Ministry to Children and Youth
On Sundays from 9:30 to 10:20 AM (during the school year), children in Pre-School (ages 3 and 4) through the sixth grade participate in Sunday School. The curriculum used is Weaving God's Promises, which focuses on "weaving our faith, weaving together the family of God and weaving God's beloved community." Middle School and High School Youth participate in Jesus and Java in the youth house with the Youth Minister and other adults.
Children ages Preschool through 5th grade have their own Children’s Chapel during the 10:30 service on Sunday mornings. Chapel takes place during the Liturgy of the Word. Children are invited to join the Procession during the Opening Hymn and follow an acolyte to the Children’s Chapel. There they have a time of reflection through artwork, learn about the Church calendar and objects or symbols we use in worship, hear a Bible story from our clergy, and have a time of intentional prayer that parallels the liturgy of our Book of Common Prayer. The children return to church at the Peace to participate in the Eucharist with their families.
Our choirs for young people are part of the Royal School of Church Music program. Children begin by participating in a Training Choir, where they learn to sing as well as to develop skills necessary to participate in worship services. When they are ready the children become full members of the Treble Choir. Children in the Treble and Training choirs usually sing in church twice a month.
Educational opportunities are provided in connection with sacramental ministries such as Baptismal preparation which is available several times per year.
We provide care for infants and toddlers each Sunday from 9:15 a.m. through the conclusion of the 10:30 a.m. liturgy. There is an infant room with cribs and a room for toddlers. Childcare is provided by our nursery attendant and assistants who have been trained in Safegaurding God's Children.
The Young Child in the Pew
Adults sometimes wonder why we bring small children into the church. Having them there is rather like having them eat at the supper table even though their manners are not elegant. They wiggle, poke and swing their legs simply because they are children; they also sing, pray and give with us. We do not want our children to be disruptive or hamper the church's worship; but on the other hand, we must remember that baptized children are members of the Body of Christ--the Church--and children should be among the worshiping people. They must participate in their own way, for they cannot participate as adults. They are growing in understanding and learning to take their place in the church family. Human beings, both large and small, attain meaning only after they have experiences to interpret.
We, as adults, can accept and perhaps even value the children's restlessness during worship, but they are learning:
• that it is important to come to this place on Sunday;
• that the sights, sounds and feelings of the church are good, though they aren't always understandable;
• that something is expected of them in this place; and
• that they respond with song and prayer and offering
EYC (Episcopal Youth Community) at St. John’s often joins with youth from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Grace Memorial Episcopal Church. The focus is on worship, authentic community, and service to others. There is plenty of fun to be had, too! Jr. EYC (6th through 8th grades) and Sr. EYC (9th through 12th grades) meet separately most Sundays, with occasional joint EYC events and service projects, as well.
Every summer EYC services our neighbors near and far through mission trips. For the last several years Sr. EYC has gone on a mission trip to Belize (every other summer), and Jr. EYC has gone on an annual mission trip to Salter Path, NC. The Jr. and Sr. EYC also participate in short term mission with The Boy's Home in Covington, VA.
EYC also participates in diocesan youth events throughout the year.
The Diocese of Southwestern Virginia has many additional opportunities for youth. These include retreats, trainings, participation in Youth at Council and Summer camps and day trips. Please visit the Dioswava website for many more opportunities: www.youth.dioswva.org/
Ministry to Adults
Adult Christian formation at St. John’s takes place in a variety of forms from presentations at our Sunday forums to weekly book studies. We invite you to jump in!
Adult Sunday School
9:30 - 10:15 AM
We offer two options for adult formation. One group meets in Magill Hall for plenary sessions on a variety of topics. The second group meets in the chapel for dialogical learning. The schedule for both groups can be found here.
Women’s Book Study
10:00 AM Thursdays: Library
Women invited to meet weekly to engage together in discussion about a book focused on a theological theme. The group chooses books by consensus. Join this group to be fed in your mind, body and spirit!
George Bean Men's Discussion Group
7:50 AM: Hume Room, Westminster Canterbury
The George Bean Men’s Discussion Group reads and discusses books suggested by members of the group. All are welcome.
Wednesdays, during Lent
5:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist with Healing
6:30 p.m. Separate programs for children and adults