One of our chief responsibilities as a congregation is to help raise the children God has entrusted to us. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or have no children of your own, we want everyone at St. Mary’s to see it as their role to help love and nurture the youngest in our community.
Services – One of the great joys of being a multi-generational congregation is having both young and old present when we gather. If your loved one chooses to celebrate during one of the quieter moments of worship, please know you will be surprised with warm smiles and lots of doting assistance. That said, please use your judgment and take advantage of our excellent nursery, or listen to the service in our parish hall.
Age 0-3 (Nursery) – St. Mary’s offers nursery care during the Sunday morning services (10:00 a.m. in the summer, 9:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. during the school year). The nursery is staffed with three paid sitters and four parents of current nursery attendees. We create a fun and safe environment for our littlest parishioners while their parents worship. Ask an usher for assistance in finding the nursery.
Age 4-3rd Grade (Children’s Chapel) – From September to June, Children’s Chapel is offered to children ages 4 through 3rd grade, during the first two-thirds of both Sunday morning worship services. The children leave right after the processional following the cross to the Chapel. Any latecomers are more than welcome to join their peers once Chapel has begun. Here children begin their journey of faith learning the fundamentals of our Episcopal worship. They can participate in many aspects: preparation of the altar, discuss important themes in the Lessons and Gospel for that day and have a little fun singing with their friends and a member of the Clergy each week. They rejoin the adults during the offertory and are encouraged to accept a blessing or communion with their parents. The hope of Children’s Chapel is to teach about our liturgy, to help our children know one another and their church community, and above all to worship God with joy.
Church School – During the school year, St. Mary’s offers Sunday Church School at 10:15 a.m. between the formal morning worship services for children from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Our mission is to give the children of St. Mary’s a foundation of knowledge about the Christian faith. We use the Episcopal curriculum which covers Old and New Testament, Church History, and the Sacraments. Children are given age-appropriate activities, which expand their knowledge and exploration of faith in a fun-filled environment. To register your child for Church School, bring them to the age-appropriate classroom (marked with signs), and the teacher will assist you.
Family Events at St. Mary’s – There are many opportunities for families to create God- centered experiences together in the life of this community. Many parishioners say that the St. Mary’s yearly, all-church retreat to Shrine Mont, the Diocesan Retreat Center in the Shenandoah Mountains, is a life changing the experience for all ages with fellowship, prayer, and fun in a picturesque setting. Mission trips, ice cream socials, and fellowship dinners are just a few offerings that can enrich your faith and renew your bonds with God and each other. We try to gather as a community throughout the year. Look for events in our e:publications.