Children and Youth
Our children and youth have been keeping busy with "home" Sunday school during the current closures. Check out this video they put together telling the stories of Holy Week.
Children are a cherished part of St. Brendan’s, and we encourage our children and youth to be an active part of our community through worship, service, and socializing. On any given Sunday, you’ll see kids serving as acolytes or ushers, singing in the children’s choir, playing in the chime choir, helping plant and harvest produce in the Garden of Hope, collecting donations for the food pantry, and participating in numerous other projects and events at St. Brendan’s.
To get involved or for more information, reach out to our Youth Ministries Coordinator, Rev. Julie Smith.
Children and Youth Sundays
The last Sunday of every month between September and December 2021 is a children's liturgy when children and youth take the lead in participating in the service. These services feature special children's lectionary readings, sermon, and engage children and youth throughout the worship service as they lead the singing, reading the lectionary, and leading the prayers of the people; our young people asl serve as ushers, and assist with communion.
A "Toddler's Table" is situated in the back of the church. If your toddler or young preschooler needs space to move around or some toy/item to engage with during worship, feel free to utilize this space for such times. We believe that children still learn and benefit from being in church, even during play.
Traditionally, Sunday school occurs during the 10 am service every Sunday from September through May, excluding children and youth Sundays. During in-person worship, children ages four through 5th grade begin the service with their families, after which they are invited to Sunday school after the opening hymn and prayer and return for communion with their families. Sunday school provides an opportunity for children to get to know God and the Church in a format and setting where they can engage, participate, question, discuss, and be kids!
In the past, the Sunday school lessons were centered in the Sparkhouse/Whirl Lectionary curriculum. That means we follow the Revised Common Lectionary and structure lessons for children with age appropriate readings and lessons aligned with the Sparkhouse curriculum. Currently, due to Covid-19, we record the lessons and send out a YouTube link in the Saturday evening email blast. We also share activity sheets for the children and a brief letter/overview for families to help families understand what is happening in the lesson. The activity sheets include - coloring sheets or dot-to-dots for younger children, word searches and decoding words for older children.
Beginning Fall 2021, we are participating in the StoryTellers NYC project for our church school. This curriculum will supplement not replace the Sparkhouse/Whirl material but help those at home who choose not to be in church during these time remain with us in spirit. The ‘zine for the young people is available by contacting Pastor Julie.
All of St. Brendan’s Sunday school teachers and leaders are required to have up-to date clearances and go through the Episcopal Church’s “Safeguarding God’s Children” program. This is a free program that anyone can complete online through the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This program can be completed in a fairly short amount of time and is useful and informative for all church members, not just those working directly with children.
Click here register your child for Sunday School.
Sticky Faith (6th - 10th Grade)
Youth group meets the first and third Monday of each month from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm. Through youth group, St. Brendan's youth are encouraged to deepen their relationships with Jesus through the study of scripture, through discussions of modern life lived with faith, and by exploring one’s call to service. All youth will start each session together with pizza and an opening prayer, then break into their groups for the lessons. All youth from 6th grade through 10th grade are invited to join our youth group to put our faith into action.
Traditionally, childcare for infants through age three is available during the 10 am Sunday service in the Nursery. Two adults (or one adult and one teen) provide a fun, caring environment for the children in a warm and inviting nursery room. Parents are asked to gather their child(ren) prior to Holy Communion. At this time, the nursery services are suspended.
Vacation Bible School
St. Brendan's hosts a two-hour, weekly Vacation Bible School – Compassion Camp – the summer of 2021. This was held outside as a way for our young ones to return to being together in a learning environment and outside to minimize the use of masks. It was an awesome time of activities and we look forward to a more traditional Vacation Bible School Summer 2022 when we return to our Monday – Thursday half day VBS.
Registration forms will be in the church Narthex as well as online.