This past year has been wonderful for the growth of the Parish and children here at Christ Church Greenwich. We began our Church School program in September, and it has been non-stop ever since! We have continued with the Godly Play curriculum for our Pre-K through 1st grade age group, as well as having Group’s Hands on Bible curriculum for our 2nd through 5th grade children. The response has been one of excitement and joy, as they learn the stories of our faith in a relaxed atmosphere filled with love, kindness and acceptance. Many thanks to all of our teachers, for without their tireless effort and dedication there would be no program: Carol Nicholson, Tucker Hackett, Annie Yardis , Margaret Fisher, Brian McKenna, Laura Gladstone, Annie Farrell, Phoebe Lindsay, Stewart Lindsay, Rondi Olson, Ken Hopson, Alexandra Burckhardt, Michael Schaus, Gemma Green, Betsy Vitton and Catherine Vitton.
In addition to our Church School program, we have our Pre-K through Kindergarten worship service in the Family Room, as well as an Elementary service in the Chapel. This service, which runs concurrently with our 9:15 Church service, allows the children to pray, sing songs (accompanied on guitar by the talented Tom Arenz), hear a Bible story, and then rejoin their families in Church in time to receive communion together. It is a wonderful way to acclimate the younger children into our faith lives together.
Our Child Care program is under the direction Carlos Ortiz and Leticia Elejalde, better known to us all as Papi and Let. They are now in their 21st year at Christ Church providing a safe and loving environment for our children ages birth to 3 years. When children, now grown, come back for a visit they have such a great time visiting and playing, so much so that parents can’t get them to leave!
We also had a few special events since last January which many children and families participated in:
On March 27, the children wonderfully ushered in the Easter season by “Rolling the Stone Away” down the center aisle of the Church. It was a blessed way for us to re-create our Lord’s resurrection and his triumph over death. It is one of the most enjoyed events of the year for children of all ages! (Yes, adults as well!)
On June 21, our good friends at Inspirica and our parish family came together for the annual Tod’s Point Picnic. We all enjoyed swimming, barbeque, games and fellowship. It was a wonderful way to kick of the first day of summer! Many thanks go to Lisa and Horst Tebbe, Emma Tebbe, Meredith Braxton and Steve Barto, Evan Barto, Acadia Barto, Vin Lukason and Mary Jennings for their expert guidance and much appreciated help.
On Sunday October 3, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, we had Wild Animals during the Exploration Series, brought to us again by Jerry Zelenka and his Wild Kingdom. Children of all ages were delighted to see and touch animals of all shapes and sizes including an alligator, snake, snapping turtle, spider, scorpion, rabbit, ferret and much more. We learned that all of God’s creations are precious to us all.
On Sunday November 30, we held our annual Advent Wreath Making in the Loft following our 9:15 am worship service. It was a wonderful morning of creating a wreath to remind us of the coming our Saviors’ birth during the 4 weeks of Advent, helping us to keep the meaning of the Christmas season in perspective.
On Saturday December 10, we held our annual Gingerbread House Making in the Parish Hall for our dear friends at inspirica. What a wonderful day it was! After the families arrived, we sat down to lunch graciously donated by Garden Catering. Then it was time to start creating some masterpieces, and that they were! I actually think some of them went Condo! Many thanks go to Phoebe Lindsay for chairing this event. Also thank you to Lisa and Horst Tebbe, Meredith Braxton and Steve Barto, Acadia Barto, Evan Barto , The Rev’d Jenny Owen, The Rev’d Andrew Moore and so many others for their expert guidance and much appreciated help. Thanks also goes to the members of this year’s confirmation class for help with setting up, cleaning up, and being wonderful mentors for all the families involved.
On Sunday, December 18, we held our Christmas Pageant during the 9:15 am worship service in the Church. With Mary, Joseph, Angels, Shepherds, Innkeepers, Kings, Sheep, Star, Propman and Narrator glowing and glittering in the spotlight, our children retold the story of the birth of Jesus. It was a simply marvelous way during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season for us to re-focus on its true meaning. It is also wonderful to see so many pageant alumnae return to watch and relive their own participation. It’s a memory that they, and all children, carry with them forever. For the third time the pageant featured a Camel, wonderfully created by Sharon Lemler. It was, once again, the absolute hit of the Pageant! Many thanks to all the wonderful parents who helped this year along with Melissa Dolan, Annie Yardis, George Belshaw, Mary Grandville, Kerry Meyers, Ashley Young, Hilary Hoffmeister, Robin Dodd and the Sextons who are always there and willing to give a helping hand whenever it is needed.
Finally, I just would like to thank the entire Christ Church Greenwich community for their endless love and support this past year. It does take an entire village….