all of your support of the Souper Bowl of Caring! It set a wonderful example for our children. Our grand total was $422 and 47 food items. Please check the February 6th edition of the Marblehead Reporter for a wonderful photo with a caption of the children hard at work!

Souper Bowl of Caring certificate
 
Healing Hands

On Sunday, February 9th we completed our lesson about Jesus’ power to heal. Please continue to try to be like the healing hands of Jesus for someone who is ill, by reaching out to someone you know who is sick or may have a chronic illness.

Here are just a few ideas, you may come up with others, as you consider involving your children in reaching out to someone you know who is sick or may have a chronic illness:
• Visit them
• Send a card
• Bring a meal
• Help them with a chore or errand
• Drive them to a doctor’s appointment
• Say a prayer for them

Here's a nice prayer to share with your child:
“We pray today for _______________ and for all those who are sick or in any kind of trouble today—people who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit. Give them hope in their troubles, and make them whole again. Amen.”
 

 
last update 06/03/2016