SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN (Ages 3 through 6th Grade)
Our Sunday School year will begin on September 18, 2016 and continue through May 21, 2017. Sunday School or an Intergenerational Event will be held each Sunday, with the exceptions of December 25, January 1, and April 16 (Easter Day). Sunday School begins at 9:30 AM and ends at 10:20 AM. Parents should escort young children to and from Sunday School. An older child may walk over to the worship service without a parent if his/her Sunday School teachers have been notified of this arrangement by the parent.
Here are our classes for the 2016-2017 Sunday School year: Childrens Schedule
Godly Play II Class: Preschool – 2nd Graders
Godly Play III Class: 3rd – 6th Graders
“Godly Play” is a Montessori-based method of Christian education and spiritual direction for children. In Godly Play, we enter into parables, silence, sacred stories and sacred liturgy in order to discover God, ourselves, one another, and the world around us. Godly Play helps us interpret what happens in our daily lives. Godly Play was developed and has been classroom-tested since 1972 by Episcopal priest, author and teacher Jerome W. Berryman. Godly Play is used in churches, schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, retirement centers and other settings. Godly Play is also used internationally, especially in the United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, Canada, Tanzania, Australia, and in Spanish-speaking ministries in many locations.
On “Super Sundays” both Godly Play classes will meet together for a very special lesson. Parents and other interested adults are always welcome to join us for Super Sundays.
Registration and Circle of the Church Year – September 18, 2016
We’ll greet each other and learn about our church year.
All Saints Event – November 6, 2016
Join us as we make shields and learn about the saints.
Jonah!– Last Sunday of Pentecost – November 20, 2016
We will learn about Jonah, the Backwards Prophet. (Note: Joint services will be held at 9:30 to allow for the Annual Meeting.)
Baptism of Our Lord – January 8, 2017
Holy Baptism is full initiation by water & the Holy Spirit into the Church. The rite draws both the past and future into the present. For Christians, this rite is the gateway into the family of families we call the Church. The children’s classes will learn about Holy Baptism, and will be invited to make a water craft.
Holy Week Experience – Palm Sunday, April 8, 2017
Join us as we learn about and prepare for Holy Week.
Graduation – May 21, 2017
Let’s celebrate our year together by having a party!
YOUTH PROGRAM 2016-2017
Youth are on a JOURNEY TO ADULTHOOD
Youth programs at St. Mark’s focus on building relationships, seeking the holy and searching for answers to tough questions. We take seriously the need to deal with what is real for young people, to honor their questions, and to assure them that they are real people with real, valid, and authentic experiences. To accomplish this, we use the Journey to Adulthood curriculum, a program that balances Bible study, prayer, and both serious and playful activities to nurture the whole person during the passage from childhood to adulthood. Leaders model living the faith and remind young people of the ever-present love and mercy of God. “While the rest of us (youth leaders, clergy, grandparents, etc.) are influential, the most important predictors of teenagers’ religious lives is the faith and practices of their parents.” (Youth Ministry in Today’s Church, Leader Resources, p. 6)
Journey to Adulthood is a comprehensive program of spiritual formation for young people that provides a liturgical frame for their experience in our modern culture, celebrates their individuality and their creative potential, and instructs them in skills needed for successful adult participation in church and society. This program is based on two key concepts:
- Manhood and Womanhood are gifts from God.
- Adulthood must be earned.
The curriculum falls into three phases, each of which is two to three years in length: Rite 13, J2A (Journey to Adulthood), and YAC (Young Adults in the Church). September through May, all youth classes meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. in our Community Life Center.
In the program year 2016-2017 young people in Rite 13 (grades 7 & 8) and in high school will meet
The YAC group will continue their post-pilgrimage exploration of faith and service.
Youth Meetings and Activities
Pilgrimage Presentation October 9, 2016
St. Mark’s Journey to Adulthood group will report on their June pilgrimage to Costa Rica and their time at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, which cares for endangered species and exotic pets that have been abused.
Celebration of Young Manhood & Young Womanhood Date to be determined
When a youth is at least 13 years old and feels ready, he or she is invited to participate in a Celebration of Young Manhood & Young Womanhood. In this ceremony, youth, their leaders and parents, and the congregation give thanks to God for the gift of gender, and recognize the responsibilities that come with that gift. The ceremony is held during the 10:30 service. Following the service, the Youth Task Group hosts a reception during Community Time to honor the participants.
CROP Hunger Walk (3 pm Registration) October 23, 2016
Youth and adults may join the CROP Hunger Walks which helps to provide food and water, as well as resources that empower people to meet their own needs. From seeds and tools, to wells and water systems, to technical training and micro-enterprise loans, the key is people working together to identify their own development priorities, their strengths and their needs something CWS has learned through some 68 years of working in partnership around the world. This year’s CROP walk starts at Broughton High School.
Service Activities for Youth Various dates throughout the year
Service to others and all of God’s creation is an important part of the St. Mark’s Youth Program. Fall and spring events to be determined. The youth have proposed many service activities, some within the church, some in which church members will be invited to join with them and some they will do on their own. Our hope is to choose one major activity per quarter. Watch the Messenger and email for updates.
Youth Activities Sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese Various dates 2016-2017
The Diocese of North Carolina sponsors youth ministry weekends. St. Mark’s youth in grades 6-12, along with several adults, may attend many of these weekends. Our special favorite is the Bishop’s Ball in February 2017, for grades 6-12. The youth are treated to a special dinner and dance and their own time with our bishops. The other conferences are also special with FUN games, small groups, singing and worship.
Those who wish to seek a deeper faith relationship with God and others have an opportunity to do so by attending a Happening. Youth can also serve on the staff of these conferences and serve as “helper campers” for the HUGS camp (not yet scheduled).
For more information and to register for programs or planning committee, check out the Diocesan Youth website – http://www.dionc.org/Youth/youth-main.html. There you will find other activities and conferences throughout the Diocese. Follow the links to the full description of the event in order to determine registration fees. Scholarship assistance: The diocesan scholarship policy for weekend events is that participants pay 1/3 the cost, their parish pays 1/3 and the diocese pays 1/3.