We love children and teenagers at St Mary’s!
Our baptismal prayer asks God to “give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, the spirit to know and love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.”
We take this seriously, investing much time and money and attention into nurturing young people in community. It’s rather cliche to say ‘it takes a village’ – but – it takes a village. We believe that. We try to live that out in Christian community, which for us means trying to pattern our lives after Jesus’ way of compassion, contemplation, and justice. Our desire is that each young person knows they were created by a God who loves them unconditionally, delighs in their unique gifts and differences, and has invested in them gifts needed for the healing of the world. Our desire is for them to know the stories of Jesus because we believe in them is the key to living a purposeful and grateful life. Our desire is to have them be an invaluable part of worship, and to be such a part of community that their triumphs and disappointments are shared with people who know them by name.
Living in community means that they are free to make forts out of the sofa cushions at coffee hour. It means that their insights into God’s activity in the world are as highly valued as anyone else’s. It means their help is expected, just like anyone else’s, serving hot dogs at picnics or emptying the dishwasher or taking food to the foodshelf.
This commitment shows – our most recent census shows that over 1/3 of our congregation is under the age of 18.
Together we hold up the values of generosity, humility, independent thinking, and respecting the dignity of every human being. We encourage gratitude and prayer. And we laugh a lot.
We heartily encourage inviting friends at anything we do, so know that new faces are always expected and warmly included. Know that we have gone out of our way to make sure that St. Mary’s is a safe place to be.
On these web pages you can see a wide variety of programming for children and youth at St. Mary’s, ably coordinated by our talented Children’s/Youth Coordinator MiaLisa McFarland-Millares. You can reach her at MiaLisa@saintmaryepiscopal.org.
For information specifically about youth ministry, go here: http://www.stpaulyouthgroup.com/