Sunday School and Nursery at St. Mary’s
All children are welcome in worship at St. Mary’s. For those parents who would like to have time alone during mass, the St. Mary’s Nursery and Sunday School are available from 10:45 AM-12:45 PM. Children from infancy to 12 years old are welcome. Parents who prefer that their children stay in mass are welcome to make use of the Soft Space located in the back of the sanctuary with a colorful rug, quiet toys, art supplies, and children’s bibles. It is great for getting the wiggles out during mass and keeping little hands busy.
The Sunday School and Nursery operate from a one-room schoolhouse model, and are located in the classrooms on the 2nd floor of the Parish Hall. To get there, travel through the rear doors of the church, left through the Cloister, then up the stairs (between the Cloister and Parish Hall, you can’t miss them as they’re quite grand). The door is secure, so if you find it closed please knock. Also, an usher can escort you there if you ask. The Sunday School and Nursery schedule loosely follows the academic year and is in session from the first Sunday after Labor Day until the Feast of Pentecost (late May/early June). You are welcome to retrieve your child at the Exchange of the Peace if you would like them to participate in communion!
The Sunday School is staffed by a rotation of paired paid staff and volunteers, and includes age appropriate, scripture based lessons, crafts, and songs from the Seasons of the Spirit Growing in Faith curriculum.
Sunday School and Nursery Volunteers
Sara Macro Forrest has been a parishioner at St. Mary’s Hamilton Village for 15 years, and Sunday school teacher for over ten years. She is the mother of two teenage daughters, alumni of St Mary’s Nursery School, and godmother of two. She works at Bryn Mawr College, and in her spare time enjoys gardening, jogging, and crocheting. Spending time with the children and youth of St Mary’s, and watching their spiritual growth, has been a blessing in her life.
Vanessa Albert Lowry has been a member at St. Mary’s since 1985, when she was at Law School at Penn. She began teaching Sunday school when her elder son was 5 or 6. He is now 17. Her younger son is 13 and recently confirmed. She is excited to begin serving the next cohort of young children and their families as a caregiver and teacher by providing a safe and welcoming place for children and a place where each has the opportunity to begin to engage, at their own pace, with the stories, music and ideas that shape our faith.
Ann Farnsworth-Alvear lives in West Philly and has three teenagers, all of whom have fond memories of years of Sunday School at St. Mary’s–mostly because this wonderful community was always able to make room for fun and play. She and her husband, Rui Dasilva, are trilingual (Spanish/Portuguese) and very involved with large, loving Colombian and Angolan extended families. For work, she teaches Latin American history for the History Department at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kia DaSilva grew up attending Sunday School at St. Mary’s, and is a presence in the Nursery every Sunday during the academic year as a paid worker. Kia is now an undergraduate at Penn, and is active in student theater and debate societies.