Children and Youth Ministry is really our speciality--has been for almost our entire 175 years. We have robust, well-attended programs throughout the year for all ages. The heart of our life is our worship. Children are included in ALL our worship services. Beyond that, here's an overview of what we offer for kids of all ages. TO REGISTER YOUR CHILD IN ANY OF THESE PROGRAMS, please fill out the one form linked at the top of this page. Specify your child(ren)'s age, and you will be added to the list for that program.
Children's Chapel takes place during the first half of the 10:30 am service, and is led by our team of high school "interns" with parent volunteers and our associate priest, Eliza Davies. Children ages PreK - 4th Grade follow the interns and clergy after the opening prayer during the worship service, and return at the "Peace," joining us for Communion.
Children's Corner During church, children are also invited to make themselves at home in our Children's Corner, which is right in the main worship space. The Children's Corner is a cozy space with a coloring table, children's toys, Bible-themed weekly coloring sheets, and a small library. At St. James, children are part of our worship community, noises and all. They even receive Communion with us in the Episcopal Church, from the very moment they express interest. For over 100 years, the Children's Corner has been one of the biggest draws to St. James, a place where (as one child recently put it) "God lives."
Music and Arts for Kids Drama and music have been a century-old tradition at St. James, and we continue that today with our Music and Arts program, led by Victoria Shields, our Organist and Music Director. The kids practice for and perform 2 dramas a year, which take place during our principal worship service (December and May). For all ages. Again, register by using the one form, linked above.
Red Door Explorers The 5th and 6th Graders of St. James "graduate" to an evening program with dinner. This group, called the "Red Door Explorers" for the red doors of our church, learns about church history, worship, and our own space at St. James--its windows, why the doors are red, why we use the terms we use ("nave" "narthex" "chancel" etc). Taught by parent volunteers, who also provide dinners for these events. This group meets every 4-5 weeks on Sunday evenings.
Confirmation Class In 7th and 8th Grades, the kids at St. James begin their confirmation classes, which culminate in being confirmed by the bishop at the end of 8th grade. This class lasts 2 years, and takes place approx 14 Sunday evenings over the course of the school year, 5:30-6:30 pm. It's taught by the clergy of St. James. For an overview of our 2023/24 year, click here.
Junior Youth Group The 6th-8th graders meet the first Sunday of each month for fellowship and food, sometimes including outings such as bowling, snowtubing, bicyling, and so on. Led by parent volunteers under the supervision of the clergy.
Senior Youth Group The 9-12th graders of St. James meet at an agreed-upon time approximately once a month. The centerpiece of this program is service: to the church, and the community. The kids meet to have dinner and socialize, but also follow (those who wish) a schedule of service that culminates in a certificate awarded by the rector at the end of the year. Service projects provided include: participation in our food pantry ministries, diocesan service projects, assisting the clergy in worship by reading and acolyting, and much more.
Acolytes, Readers, and Worship Assistants Kids of all ages also help in our Sunday worship, serving as readers and acolytes, crucifers (carrying the cross into the service) and even, for older kids, chalice bearers. These roles teach them responsibilty and service to the church and its people, but are also fun, with the clergy helping them every step of the way.