Children and Youth

Click on this link for this week’s episode of Sacred Seconds: February 28, 2021

Greetings!

Hello, current and prospective St. Bart’s families! My name is Pal Covie, the St. Bart’s Youth Religious Education Coordinator. I am thrilled you are here to learn more about our programming and our parish. I, along with the Education Committee, work hard to enrich your children’s spiritual formation journey, making it fun and engaging along the way. The members of the Education Committee are: Jean Burr, Harriet Davis, and Carla Hunt.

On this page of our site, you will find the following resources:

  • virtual weekly Sunday children’s homily videos that take the place of Sunday School amidst the pandemic, along with related music, Bible lessons, reflection questions, and activities,
  • current programming amidst the pandemic,
  • links and resources for building a spiritual life, and
  • information about in-person Sunday School, daycare, and youth programming, when those activities resume.

I know how life-changing the pandemic has been on the individual, family, and community levels. We are each experiencing a wide range of emotions, persistent stress, and questions about both tomorrow and the way this global experience will impact the distant future. Sunday School in the 2020-2021 year (and maybe longer) certainly looks different, and I am excited to try out some initiatives, see what sticks, what doesn’t, and how we can work together to bring religious education into your families’ lives. It is an ongoing process of trying new things and making adjustments as we go, but I believe we are all doing the best we can amidst shifting priorities.

With that said, we can do all things through God who gives us strength. I hope we can commit to at least trying to engage our children in their spiritual practices when we cannot be together in person. Even if we only connect once in a while, I want to ensure you have resources that can help you and your children talk about God and learn about Jesus.

So, now for the information about what we’re up to at St. Bart’s to connect with you and your kids!

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  1. I encourage you to tune into our Weekly Children’s Homily, which is posted on this page every Sunday. Scroll down past this message to see the videos. These 15-20 minute mini children’s services can also be accessed on our YouTube channel, here. The videos include some music, a Bible lesson, a brief message, activities, and reflection questions (even a snippet of dance time!). This is a great way to bring Sunday School to your living room. Periodically, our weekly homily is replaced with an episode of Sacred Seconds. These short 3-5 minute videos offer just a snippet of sacredness to carry with you throughout your week. They are designed more for older youth but can be rather easily digested by youth of all ages (maybe with a little adult support). Sacred Second videos are also posted to this page (scroll down below this message) and on our YouTube channel.
  2. In an attempt to bring our St. Bart’s kids together in virtual fellowship, we are also hosting monthly Zoom check-ins. See your friends, share a snack, and chat about what’s going on in your life! If you would like to be added to our email list, please let me know, so you can receive the Zoom links to attend: palcovie@gmail.com.
  3. We would also love to stay connected with you through social media! Follow our Instagram account: stbartsyouth_yarmouth and see what’s inspiring us and keeping us grounded and spiritually connected.
  4. Monthly, we are organizing safe, in-person, masked, and distanced gatherings for our youth to be outside TOGETHER, often in the form of a walk on a local trail. If you are interested in having your kids participate, please contact me at palcovie@gmail.com.
  5. Virtual pre-recorded children’s Christmas Eve Pageant! Check out our main St. Bart’s page and our YouTube channel to find our pageant posted on December 24th. The bulletin for the 2020 pageant can be found here!
  6. St. Bart’s journals were also distributed to youth who wanted a place to track their spiritual formation. If you would like a journal, please contact me at palcovie@gmail.com. Your journal is best used for:
  • Recording “Godservations” (see below)
  • Writing your thoughts and answers to the Reflection Questions posed in the weekly homily
  • Drawing, coloring, or sketching your responses to the Reflection Questions
  • Documenting anything about your spiritual formation journey
  • Jotting down notes from coffee hour or the homily
  • Creating prayers, songs, or letters to communicate with God
What’s a “Godservation”?

A “Godservation” is an observation of God working in your life. This could be something you hear, see, smell, taste, touch, or feel emotionally.

Here are some examples:

  •  You see the trees changing color in the fall–a beautiful scene of God’s work in nature!
  • You argue with your brother about something annoying he did. He apologizes to you–God is working to create in him a clean heart. You forgive your brother–God is working to create in you a clean heart.
  • Your mom lets you sleep in over the weekend after a very stressful and busy week–God’s gift of rest working through your kind mom!
  • Your neighbor remembers it is your birthday and bakes you a cake–delicious food to be enjoyed in fellowship with your community!

God can work in everyone, everything, and at any time! What have you noticed lately?

These are the initiatives we have established for now. As I said, plans can definitely change and morph based on need and interest. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or to introduce yourself, or if you have ideas for future events or initiatives: palcovie@gmail.com.

In the meantime, friends, we miss you! Stay safe, build snowpeople, revel in God’s glory, dance every so often, and soak up the sun!

Peace be with you,

Pal

Links and Resources

Spotify Music:

Check out our very own Spotify playlist that includes all of our homily morning songs and others! Let your whole family listen while you’re cooking a meal, cleaning, or playing. This is a collaborative playlist, so feel free to add songs that are special to you and your family’s spiritual lives!

Advent Materials:

2020 Advent Calendar

Information about #AdventWord Photo Challenge 2020, a daily reflection practice on social media!

Advent Wreath Booklet, including a prayer and a Bible verse for each Sunday of Advent.

The Way of Love Advent Calendar 2020

Christmas Pageant 2020:

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License #A-730958. All rights reserved. Hymn permission used by Rite Song a one-time use reprint license for congregational use.

Click here for the Christmas Pageant program of service.

Other Materials:

The Maine Episcopal Diocese wrote a children’s e-book about angels! Check it out: What Do Angels Look Like?

Weekly Sunday Children’s Homily & Sacred Seconds Videos:

St. Bart’s Sacred Seconds – Feb 28, 2021

Today is the 2nd Sunday in Lent.

This week’s Bible reading is Mark 8:31-38.

If you are interested in using music to center yourself this morning, please click here to listen to “In Christ Alone” sung by Lauren Daigle.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. What will you trade in to follow Jesus? What cross do you need to bear?
  2. What does following Jesus mean to you?
  3. Will you embark on the way of love? The way of Jesus?

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Feb 21, 2021

This week’s morning song is “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” performed by 150 International Salvation Army Songsters.

Our Bible reading is Mark 1:9-15.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. Have you been paying attention to God? If not, what can you do to pay better attention?
  2. When have you been tempted to do something you probably shouldn’t? Did someone or something help you think twice about your decision? What can help you make a better choice when you are tempted?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Think of a bad habit to give up during Lent. Keep track of how many days you can go without doing it.
  2. Bury your Alleluias!
  3. Create your own homily artwork

Thanks to rfour.org and Nathaniel Vissia for providing the content for today’s message!

St. Bart’s Sacred Seconds – Feb 14, 2021

Today is the 6th and final Sunday after The Epiphany. It is also Transfiguration Sunday.

This week’s Bible reading is Mark 9:2-9.

If you are interested in using music to center yourself this morning, click here to listen to “Be Thou My Vision” sung by many people from churches all over Ireland.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. Where do you need proof of something in your life? If you don’t get proof, will you believe anyway?
  2. Have there been moments when Jesus has revealed himself to you – transfiguration moments?
  3. How can you tell someone loves you? How do the people you love know you love them?

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Feb 7, 2021

This week’s morning song is “Sanctuary,” performed by the Daywind Studio Musicians.

Our Bible reading is Mark 1:29-39.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. What kind of healing might you pray for this week?
  2. Do you need a break? Find a moment in your week to pause and listen for God.
  3. What activity could you do this week to help you hit “refresh”?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Make a care package for someone or donate items to St. Elizabeth’s
  2. Create a pipe cleaner stethoscope
  3. Create your own homily artwork

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Jan 31, 2021

This week’s morning song is “Better Is One Day” performed by The Northernaires Gospel Choir.

Our Bible reading is Mark 1:21-28.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. What are your impressions of church?
  2. What do you think of Jesus’ authority, or power? Has it impacted or changed you?
  3. Are there places or people with whom you feel you have to hide your messes?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Create a small miracle in your kitchen
  2. Make an “It’s Ok Not To Be Ok” poster
  3. Reflect on the homily through art
  4. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Jan 24, 2021

This week’s morning song is “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” performed by Ntokozo Mbamba.

Our Bible reading is Jonah 3:1-5, 10.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. Will you let God lead you? Can you put your trust in God when you are scared?
  2. Have you ever been the first at something, or do you have a goal to become the first? How do you feel?
  3. Think about a mistake you’ve made. Can you repent, and ask God for forgiveness?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Complete a maze. Click here for an easier maze, and click here for a harder maze
  2. Make an origami paper boat. Click here for a quick video showing you how to make one. Make a clothespin whale and paper Jonah to go with your boat, if you want! The template can be found here
  3. Reflect on the homily through art
  4. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Jan 17, 2021

This week’s morning song is “Here I Am, Lord” performed by The GYC Youth Choir.

Our Bible reading is 1 Samuel 3:1-20.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. Have you ever felt like God was calling out to you? What was the message? What would God say to you now?
  2. When you pray, do you pause and listen first?
  3. What can you learn from someone just by watching and listening?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Figure out how you listen to God best.
  2. Create a “God Phone.” Click here to access the template.
  3. Complete the “Crack the Code” puzzle with your God Phone.
  4. Reflect on the homily through art.
  5. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Jan 10, 2021

This week’s morning song is “We Three Kings” virtually performed by our very own St. Bart’s Choir! The song is embedded in the video.

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License #A-730958. All rights reserved. Hymn permission used by Rite Song a one-time use reprint license for congregational use.

All sources for the depictions of wisemen are cited within the video.

Our Bible reading is Mark 1:4-11.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. What does baptism mean to you? Reflect on your baptismal experience.
  2. Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? How can God help you achieve it?
  3. Write down the sentence, “I am loved,” as many times as you want. Do you believe it?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Create an oil and water painting. Click here for a helpful website for this activity!
  2. Interview someone about their adult baptism
  3. Reflect on the homily through art
  4. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Jan 3, 2021

This week’s morning song, “We Three Kings” performed by The Piano Guys.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 2:1-12.

This week’s reflection questions are:

  1. Where are the stars in your life? Will you follow them? Where is God leading you? If there are people in your life who are star-like, thank them for their love and guidance.

2. What gift would you give the baby Jesus if you were one of the Magi?

3. What gift will you give him this year? What is one thing you commit to doing to honor Jesus in the year ahead?

This week’s optional activities are:

  1. Move your kings to the nativity set in your home on the Epiphany, January 6th

2. Share your birthday gift for Jesus with your family

3. Create 3D paper kirigami stars. Use this video to help you. Or, here is template to color your own star and attach it to a straw or dowel.

4. Reflect on the homily through art

5. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Dec 20, 2020

This week’s morning song, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” performed by Bonnie Rideout, Maggie Sansone, & Al Petteway.

Our Bible reading is Luke 1:26-38.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. Do you believe you can do hard things if you are willing to trust God? What happens if you say “Yes” to God?

2. How can you share Jesus’ love with others? What does love look like?

3. Who is on your list of people who love you no matter what?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Watch the St. Bart’s Christmas Eve Pageant on Thursday, December 24th at 4pm

2. Bake Christmas cookies

3. Write a letter to Jesus, describing the birthday gift you are giving him this year. Template: here!

4. Reflect on the homily through art

5. Write down your questions and ask someone

There will be no homily next week, December 27th! We will return on January 3rd. Don’t miss our pageant that will be posted this Thursday on Christmas Eve!

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Dec 13, 2020

This week’s morning song, “Ding! Dong! Merrily on High” sung by The King’s College Choir.

Our Bible reading is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. What brings you joy and happiness?

2. What can you share with Jesus or another person this week? How will you pray?

3. Do you think you can be joyful without feeling grateful? What are you thankful for?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Take part in a Christmas tradition

2. Create a “Joy Wall”

3. Reflect on the homily through art

4. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Dec 6, 2020

This week’s morning song, “Dona Nobis Pacem” sung by The Maine Diocesan Virtual Choir.

Our Bible reading is Mark 1:1-8.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. How can you spread the news of Jesus? What does peace look like?

2. Have you ever doubted what someone told you because of how they looked? Would you believe John?

3. How are you preparing for Jesus’ coming?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Set up the nativity

2. Create a stable ornament

3. Reflect on the homily through art

4. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Nov 29, 2020

This week’s morning song from the Taize tradition, “Prepare the Way.”

Our Bible reading is Mark 13:24-37.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. What brings you hope? Where do you see hope?

2. What will you do to prepare for Christmas?

3. How are you? Check in with yourself.

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Form an Advent Wreath

2. Create a paper hope chain. Strips to print and cut out: here!

3. Reflect on the homily through art

4. Write down your questions and ask someone

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Nov 22, 2020

This week’s morning song, “The Hallelujah Chorus” from The Messiah by Handel, performed by the King’s College Choir.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 25:31-46.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. What does following Jesus mean to you?

2. How will you serve others this week?

3. What are you thankful for and how do you express your gratitude?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Say a grace (see below) or come up with one of your own

2. Create a serving tray

3. Make No-Bake Sheep Grahams

4. Reflect on the homily through art

5. Write down your questions and ask someone

Us Grace: We thank you, Lord, for the food before us, the shelter around us, the family beside us, and the love between us. Amen.

The Johnny Appleseed Grace: Oooo…the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord, for giving me the things I need: the sun and the rain and the appleseed. The Lord is good to me. *clap clap* Amen. *clap clap* Amen, amen, amen. Aaaa-men.

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Nov 15, 2020

This week’s morning song, “Like A Child” by Jars of Clay.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 25:14-30.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. What are your talents?

2. How can YOUR talents serve God and make the world a better place?

3. What are you thankful for?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Say a grace (see below) or come up with one of your own

2. Create a deck of talent cards – Watch this video first: People Are Awesome: Kids Edition!

3. Make talent placecards

4. Reflect on the homily through art

5. Write down your questions and ask someone

Food and Prayer Grace: Thank you, God, for food and prayer. Teach us how to love and share. Amen.

The Superman Grace: Thank you, Lord, for giving us food. Thank you, Lord, for giving us food. For our daily bread, so our mouths are fed. Thank you, Lord, for giving us food. Amen, amen!

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Nov 8, 2020

This week’s morning song: “Siyahamba (We are Marching in the Light of God).” Also performed by the Maine Diocesan Choir.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 25:1-13.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. How will you let God’s light shine?

2. What other things can you do to prepare for Jesus’ return?

3. What are you thankful for?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Say a grace (see below) or come up with one of your own

2. Create a vessel of light

3. Make a “Waiting for Jesus” clock

4. Reflect on the homily through art

5. Write down your questions and ask someone

God is Great Grace: God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. By His hands, must all be fed. So, give us, Lord, our daily bread. Amen.

The Addams Family Grace: Da-da-da-da *snap snap* Da-da-da-da *snap snap* Da-da-da-da Da-da-da-da Da-da-da-da *snap snap* We thank you, Lord, for giving The food we need for living. That is why we’re singing Our praises to the Lord. Da-da-da-da *snap snap* Da-da-da-da *snap snap* Da-da-da-da Da-da-da-da Da-da-da-da *snap snap*

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Oct 25, 2020

This week’s morning song: “Trading My Sorrows” sung by the Bates College Gospelaires.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 22:34-46.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. How do you love God?

2. How do you love your neighbor?

3. How do you love yourself?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Make friendship heart rocks

2. Create a heart bookmark

3. Reflect on the homily through art

4. Write down your questions and ask someone

5. Do something with your family to spread love

***Special activity for All Saints’ Day NEXT SUNDAY on Nov 1: send Pal a list of important saints who have influenced you (palcovie@gmail.com) or draw a picture of one of your saints and send a picture of your drawing to Pal. We will also discuss important saints in our Zoom Small Groups. Examples: Kobe Bryant, Jackie Robinson, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., or John Lewis.

REMINDER: there will be no Children’s Homily on Sunday, November 1st. Instead, tune in to our St. Bart’s All Saints’ Day Service with the whole parish. It will be posted at 9am on Sunday.

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Oct 18, 2020

This week’s morning song: “Come, Now is the Time to Worship” sung by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 22:15-22.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. What belongs to God?

2. What are your gifts that God has given you?

3. How can you give back?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Make a God jar

2. Create a coin rubbing

3. Reflect on the homily through art

4. Write down your questions and ask someone

5. Do something with your family to give back to God

***Special activity for All Saints’ Day on Nov 1: send Pal a list of important saints who have influenced you (palcovie@gmail.com) or draw a picture of one of your saints and send a picture of your drawing to Pal. We will also discuss important saints in our Zoom Small Groups. Examples: Kobe Bryant, Jackie Robinson, Mary Oliver, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., or John Lewis.

St. Bart’s Children’s Homily – Oct 11, 2020

This week’s morning song: “This Little Light of Mine” sung by Sam Cooke.

Our Bible reading is Matthew 22:1-14.

This week’s reflection questions are:

1. How do you respond to the invitation to God’s kingdom?

2. What will you do every day or every week to prepare?

3. How can you share with and invite others to join the party?

This week’s optional activities are:

1. Make celebration streamers

2. Create an invitation

3. Reflect on the homily through art

4. Write down your questions and ask someone

5. Do something with your family to prepare for God’s kingdom

Information about In-Person Youth Programming

St Bart’s supports our children of all ages in a variety of ways.  We provide Daycare, Sunday School, and older youth programs.

Sunday School

Our Sunday morning classes are age-based:

Explorers: Pre-K/K/First Grade

Seekers: Second/Third/Fourth Grades

Trailblazers: Fifth/Sixth/Seventh Grades

Sunday School begins at the same time as our 10:00 am worship service during the school year (September through mid-June).  Families are encouraged to arrive about 9:55 am to drop off their children in the Sunday School wing, which is to the right side of the sanctuary.  If you are new, please take a minute to introduce your family to the teacher in the classroom and make sure to let someone know about any food allergies or other concerns.  After the lessons and special project for the day, Sunday School teachers will bring the kids into the sanctuary at the Peace, where they will join their parents and be able to participate in the Eucharist.  The children will stay with their parents for the remainder of the service and thus will be able to join in singing the final hymn at the end of the service.

Our Sunday School program is primarily lectionary based, divided into six seasons:

Creation, Advent/Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost

The Bible stories told in class will be the same stories heard in church with the hope that intergenerational insights might be shared on the way home!  In the classroom, we pray and sing and listen and discuss, and we always end with an opportunity for the kids to be creative with a project or craft that reinforces the story. Sunday School meets every Sunday during the school year with the exception of Easter and a few 3-day holiday weekends, when we all gather together in church.  On those Sundays, there are Activity Bags available by the ushers, if you would like your child to be able to keep quietly busy coloring or doing other small activities.

Daycare

We offer daycare during the school year as well, for children 4 years old and younger during the 10 am Sunday service.  The daycare room is located at the very end of the Sunday School wing, closest to the parking area.  There are always two daycare providers present when daycare is provided.

Programs for Older Youth

If you are interested in programs for our older youth–eighth grade and high school, please contact anyone on our Education Committee, or email our Education Coordinator, Pal Covie, at palcovie@gmail.com.  Our youth programs continue to evolve, and St. Bart’s youth often participate in the excellent programming provided by First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth.  Each year, our older youth have participated in a community service project trip to various areas locally or abroad.

Other Family Programming

We also offer occasional get togethers for families on a weekend evening, such as “Bingo Night.”  Sometimes these are potlucks and sometimes the Education Committee provides pizza and dessert.  They are always festive gatherings for families to get together.

Other activities in which St. Bart’s families are involved:

  • Blessing of the Animals (in honor of St. Francis)
  • Maine Marathon Water Stop–St. Bart’s holds one of the official water stops for the Maine Marathon.  Many of our youth participate in handing out water and fruit and cheering on the runners as they pass by the church.
  • Christmas Fair Kids Crafts
  • Workshops
  • Christmas Eve Pageant–every child is invited to participate, and there is only one rehearsal!   The pageant is always in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.
  • Spring service project, and more!

Your participation, suggestions, and contributions are greatly appreciated.  Please feel free to contact  members of the Education Committee.

The Education Committee:

Jean Burr, Pal Covie, Harriet Davis, Carla Hunt