At Trinity we value our young people, we cherish them, and we nurture them.
In smaller parishes like Trinity, the size of the Sunday School varies as older young people find themselves involved in such pursuits as getting into college, and new, younger children become old enough to participate in our “one room schoolhouse” Sunday School and grow to take the place of the recent grads.
Recently we’ve been going through just such a transformation. Some of the young people who have been with us for more than a decade find themselves looking at colleges that will take them far from our area (Dublin, Ireland in one case) — but in the newer young people we can see the process continuing. New young people find their way to us from a variety of sources, but once they arrive at Trinity, they tend to stick.
Their numbers are small, but the relatively small number has an advantage: we know all of our young people as individuals, we know their families, we support them in their lives of faith, and, where we can, we support them in their lives outside Trinity as well.
Above are our two of our newer acolytes on a recent Youth Sunday at Trinity. Our superb acolyte corps of a year or two ago has for the most part moved along, and it will be a while before the younger acolytes can fully replace them. As you can see above, they are working on it. But it will be a while before we have a crew like the one below!
The current young people are just undertaking something we have not done for a while: a curriculum-based Sunday School program. It is conducted by rotating teams of adults, including parents, grandparents, educators, and others with a real interest in working with young people.
When Spring turns into Summer, Sunday School will become Summer Sports, a tradition we have had at Trinity ever since a nine year old asked what the kids were supposed to be doing in the Summer when Sunday School didn’t meet. Asked for what SHE thought the kids could do, she responded “We could play soccer.” She was right. We had active Summer Soccer at Trinity for a few years until the young people requested a more varied program for Summer Sunday mornings, and now we provide a variety of sports, chosen by the young people themselves.
With the courtyard and our 8 acre field available for their use, there are lots of possibilities!
Most months, on the third Sunday of the month, the young people join the 10:30 AM congregation for the full service and assume all the adult roles for which they are liturgically qualified and have an interest in trying out. Sometimes it’s a lot, and sometimes it’s just holding the box for the “Thank Offering” (They collect money to support a community outreach activity the young people themselves select each year via their monthly Thank Offerings.)
Four years ago, their partner was the Refugee Program at St. Mary’s Church. In addition to the financial donation, one girl tutored one of the Syrian girls in reading during the winter months.
Three years ago and for a portion of following year, the young people chose the Little Guild, an animal shelter in West Cornwall, as their outreach partner. They had a training session and spent three sessions working with the animals there to socialize them and improve their adoptability.
We have a Confirmation Class at Trinity when we have young people ready to be confirmed. Our most recent Confirmation Class was two years ago, when two of our young people were confirmed when the Bishop visited us.
Most years the young people stage a Christmas Pageant, usually on the third Sunday of Advent. These vary in scale from year to year — and there have been years when there was no pageant at all — but we always make an effort to stage one, remembering that the first Christmas Pageant at Trinity was held all the way back in 1942!
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand pictures. So, here are five videos of Trinity’s young people in recent years.
We predict that you’ve never seen anything like this in church!
Here’s a video the young people did a couple of years ago:
The young people studied the activities of the Apostles following the Resurrection and in the early days of the church. Here was the video they produced as part of that study.
Christmas Pageants at Trinity date back to 1942 — the dark days of World War II. This particular pageant (three pageants back, now) was written, directed, and acted entirely by our young people.
The Congregation of Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford recently traveled by bus to Trinity Lime Rock for a Sunday. Here are the processional and recessional from that day — and you’ll see Trinity kids as well as young people from the Cathedral in the procession.
Here was one of the earlier video efforts by our young people, superimposing a “60 Minutes” format on two Bible stories. Enjoy!!
By the way, you should know that we take the safety of our young people very seriously, and closely adhere to the Safe Church policies of the Diocese of Connecticut. Ask to see a copy when you come by, or you can download a copy from the Diocese of Connecticut website!