Like any family, we love our kids! From the time we welcome them into the Household of God through Holy Baptism to the time they fly the nest to start their adult adventures, we want them to feel welcome, safe, loved, and included.
We have found that our parents prefer to have their children in church with them instead of leaving them with a sitter. While that may mean a few fussy babies or wiggly toddlers, we think that’s OK. We’re just glad to have you and your children in church where they can start learning the Good News from an early age. Children are gifts beyond compare in their expressions of delight, wonder and surprise. Their fresh perspectives challenge us; keeping us vital and invigorated. There are busy bags at the church entrance if you want one. And if you need to take a particularly antsy child out, the nursery is available for your use.
Our Sunday school program for children in kindergarten to grade 5 meets during the first half of the 10:15 a.m. service. The program begins with an age-appropriate chapel and the liturgy of the word, sometimes followed by a craft. After the Sunday school lesson, students join the rest of the congregation for communion. Worshiping as a family is one of our strongest vehicles for Christian formation, so all children are welcome and encouraged to participate. The may receive communion or cross their arms to receive a blessing. We respect your decision as to when they initially receive communion. For those who want their children to have a deeper understanding of the Eucharist, we offer a communion class for children, which is held each winter.
Throughout the year our children are involved in activities that reap benefits beyond our parish through Heifer Project International, the Episcopal Relief and Development Nets for Life project, and our Food4Life ministry.
Youth Programs (Middle School - High School)
Our youth program provides activities for middle school and high school young people. At St. Clare’s Youth Ministries, we seek to offer a nurturing, creative, loving, and safe community of faith for each young person in our parish. The youth community is a place where teens can explore the unfolding dimensions of their life and faith and ask any questions without fear of censure. Through conversation, worship, prayer, games, food, Bible study, and relaxing fun, teens are invited to deepen their faith and be part of building up the body of Christ in community.
Activities include several youth retreats and overnight gatherings throughout the year, including an annual winter ski retreat. These events are an opportunity for the young people of St. Clare’s to gather with their friends, fellowship, and build Christian community. In 2015, they even went on a pilgrimage to Ireland!
All youth in grades 5-12 are invited to participate as readers during the 10:15 a.m. Sunday service on the first Sunday of the month. Our youth read the Holy Scripture lesson, lead the prayers of the people, sing, in addition to serving as acolytes.
Every year St. Clare’s offers preparations for the sacrament of Confirmation. Youth spend Sunday afternoons during the winter and spring in reflection and study and retreat to prepare taking on the full responsibility of being a mature Christian.
The acolyte program offers our youth an opportunity to become active participants in Sunday worship and other special days of celebration. Acolytes carry the Cross and candles and assist with other liturgical duties during the services. The program is open to all members, second grade through high school. All St. Clare's youth are encouraged to participate. Training opportunities are offered throughout the year.