At All Saints’, we provide lively and interesting programs for our children through regular church school during the service, Summer Sunday School, and special events throughout the year.
Teachers share the instruction throughout the year, including the summer. Through special events and participation in worship, we aim for an intergenerational approach, and the result is that the children are known and valued by the congregation. A children’s room at the back of the worship space and a fully equipped nursery allow parents to supervise babies and young children while still participating in worship.
We see the arts as an essential component of a well-rounded education and as a way for our children to express and explore ideas about God and community. The Annual Advent Family Day focuses on the production of a piece of visual art by families working together. We tell the Christian story through liturgical drama once or twice a year. Under the direction of a professional artist, our children keep the mural in the library corridor painted with images representing stories from the Bible.
At All Saints’ we cherish our children and walk with them in our faith journey.
Our young people play an important role in worship through the ministry of serving at the Eucharist. Youth aged eleven and older act as crucifer, candle bearer, and assistant during the service and in the process, plant their own roots a little deeper in the traditions and teaching of the Christian community.
At the annual intake of new servers, a one-month preparation and training gives the teens the confidence they need to take on this leadership role.
Under the leadership of Barbara Robertson, youth in grades 6-8 meet on Sunday mornings for the Rite 13 program. High School teens are led by Steve Sibbald in a variety of activities which include basketball nights, excursions for movies, drama, and concerts, and a spiritual pilgrimage which is a highlight of the program.
We see our youth as companions on the way, both learning from us and teaching us. We aim to give them wings so that they can go forward and continue their faith walk, well equipped and blessed by us.
Canadian Lutheran-Anglican Youth Gathering (CLAY)
CLAY is a national youth gathering that happens every two years. The next one will be one year from now, August 20th to 23rd, 2020 in Calgary Alberta. All teens who will be aged 14 to 19 by December 2020 are eligible to come.
We fundraise most or all the money we need to fly from Ottawa to Calgary and pay the registration fees. All Saints has been sending teens to CLAY since 2016, and it is a wonderful experience.
CLAY is a unique growing for our teens on so many levels:
- Youth Ministry well done. At the national level, we can do things that are impossible at the parish or even diocese.
- Large Group Gatherings. The energy of 800 kids all rocking together and hearing world-class speakers is inspirational, in the fullest sense of the word.
- Rooted in our theology. This is our faith presented by our clergy.
- Education sessions. Small groups where kids can open up about doubts and with questions. Like Church School on steroids.
- Discovering Canada. CLAY is a growing-up exercise: planning, fundraising, flying without parents, and seeing remote corners of Canada.
- Inclusion and Social Justice. CLAY is a safe place, and we take a hard look at current church issues such as Truth and Reconciliation.
- Youth love it. In 2016, five of our boys went to PEI, and they were pumped up afterwards. Last year, one of our girls went (we teamed with Bell’s Corners) and she is still excited.
How often do we see kids excited about church?
If you have questions, contact Steve Sibbald or Barb Robertson (or the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll be meeting with teens during church school on Sunday, September 22, and with parents at coffee following worship the same day.