Children & Youth
Holy Baptism is full initiation, by water and the Holy Spirit, into the Christian Church. This Sacrament is open to infants, children, and adults who have not been previously baptized. Each candidate for baptism may have as many as three Sponsors (Godparents) who present the candidate and make promises that they will support the candidate by prayer and example of Christian life. Sponsors and parents of infants and young children take vows on behalf of the child who cannot speak for themselves. Baptism normally takes place on special church Feast Days and certain Sunday services. Parents and candidates meet with the Rector before selecting a baptismal date.
K through 8th
The Sunday School, under the direction of Joan Skorupski, uses a curriculum that includes Bible stories, elements of the Book of Common Prayer, Church history, and Church traditions. The upper grade teachers plan trips and service projects for the children.
The children are involved in special presentations throughout the year at the 10 a.m. service, where they practice public speaking. The principal event is the Christmas Pageant held during Advent. The year closes with a Strawberry Festival that highlights the children’s classroom projects, and a Youth Sermon.
Sunday School begins in September. Registration can be done on-line or on the Sundays in September, though a child may enroll at any time during the year. Offering envelopes are distributed during registration or from classroom teachers.
Sunday School classes begin at 10 a.m. sharp! The children join their families in church during the exchange of the Peace.
Infant – Preschool
Our experienced caregiver, Jodi Trovato, and teenage parishioners, care for the children during the 10:00 service in the nursery located in the education building. The children have an assortment of age-appropriate toys for their play. Please pick up your child in time to receive a blessing at Communion, or before coming to coffee hour.
2nd and Up
Instruction is offered to children in the second grade and up who are ready to learn more about receiving the Holy Eucharist. First Communion class is an education opportunity and not a requirement for receiving the Eucharist. In the Episcopal Church all baptized children are permitted to receive Communion. Parents who would like their very young child to receive communion should ask the Rector for a packet for home use that will be a guide in some basic instruction. If your child already receives Communion, we still encourage instruction in the second grade.
Instruction takes place on five Saturday mornings at 8:00 am, beginning in October. Children will receive their first Communion on Harvest Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
First Communion class for children with special needs meets Saturday morning from 9 to 9:40; Parent or parishioner volunteers are appreciated.
5th and Up
The Acolytes assist during the 10:00 a.m. service. The younger children serve as torchbearers; the older youth assist as Crucifers. Acolytes can expect to serve about once every five weeks and may be asked to substitute on any given Sunday.
9th and Up
Those who are baptized are encouraged to make a mature, public affirmation of their faith and a commitment to the responsibilities spoken for them by their parents and sponsors at baptism. It is a sacrament that is a solemn and joyful reaffirmation of Christian service. Classes are held on twelve Sunday afternoons. Confirmation will be at the Cathedral in Newark, or a district church, in Easter Season. High School students interested in confirmation participate in activities throughout the year.
The Youth Groups are under the direction of Joan Skorupski. The 5th – 6th grades meet on alternating Sundays after the church service and the Junior High and High School youth meet at 5:30pm on the first Sunday of the month. Dinner is included in the evening meeting. The youth participate in parish and diocesan service projects, mission trips, meaningful discussions, and fun activities. Some of the activities for the Youth are open to all: singing for homebound parishioners and residents of the Nutley Senior Manor at Christmas time, making, and serving dinner for IHN guests, cleaning up a park in Paterson, Homeless Night Out, Apple Picking, Bake Sale for pets, and Scary Movie Night! The Teen Mission Trip requires a year-long commitment.
Youth are encouraged to participate in Diocesan events including Christophany, Happening, Diocesan Convention, Middle and High school retreats. More information can be found on our Diocesan web page.
Preschool - 4th
During class, the teachers will sing Bible songs with the children. They are simple and easy to memorize and teach the children about Jesus and their faith through music. The children sing in church on special occasions.
Gifted students, 10th grade thru college, are invited to audition for the position of Choral Scholar in the regular Sunday adult choir. They receive a small stipend.
Vacation Bible School
Preschool – 6th
This fun-filled week-long Christian education program teaches children about Jesus through Bible stories, songs, games, and projects. The culminating activity is Family Night. This short program highlights the fun and learning that has taken place.
Vacation Bible Camp runs from 9 am to 12 noon June 26-30. Children must register in advance and there is a modest charge for tuition.
Children, teens, and adults celebrate the gift of creativity on Sunday mornings. Through various artistic mediums they deepen their connection to the unspoken Word and the liturgical seasons of the Church year. This class is taught by Debra Cook, a professional children’s art teacher.
Awards and Scholarships
The Flannery Scholarship is given to the High School Senior who has been active in the ministries and attendance at the church and involvement in Youth Group activities. The Diocese offers the Mary Rankin and UBE Scholarships (See their website). The “Directors Scholarship” is offered by the Community School for college students who will be involved in working with children. The Moore Award Study Bible is given to the 8th grade Sunday School student who has the best attendance from 5th thru 8th grade.
Community School in Nutley
Grace Church is one of the sponsors of CSN. They offer high quality child care and education from infants through kindergarten. Grace Church houses the Infant/Toddler Center. Contact the School for more information (973-661-0789).
· community service
· ecumenical and Interfaith worship services
· serving in the soup kitchen, wrapping Christmas gifts for needy children, other outreach opportunities
· help in the nursery or Sunday School during the 10 am service (high school and older)
· play your musical instrument during the service
· Mission Trips