Children and Youth Ministry Update from The Rev. Francesca Fortunato

January 3rd,2020 Categories: Latest News
Dear Park People,
In December, our children observed Advent and Christmas, with great joy and excitement. We made sure to keep the Advent calendar in the children’s ministry space up to date, with lots of stickers, saving the sticker depicting baby Jesus for last, of course! Children had great fun, helping to decorate the Christmas tree in the Narthex. There were also three song-and-story workshops with Paul Vasile, culminating in the children’s beautiful performance as song leaders, during the Cantata service on December 22nd. The children look forward to more musical participation, in the services for Palm Sunday, Easter, and Pentecost.

In January, the children’s scripture readings will have a dual focus, on the mentions of children in the gospels, and on the healing work done by Jesus and the disciples. These readings will serve as inspiration for the work of brainstorming, planning, and preparing, as the children get ready for their first collaborative service project; a craft fair and bake sale to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The children selected Saint Jude’s as the recipient for their fund-raising, because a couple of them had friends who were cancer survivors, and because they liked the idea of contributing to a hospital that serves children with cancer, at no cost to their families. The craft fair/bake sale will take place in mid-June, and the children will be working toward it, in various ways, throughout the remainder of this program year. Stay tuned for more on this beautiful; benevolent endeavor!

As I write this, our little table-top Christmas tree remains in place (with the occasional ornament repurposed as a cat toy) but our menorah has been put away until next year. I am always sad to say goodbye to the menorah, as Chanukah concludes, but especially so this year. My dual heritage (Catholic father; Jewish mother) has always been important to me, but, this year, also makes me feel particularly vulnerable (in response to the many, horrible incidents of anti-Semitic violence) while, simultaneously, feeling determined to that I will not let myself “pass.” It’s still Christmas on the calendar, and still, also, Chanukah, in the temple of my heart.

May G-d bless all of us, children of Sarah and Abraham, keeping us always in solidarity and holy love!

Rev. Francesca Maria (Miriam): Children’s Minister