Children and Youth

February News for Children, Youth, 
and their parents:

Before you know it, Lent will be here, so we hope you will all join us for a fun Shrove Tuesday pancake supper on February 13th, @ 6:30 p.m. at the home of Tammy and Dan MacDonald. (16 Hawktree Drive in Westwood, quite near the Downey School). Kindly email Ellen Kelly  at if you're coming and would like to bring something like fruit or juice. Pancakes, sausages, bacon, syrup, and Mardi Gras beads and masks will be provided! Thank you, Dan and Tammy, for continuing this happy tradition!

As there are two Sundays in February that fall during public school vacation, we will not have classes this month on the 18th and 25th. However, we hope to see you in our classes on February 4th and 11th! (High School Class meets on the 4th, and Middle School on the 11th; K - 5 meet both dates). We will have a Bake Sale on the 11th to kick off fundraising for the B-SAFE summer program, and help from all ages would be most welcomed! If you can bake some cookies, brownies, or cupcakes, please let me know! Thanks!

As for Middle and High School events this month, you can look forward to the following:

~ M.S. Youth will go bowling at the Norwood Sports Center on Sunday, February 4 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

~ H.S. Youth will help cook and serve supper on Wednesday, February 7 at the Epiphany Middle School in Dorchester, leaving @ 3:30 p.m. and returning by 7:15 p.m. Epiphany School is one of the most remarkable schools I know, so I encourage you to come help out! 

Last but not least, I'd love to have a parent helper at each of these events. Thank you!

Here's a great website to check out:

 Youth Program

“St. John's is a nurturing faith community in which young people come to understand, accept, and live their Christian faith as they mature from childhood through adolescence.  To help young people develop a relationship with God and live faithfully in the world, we study scripture, nourish spiritual growth through prayer and worship, and encourage active participation in outreach.”        
                                          Emily Sugg,  
Minister of Children & Youth

High school students, grades 9 through 12

At this age-level, we connect scripture to the world around us, deepen our prayer lives, and integrate fully into different areas of parish life. High School class meets once a month, and there are at least one or two outreach opportunities monthly. Serving at at Oasis, Epiphany School, or tutoring at C.H.S. enable this age group to focus on living into our role as disciples. Many of our High School Youth participate annually in the CityReach program, run by Ecclesia Ministries, Boston. In June of 2017, we served in Copan, Honduras with our partner parish, C.H.S., working at two after-school programs. Confirmation Preparation class is held for youth in grades 9 and 10, in alternate years.

Middle school students, grades 6 through 8

Church School classes at this level meet twice a month, with students and their teachers joining families and friends at the time of the Peace so that they may receive Holy Eucharist. Youth in this age group are encouraged to begin participating as worship assistants (readers, acolytes, prayer leaders) during the 10:00 a.m. service on Sundays. We volunteer on a regular basis at the Norwood Food Pantry.

Kindergarten through grade 5

Weekly classes are offered for children age 5 and older, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. Children and their teachers join their families to receive Holy Eucharist together. 

Nursery for infants & toddlers (through age 4)

Ellen Stryer, our Nursery Care-giver provides loving care during our 10:00 a.m. service, September through June. She is assisted each week by a middle or high school youth volunteer. During July and August, we encourage parents to bring children to worship at 10:00 a.m.

Children of all ages are always welcome, year-round, to participate in all parts of our worship services.

Four of our High School youth attended the CityReach overnight at St. Paul's Cathedral to learn more about homelessness in Boston.  Here the boys are running the toiletries table. They served 297 guests on Saturday, January 20, most of whom had been waiting in line for hours. 

Kids getting a closer look, clustered around the font, as baby Henry was baptized.

Eight members of this past summer's UPH service-learning team chatted on Skype with the director and one of the Camp leaders in Copan, Honduras. Our youth recently passed along grant money to Urban Promise Honduras to help pay for winter camp programs. (December and January are the school vacation months in Honduras)

And last but not least, we are reminded here, by baby Dylan, that one is never too young to spread joy while serving others! ;-)