From the Associate for Christian Education
St. Elizabeth's Church School
All children are invited to come to our worship services and our classes. Teachers and Chapel leaders are prepared with Bible stories, crafts, and discussions for you to take part in. We offer a separate class for each age group starting with children who will be three years old by October 1 and continuing through Grade 7.
Children under three are lovingly cared for in our nursery throughout the 10 a.m. service time.
Church School Registration
Click here to download the 2018-2019 Church School registration form.
Children should be registered anew each year. Take the time to complete the bottom portion as well, for it provides opportunities for you to serve our parish children.
Church School Offering Envelopes
Our Church School teachers have offering envelope boxes for each of the children in their classes. Children in Pre-K through 2nd grades can bring their offerings to the Chapel, while children in 3rd through 8th grades can place their envelopes in the labeled offering plate in the narthex.
St. Elizabeth's Church School Traditions
The Child-to-Child Christmas Gift Collection is a special annual tradition at St. Elizabeth’s that gives the children the opportunity to experience the generous spirit of the holidays by purchasing a gift for a child in need. Your child can even choose the age—this has always been one of the favorite holiday activities for my daughters who love the outing to Toys“R”Us to pick out that perfect gift. Please choose a Christmas wrap and label gifts with the appropriate age/gender. It is a busy season, but if you can make time for this experience with your children, it can be rewarding for the whole family. We work with The Church of the Holy Communion in Paterson in distributing gifts.
For the First Grade: Communion Preparation and Bible Presentation takes place each Advent. the Rev. Joan Conley and the Rev. Cathy Quinn gather the first grade class to do some exploration of the space in which we worship, to introduce the season of Advent, to do some participatory education about Communion, and to present them with their own copy of an illustrated Children’s Bible.
We begin with special tour of the Sacristy and an exploration of the rarely seen Visitation Window and all of its hidden clues to elements of the life of St. Elizabeth’s. We will continue with a hands-on introduction to Communion, including close-up participation in preparing the altar with the special silver and linens, how to receive the bread and the wine, and ways we understand this regular element of our remembering and worshiping God as we know God in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The class looks at the Advent Wreath and light the candles, and look for other liturgical symbols of the new season.
We read highlights from the bible stories leading up to Christmas from a beautifully illustrated children’s bible and, at the end, present each child with their own copy.
The Christmas Pageant at St. Elizabeth's
For 70 years, the St. Elizabeth’s Pageant has been a highlight of our Christmas season. Please join us in this glorious opportunity to have our children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!
All children enrolled in Church School, Pre-School through Grade 5, are invited to join. Sixth and seventh graders (and others as needed) are invited to volunteer for the speaking parts. All that is required is attendance at the one and only dress rehearsal held the previous day. Children with speaking parts will rehearse during Church School for several weeks before the pageant.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: A Winter Reading
C. S. Lewis’s classic novel is read to our Third Grade Church School class each winter. This group gathers around the fireplace in the Rectory living room on five Monday afternoons, from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. with a short break in the middle for a snack. Parents take turns at chaperoning and/or providing snacks.
Ash Wednesday Children's Service in the Chapel
All children of St. Elizabeth's and their parents are invited to attend. Ashes are distributed, and age-appropriate language is used to talk about sin and forgiveness. There will be no Eucharist at this service.
Last Supper/Seder for the Middle School
On Palm Sunday, we continue our tradition of remembering the Last Supper (and its Jewish roots in the Seder meal) for our fifth through seventh graders. The children share this meal, learning about the significance of the individual foods and taking part in the ritual of the foot washing which Jesus demonstrated at the Last Supper.
Good Friday Children's Service
A children's service is held in the Chapel. We walk with Jesus on his journey to the cross as we remember the last moments of his life on earth. This is an opportunity for children to encounter, in age-appropriate ways, the sadness and suffering of Jesus’ death on the cross while reassuring them of the promise of the resurrection.
Holy Saturday Annual Egg and Treasure Hunts
On Holy Saturday we have our annual Easter Egg and Treasure Hunts at 10 a.m., rain or shine. Our Easter Egg Hunt is geared toward our youngest children through second grade. (Helpful Hints: Don’t forget to bring a basket and try to be on time because those eggs get scooped up fast!). In your Easter basket please bring cans of baby formula, jars of baby food, or a bag of disposable diapers for North Porch/Paterson, an emergency food pantry run by our Diocese and supported by the ECW and the Outreach Committee.
Third through seventh graders follow challenging clues created by John Hartnett, to find hidden treasure around the church. Please sign up for the Treasure Hunt on the poster in the hallway. This event starts with breakfast in the Parish Hall.
Family Service of Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 9:30 a.m.: This service is especially suitable for families with young children and will include a children’s sermon.
Flower Planting for Pre-K through Second Grade (May)
On our annual Spring Flower Planting Day, the children will go to Chapel as usual and then follow teachers to the front lawn for planting. The children bring their own shovels and gardening gloves if they have them and come dressed for digging! This is such a fun and rewarding experience for the children who love to be a part of making St. Elizabeth’s beautiful for the season.
Chapel Families Brunch
Chapel Families are invited for brunch each spring or fall, following a 10 a.m. service.
Your child can feel free to bring a friend to church and Church School. This may, of course, be a child of any religion. Often, it is exciting for young children of different faiths to share their personal worship experiences with each other, leading them to interesting discussion and discovery. (And, of course, there are the donuts at our special “Friends Snack Table” following Church School!)