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Children’s Chapel

Starting on September 12, 2010, St. Peter’s Cathedral will offer Children’s Chapel for elementary-school-age children on Sundays, during the 10:15 am service. Children will convene beginning at 10 am, and once all are gathered they will say the Lord’s Prayer together, sing a seasonal hymn, discuss a Bible story, say prayers about whatever is on their hearts and in their minds, and then give thanks to God, all before they enter the nave to join their families and the rest of the Cathedral congregation in time for the Eucharistic prayer and the sharing of communion.

Over the course of the year, we at St. Peter’s hope to offer the kids who come to our Children’s Chapel a year-long story. A story that moves from Genesis all the way through the Bible to the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of Paul. Throughout our exploration of that sweeping Biblical story, we’ll be asking the kids to think about, comment upon and then— through our Kids-Lead Services and Pageants— re-tell the story themselves. Below, in brief, is a summary of the story that the kids who attend St. Peter’s Children’s Chapel will hear, contemplate, discuss and then re-tell this year. We invite all St. Peter’s children, parents, parishioners, and visitors to help us make this story flesh over the coming year.

Chapter 1: Sept. 12 – Nov. 21
In The Beginning: From Genesis to Exodus to the Kingdom of Israel
God as creator and steadfast lover of everything and everyone
God has created everything and is always present in our lives. God loves us and tries to help us in all that we do. We are called to learn to recognize God all around us, to listen to God and to love God. Together with God, we try to co-create beauty and goodness in our lives. But despite our best efforts, bad things can and do still happen. At such times, it can be hard to recognize that God is with us—how could God let such things happen? Yet if we look hard enough, we can still find God. Indeed, the presence of God can be most powerfully felt in the worst of circumstances.
Sun, Oct. 10, 10 am: St. Francis Kids-Lead Service

Chapter 2: Nov. 28 – Jan. 5
Advent/Christmas – Israel in Ruins; Exile & Return; Mary, Joseph & Baby Jesus
God comes in the flesh to save us
Bad things happen to all people at some point in their lives. And it can be hard to maintain hope, to keep finding joy and not be gripped by fear and anger. Lots of bad things happened to the ancient Israelites and they were feeling angry and afraid and were losing hope. Then God sent Jesus. Jesus is the steadfast love, presence, support and power of God right here and right now with us—another human being just like us, but at the same time Jesus possesses the overwhelming power, wisdom and goodness of God.
Fri, Dec. 24, 5 pm: Christmas Pageant

Chapter 3: Jan. 6 – March 6
Epiphany – Jesus as Prophet & King
All the great and powerful joys Jesus taught us to celebrate
Jesus taught us how powerful and joyful it is to love one another, to share a meal with one another, to give to one another, to heal one another. He taught us that every one of us is special, just as special as everyone else. He took our hurt, pain, fear, anger and sorrow, and made us feel happy and hopeful, gave us the strength to laugh and dance and sing.
Kids-Lead Epiphany Service (Date TBA)

Chapter 4: March 9 – April 23
Lent – Jesus as Healer & Teacher
Struggling to keep God in our hearts and minds
But we often cut ourselves off to all the wonderful truths about joy, love and hope that Jesus taught us. We sometimes ignore how beautiful and wondrous life can be. We forget the importance of being thankful to God for all the good in our life, especially when we encounter the bad. Why do we do this? It’s hard to say; we just do, all the time.
Kids-Lead Lenten Service (Date TBA)

Chapter 5: April 24 – May 29
Easter – Encounters with the Risen Christ
Finding the good amidst the bad, the light in the darkness
Jesus’ death and resurrection showed us the shining diamond of good that can be hidden in the dark coal of the bad, that through suffering there can be found joy and love, and that no matter how awful life seems to be, even in the face of death, God gives us opportunities for happiness and full life.
Sun, May 22, 10 am: Easter Pageant

Chapter 6: June 5 – June 12
Ascension & Pentecost – Jesus Leaves, But Sends Us the Holy Spirit
How the spirit of love can knock down the barriers that divide us
So we must then go out and try to love and embrace all people from all cultures, races and religions, just as we would those of our own family. And by loving all that we come across, demonstrate the truth of Jesus’ teachings and the power of Jesus’ resurrection.

Chapter 7: June 19 – Sep. 4
Summer Sunday-FunDays – Making ‘Ordinary Time’ Extraordinary
Meet new people, try new things and have fun!
Now we practice what we’ve preached—have fun, love one another, find joy in all creation, dance, dance, dance.

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