Christian formation is the lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation. Every experience in our lives can provide us with the opportunity to express our faith; the challenge we face is recognizing these opportunities and learning ways to live a sometimes countercultural life in a secular world. At St. Mary's, we have several ministries dedicated specifically to the formation of children and youth.
Please see below for more information and consider volunteering to help these important ministries. All staff and volunteers are required to undergo training to assure the safety of children.
Children ages 6-12 gather at 9:50 am on Sunday for a curriculum-based, age appropriate lesson/activity before joining their parents in church at Communion. The curriculum is drawn from the Lectionary and utilizes many online sources from the Episcopal tradition. We also use Godly Play® during certain seasons of the year. We are in need of teachers and a new chairperson for this ministry. Please contact Prudence Thurston, former chairperson, for more information.
Childcare is available for those under age 6 starting at 9:50 am on Sundays.
Children of all ages are welcome at any service at St. Mary's and may sit with their parents if they don't wish to participate in Sunday School or other activities.
Tracing its roots back nearly 30 years, the St. Mary’s Community Preschool serves the needs of Tuxedo and the surrounding area, welcoming families of all faiths and nationalities. The preschool offers a traditional, half-day program for two, three and four year olds. Classes meet two, three or five mornings a week, depending on the age of the child. The academic curriculum is centered around nationally recognized programs, including Get Set for School® from Handwriting Without Tears® and PATHS® (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies). Weekly chapel sessions are conducted by our rector, whose lessons focus on Christian values. Tuition assistance is available for qualifying families.
Vacation Bible School
In recent years, St. Mary’s has offered a week-long Vacation Bible School (VBS) in mid-August. VBS draws children and volunteers from the greater Tuxedo community. The program is offered free of charge and is funded by St. Mary’s as well as through directed donations from parishioners and community members. More volunteers are needed if this ministry is to be continued, please contact Prudence Thurston for more information.
Episcopal Youth Fellowship
Youth ministry calls for passion, patience, and faithfulness – pointing out the sacred in the midst of the chaos of adolescence and walking faithfully with young people as they transition from child to young adult. The Episcopal Youth Fellowship (EYF) at St. Mary's is open to young people of all denominations in grades 4 and up, and is grounded in the conviction that faith happens in and through the community. EYF holds various events throughout the year -- previous events have included fundraisers for animal rescue efforts, summer movie nights on the great lawn of the church, a Halloween party for kids at a local firehouse, and an outdoor Christmas Market.