Children, Youth and Family Ministries

2017-2018 Schedule


  • Backpack Drive! (August):  During the month of August we’re collecting donations of money and backpacks (for grades K-5) to hand out at People’s Place during the last week of August before school starts as a part of their “Back to School Smart Starts” program.  Bring your donation to church on Sunday or contact Cindy in the office.  And then help us hand out the supplies from 10am-1pm at People’s Place Aug 28-Sept 1.  Contact Kathleen Kluber to sign up for a shift.


  • September 10:  Blessing of the Backpacks This is a great way to give a blessing to our children (from kindergarten through college) as they begin another school year. It helps them know that their parish family is with them in their endeavors as they learn and grow. They will receive a small charm to put on their backpacks that reminds them that God blesses their endeavors through their life in Christ and the support of their parish family at St. John’s. We’ll do this as a part of the 10:00 am service.


  • September 10:  Acolyte Training After the 10am service, all those who wish to be an acolyte for the coming year are asked to attend this training – including those who already serve as acolytes.  Bring your calendars for Sept-Dec so we know when to schedule you.  Youth will also have an opportunity to sign up for other worship responsibilities like reading and ushering (training dates/times for those will be forthcoming).  We’ll serve pizza for lunch afterwards and be finished by 1:00pm.


  • September 17 and 24: Kids Service Project and Youth Group Planning

    All the younger members of our community (all ages and grades) are invited to participate in a service project for the animals of the Ulster County SPCA.


    Sept 17: During the 10am worship service, we’ll bake animal treats. After the 10am service, the Youth Group will meet to plan our schedule for Sept-Dec.


    Sept 24: We head to the shelter after the 10am service to take our gifts and learn more about how this shelter cares for its animals. Join us!



  • October 8: Blessing of the Animals  After the 10am service, we’ll meet along the side of the church in the Memorial Garden where St. Francis stands to remind us of our connection to all of life.  Bring your pet or pets (or your favorite stuffed animal!) and we’ll bless them.  This event helps families of all kinds honor their important non-human family members and consider how we can be better stewards of God’s creation.


  • October 20: St. John’s Game Night We fill the Parish Hall with tables and tables of games and we bring food to share.  All ages are welcome as we join in fellowship with each other for the evening.  The fun begins at 6:00pm.


  • November 5 and 19:  All Saints’ Day and Acts of Kindness  Join us on Nov 5 for our All Saints’ Day celebration and receive your special November assignment – express your gratitude for God in offering Acts of Kindness to others in God’s name.  Two weeks later, on Nov 19, we’ll take up a special collection of these acts and give thanks in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday.



  • December 3:  Advent Wreath Making After the 10am worship we invite you to participate in a fun craft day in the Parish Hall – making an Advent Wreath for your home.  Lighting the candles on your Advent Wreath is a way to mark the time of anticipation during the season before Christmas.  You’ll also receive a set of prayers to say for this seasonal ritual.  All ages are welcome to join in the fun!


  • December 16: Movies with Spirit  Nativity! is a comedy about putting on a nativity play starring Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit movies).  Rated PG.  Bring your popcorn and sit back and relax as you enjoy this holiday movie on a large screen in our Sanctuary.  Discussion and snacks follow.  Donation recommended for Movies with Spirit, a non-profit organization that seeks to foster interfaith understanding through the art of film.


  • December 24:  Christmas Pageant At 5pm on Christmas Eve we’ll have an early Christmas Eve service for children and families.  All children who show up are invited to have a part in telling one of our most sacred stories – the birth of Christ.  If your child would like to have a speaking part, please be sure to attend the rehearsal ahead of time (time and date TBA).  All are invited – neighbors, family, friends.  Later that night, we’ll have a candlelit Choral Christmas Eve Eucharist at 8pm.


  • January 7 – February 11: Epiphany House Blessings  During the season of Epiphany, we celebrate the revelation of the light of Christ and to help us celebrate the lengthening of daylight in the new year, Rev. Michelle offers house blessings.


  • January 14:  Beloved Community Celebration and Reflection To celebrate the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, we’ll plan a special activity and celebration.  More information coming!


  • February 4:  Souper Bowl Sunday The younger members lead a soup drive to help stock the food pantries in Kingston during the winter months.


  • February 13:  Shrove Tuesday  Before we begin our Lenten fasting on Ash Wednesday, we pull out the all the stops with a pancake dinner which is why some people call this day Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).  Everyone (especially the younger members) is invited to pray over the fire as we burn last year’s palms (from Palm Sunday) for Ash Wednesday in the cycle of the church year. 


  • February 14:  Ashes-to-Go The imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday is a sacred moment that reminds us of our deep dependence on God and our connection to one another.  The younger members are invited to join clergy and lay leaders as we impose ashes on people who stop along Albany Ave.  Times TBA.


  • March 9:  St. John’s Game Night We fill the Parish Hall with tables and tables of games and we bring food to share.  All ages are welcome as we join in fellowship with each other for the evening.  The fun begins at 6:00pm.


  • March 24:  Palm Saturday  From 9:00am – 1:00pm we work on crafts related to Holy Week and Easter and our priest, Rev. Michelle, the story of Holy Week.  This is a great way for our younger members to learn the story in an interactive way and help them connect to one of our most important celebrations in the church year.  We end with lunch.


  • March 25 – April 1: Holy Week Stay tuned for worship times for our high holy days: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and The Great Vigil of Easter on Holy Saturday.


  • April 1:  Easter Egg Hunt!  Bring a basket and join the fun after 10am worship on Easter Day when we celebrate the Resurrection in glory and splendor.  We always have plenty of eggs!


  • April 22:  Kids Can Serve  To help celebrate Earth Day, our younger members will serve the adults lunch in the Parish Hall after 10am worship and lead us all in conversation about how we’re all called to serve and care for God’s entire creation.


  • May 6:  Blessing of the Bikes Our second annual Blessing of the Bikes is an opportunity for kids of all ages to bring their bikes for repair, learn about bike safety, and have their favorite summer “ride” blessed for the upcoming season.  Immediately after 10am worship.  Bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. are all welcome.


  • May 20:  The Feast of Pentecost The Feast of Pentecost is the celebration of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Our Youth Group helps to lead the congregation in a Spirit-filled celebration at the 10am worship.


  • June 24:  St. John’s Day  We usher in the summer and celebrate our patron saint – John the Baptist.  We’ll hear from our young people during the sermon time as the Godly Play program ends for the summer and have some special selections from our choir as they prepare to take a summer break.  We’ll follow worship with a picnic and outdoor games for all ages.