Second Sunday – and Other Special Services for Families!
Children are always welcome at ANY St. John's service, but we make a special effort to design some services with children and families in mind.
Second Sunday is a special family Sunday, full of worship and fellowship designed with kids in mind. There are no faith formation classes for children or youth on Second Sunday because everyone comes to church. (There is still nursery care for children through age 3, and the youth may still sit in the Eagles' Nest.) The service is short -- 45 minutes to an hour -- and is held on -- when else? -- the second Sunday of each month. As part of Second Sunday, children take flowers up and put them in the vases in front of the altar; our butterfly, "Alleluia," is perched somewhere in the sanctuary; there is child-friendly music; Gospel readings and other lessons are translated into "kid language"; there's a children's homily; children are involved in writing and leading the Prayers of the People; our children's choir, the Choristers, performs as the main music ensemble; children are invited up to the altar to help set the table and join in the hand movements of the Eucharist; the altar is set at the chancel steps for standing communion stations; and children play instruments during the sending song.
In addition, Second Sunday generally has a kid-focused theme:
- August- the blessing of the backpacks
- September- the blessing of Sunday school teachers and children
- October-blessing of the animals
- November- communion celebration
- December-Christmas pageant (see more info, below...)
- March-Bible presentation
- May-Youth Sunday and graduate blessing
- June-outdoor service and parish picnic
Following Second Sunday worship we have family fellowship opportunities to encourage families to get to know each other. Children meet and play in the parish hall or in the courtyard, and we serve healthy coffee hour snacks.
We have two "family" services on Christmas Eve. Our 2:30 service is VERY short (about 45 minutes) and is designed for families with very young children. The 4:30 p.m. Christmas Eve service is similar to our Second Sunday services.
Of course, children are welcome at our 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. services as well.
At 4 p.m. on Ash Wednesday, we have a special service just for children and families. The service concludes in time for Choristers rehearsal at 5 p.m.
Palm Sunday Parade
Our ecumenical Palm Sunday procession, celebrated with our Methodist, Lutheran, Congregationalist, and Baptist neighbors, is a family favorite and features a live donkey, palm branches, and singing.
Children's Easter Vigil
Easter Eve is a traditional time for baptism in the Episcopal Church, and we have a children's Easter Vigil, where we baptize little people in a shortened version of the traditional Easter Vigil. Like the longer Easter vigil which starts at sunset, the Children's Vigil includes a Service of Light, a Service of Lessons, Baptism or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows, and the first Easter Eucharist.