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Children - Church School


St. Mary's Church School operates most Sunday mornings from September thru the beginning of June and serves our children

and youth through the 12th grade.   Classes begin at 10:30 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. All class rooms are located on the second floor of St. Mary's Guild House which is right next door to New St. Mary's Church.  Other events such as Youth Sundays, Intergenerational Activities, and Social Events are held throughout the year.





Church School Mission

Our Mission is to have our children…

  • Gain a knowledge of the love of God
  • Gain a knowledge of God's Word
  • Learn to love God
  • Learn to serve God


Our Church School Vision and Goals:

St. Mary’s Church School will help children…

  • Learn the foundational stories of the Bible
    • In an age appropriate way
    • In a memorable way

…by preparing them for and encouraging their active participation in worship.

  • Become lifelong disciples and prepare for adult membership in the Church by preparing them to make a mature commitment to Christ at their Confirmation.



Support of Parents and Parishioners


St. Mary’s Church School Parents can help their children by…

  • Keeping the Baptismal covenant that their children will be brought up within the Church, know Christ and be able to follow him.
  • Worshipping together as a family.
  • Talking about faith in the home and in daily living.
  • Being active participants in the Church School ministry.


St. Mary’s Parish will support our Church School and be supported by it by…

  • Helping parents ad children keep their Baptismal covenant that children are brought up within the Church, know Christ and be able to follow him.
  • Welcoming children and families in worship
  • Providing the necessary time, talent and resources to support the Church School.
  • Providing opportunities to integrate children into all aspects of parish life – Ministry, Evangelism, Worship, Outreach, Education, Fellowship.



With the assistance and support of their parents, participating children are expected to arrive on time for Sunday School at 10:20 a.m. Parents are responsible for picking up their child(ren) promptly at 11:30 a.m.

The support and participation of parents is always welcome. Please speak the Annette Lehman or the Rector for more information on how you can assist in this rewarding ministry.


All of our teachers, helpers, workshop leaders, shepherds, music and social directors, administrative and parent support do a tremendous job.




Administrative and Support Staff

Church School Superintendent  – Resource Room

Annette Lehman



Rosemary Eifert

Administrative Assistant

Parish Office

Birthday Correspondent


Social Director


Caregiver for those under age 5

Beth Koch



Pre-Kindergarten/Jr. Kindergarten/Kindergarten

Teghan Noyes

Faith TREK

Rotation Workshop Leaders

Art Lab – ‘Creation Station’

Barbara Frake

Storytelling Room –  ‘Tent of Testaments’

Mary Cherubini

Game Room – ‘Fun with Faith’

Drama Workshop – ‘Acts of Faith’

Faith Endicott

Computer Center – ‘Mouse Trek’

Daniel Martin

Movie Theatre – ‘Reel to Real’

Warren Herbst

Learning with Food Donna Pechillo-Britsch


Youth Group Ministry

Jr. High (7th and 8th Grade)


Sr. High School (9th thru 12th Grade)




For any information on Sunday School education and activities, contact the Parish Office at (609)386-0902 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Church School Offering Envelopes


Giving is a grateful response to God. It is our gratitude for all the blessings that God has given us and an act of worship. One of the ways we teach stewardship to children is by providing them with their own offering envelopes and allowing them to present that offering during one of the worship services or in their Church School classroom.


  • Each student through 8th grade is given Church School offering envelopes at registration.
  • Students in 9th through 12th grades receive regular offering envelopes when they make a pledge.

The offerings of the Church School students are included on their parent’s end-of-year giving statement. Regular weekly offerings help support our Church School programs.


Children’s Sunday School




St. Mary's Church offers Christian Education for students from age 3 through 6th grade  In session from September to early June, the classes meet on the 2nd floor of the Guild House from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each Sunday morning.


Pre-K through Kindergarten

The curriculum used for grades Pre-Kindergarten (age 3), Junior Kindergarten (age 4) through Kindergarten (age 5) is the Episcopal Children's Curriculum developed by the Virginia Theological Seminary.  This curriculum is Bible based and rooted in Episcopal practice and tradition. St. Mary’s is using its Pre School/Kindergarten level which has three different years of material used on a rotating basis.  Each year is divided into four units.   The first unit covers some aspect of the Old Testament.  The second deals with our Lord's earthly ministry.  The third unit explores one of the sacraments of the church, and the fourth unit presents church history and tradition.


Depending on time and interest, the teacher can select various class activities such as Bible readings, craft activities, discussions, games, and puzzles from the many options suggested in the teacher's guide.  This curriculum also provides high quality take-home materials for all the students.  Each week a card with an illustration on the front and a brief review of the lesson, a prayer, or some other message on the back will come home with the child.


As parents, you will find St. Mary’s youngest students spend their Christian education and formation time in child-sized and child-friendly class rooms, some containing models and manipulatives representing the church environment, as well as many stories from Scripture.




Grades 1 through 6 - Faith TREK


Featuring the Workshop Rotation Model

An exciting and innovative approach to Christian Education


In grades 1 through 6, a Workshop Rotational model was implemented in 2007. St. Mary’s has named this program Faith TREK (Teaching, Reaching and Engaging Kids).  Students are currently broken down by grade level.


Faith TREK Workshops are offered from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on most Sundays. Children are sent forth from the 9:00 Choral Eucharist to the Guild House where instruction begins in the Music workshop, ‘A Joyful Noise’.


About Faith TREK:

  • Faith TREK utilizes student centered activity workshops instead of classrooms. In 2007, traditional Sunday School classrooms were transformed into kid friendly learning environments each dedicated to separate activities.
  • One Bible Story or topic is taught over several Sundays. Children attend a different workshop each week to experience the story from different perspectives. One rotation can last between 3 and 5 weeks.
  • Workshop teachers teach the same workshop each week for the duration of the rotation, making adjustments to their lesson plans for age-appropriateness.
  • Shepherds are assigned to a grade level and stay with the same children throughout the Church School year.
  • Children experience each study topic in depth, through engaging, hands-on and relevant “workshop” activities.
  • The Church school publishes a Faith TREK Newsletter for each rotation to keep parents apprised of the biblical topics and activities that will be occurring.


The Workshop Rotational Model recognizes that repetition and appealing to the many ways in which children learn are the keys to retention of ideas and knowledge. For more information on the “Workshop Rotation” Model for Sunday School, go to www.rotation.org.





Faith TREK Workshops



Where traditional classrooms have been transformed into “workshops” and children learn in interesting interactive environments.


· Music Program – “A Joyful Noise”

The Joyful Noise music program sets Christian concepts and Bible verses to music. At the beginning of every Sunday, all Faith Trek students meet in the Music Workshop. A Joyful Noise helps students process, store and recall what they’re learning in each Rotation. Hymns are also shared and this workshop opportunity offers students hands-on music experiences that help them learn, memorize, and apply God's Word to their lives.


· Art Lab – “Creation Station”

Children are given the opportunity to express their imaginations through a variety of media.  The manipulation of clay, paints, crayons, fabric, pastels, wire, etc. together with their God-given gifts result in creative individual expressions of thoughts about the Rotation’s biblical lessons.


· Storytelling Room – “Tent of Testaments”

The workshop leader reads a number of Biblical stories and other reference materials to communicate the Rotation’s key messages and verses. Ample time is allotted for children to also read the stories aloud, reinterpret them for the class, translate what it means in their daily life at the present time, or reflect on inspiring and meaningful passages individually or as a group. In addition, students may use puppets to act out characters in a past or contemporary situation designed to reinforce concepts from the Bible.  A discussion led by the Workshop Leader ties the concepts from the Bible story to the real-life puppet situation. Occasionally, felt backdrops can also be used to re-tell the Bible story to further the children's understanding of these events and the message it delivers.


· Drama Workshop – “Acts of Faith”

Bible stories come to life in the Acts of Faith workshop.  It allows children to experience the story through the use of drama, pantomime and creative movement.  Numerous costumes, fun props, and biblical scripts all add to the fun and excitement as children reenact the story or create contemporary scenes based on ideas and concepts from the story. A video camera is used by the students to record the plays and skits.


· Game Room – “Fun with Faith”

In this workshop, church school students learn Biblical lessons with traditional paper, pencils, books, cross word puzzles, maps, and also through the use of fun games and trivia. The Workshop Leader serves as a game show host of sorts to conduct games such as Jeopardy! or other Question and Answer contests while teaching each rotation's Bible story. This workshop emphasizes where and how to find passages in the Bible, and having fun with trivia and other interesting facts.


· Computer Center – “ Mouse Trek”

Faith TREK’s most recent workshop is the Mouse Trek computer center. Here students use computers with Bible-based software as part of their Sunday School studies. Since its inception, the computer center has become one of the most popular features of the Faith TREK program. A session in this workshop begins with a biblical lesson with objectives consistent with those of the whole Rotation unit. Numerous software programs are available and the center now has seven computers – a network of every increasing resources and equipment that permits computer activities that engage students in learning the lesson's objectives rather than passive mouse clicking. The workshop leader works right alongside the students as they use the software. There is also ample space around the computers for student and teacher materials.


· Movie Theatre – “Reel to Real”

Visual media plays a big role in our children's lives through television, movies and music videos. Through this Workshop, movie excerpts shown on a large theatre-like screen plays a powerful and influential tool used to help our children experience and understand their biblical history. Warm freshly popped popcorn is also available to eat and individual seating for comfort is always enjoyed by movie-goers.


Faith TREK Rotation Themes

Under construction... check back for updates.


First Communion


Children of Fourth Grade age or older (about 10+) may be admitted to Communion following instruction. This is subject to the judgment of parents and of the Rector as to the child’s readiness to participate fully in receiving the Sacrament.


First Communion classes will be offered on the Sundays of Lent, following Church School classes. Those who have completed the classes may make their First Communion on Maundy Thursday in Holy Week, or at Easter. Those who are interested in First Communion classes should speak to Father Haynes.


Special Programs and Events


Youth Sunday

Church School students take on the duties of lesson reader and ushers, and special musical offerings are performed by the children.  Our Rector directs his sermon to the younger members of the congregation.


Church School Mission Activities


Lenten and Advent Mite Box donation as well as periodic fundraisers and special events encourage the young children of the parish to help a cause or organization in need of assistance, such as our Partner Parish- The Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi Mississippi (http://www.redeemer-biloxi.org/index.html); as well as to organizations such as the Heifer Project International (http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.183217/).

During Lent and Advent, Church School children are taught to respond to the love God showed us in giving God’s Son for us by drawing nearer to God in prayer. An important part of Lent and Advent can be how children are helped to make this a time to practice being more loving.

Throughout the observation of these two Seasons, families are asked to assist their child in spending a moment each day to deposit their loose change into their Mite Box while reflecting on the life and ministry of the Lord, concentrating on Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Mite box giving promotes the spirit of contributing based on the intent to help others. The Lenten Mite box collection from the church school goes to various mission based organizations.

For example, St. Mary’s Church School used its 2011 Mite Box proceeds to provide for a needy family through the Heifer International organization.


Annual Pre-Lenten Bowling Party


The Pre-Lenten Bowling Party serves as an annual gathering of church family and friends to celebrate before our Lenten fast officially begins on Ash Wednesday. Scheduled in advance children and their families meet at the designated bowling alley after the 9 a.m. Coral Eucharist and Sunday School classes are complete at 11:30. For a nominal fee, all Sunday School children and youth are invited to play two games of bowling, and eat pizza, chips, drinks, and cake. This pre-Lenten activity helps children and adults to understand and appreciate the changing seasons of the Church – times of anticipation, rejoicing, reflection, and mourning particularly as we enter the season of Lenten.


Intergenerational Events


Our younger students, teens and parishioners participate in several Intergenerational Events including our new Knitting & Crocheting Club, Seamen's Church Institute Outreach project, Advent Wreath making, Easter Egg hunt, Palm Sunday cross making, Rogation Sunday flower planting, Chrismon Ornament making and a Bible Challenge Day.