Meet The Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell
Associate for Children and Family Ministries
As the Associate for Children and Families at St. John’s is my great joy to walk with kids and their caregivers as they deepen their relationship with Jesus. I’m the parent of a young child, and I have a new appreciation for how beautifully exhausting caregiving can be. We need community, to find ways to feed our own spirituality, and have ways to share that with the children in our lives. Thanks be to God, Christianity is a team sport and God made us for relationship! I look forward to getting to know your family, and walking together in faith.
Newborns & Nursery
Cradle Care Ministry
Please let us know if you have recently welcomed a child into your family. We offer prayer, support, and a Lay Eucharistic Minister to visit you if requested.
Infants and toddlers are always welcome to remain in the sanctuary for the entire service. Additionally, every Sunday morning, we have outstanding, caring, trained professional nursery attendants to accompany children under age three.
The nursery provides a place for children to play and nap while their parents are in worship or engaged in other Sunday morning parish activities.
Located in the Parish House that connects to the church, the nursery is open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM September through May, and 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM June through Labor Day weekend. After signing your child in, a pager will be provided to you in case the nursery attendants need to reach you.
Children in Worship
Children are welcome to participate fully in every service and may remain in the nave for the entire service. We encourage families with young children to sit close to the front or on the front row of the balcony so it is easier to see. Parents are welcome to quietly explain what’s happening so that children may gain understanding in worship. We are blessed to have the opportunity to worship with children.
Greeters will have liturgy bags for young children to use during the service. These bags will have coloring pages and quiet activities for children to work on relevant to the prayers, scriptures, and liturgical events of the day.
During the 11:00 AM service (10:30 AM during the summer), children from birth through grade 5 are invited to participate in a special liturgy just for them. Clergy and lay helpers lead children in a song, homily, and prayer time in the Children’s Chapel space on the second floor of the Parish House. Children are invited to gather by the stairs in the front of the pulpit right before the Gospel is read. They return to the sanctuary during the Peace. Parents are welcome to accompany their children, and encouraged to do so for those younger than three. Children are always welcome to stay and worship in the sanctuary.
On Sundays, St. John’s children and youth meet for a Formation Hour that takes place from 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM. This runs concurrently with the Speaker Series so that there is an event for every age. Children ages three through grade five meet for regular church school classes during this time. Middle and high school youth gather in the Youth Room to pray, learn, and grow in faith together.
Godly Play (Pre-K to Grade 2)
Using Godly Play, children reflect on sacred stories using creative storytelling and responses. This interactive approach helps kids explore scripture and our liturgical actions in imaginative ways.
Spark Lectionary (Grades 3–5)
This class focuses on one of the readings for the Sunday and helps kids make connections between the lesson and their everyday lives. The curriculum comes from Sparkhouse Media.
Throughout the year, families are invited to participate in all-ages offering to mark significant moments in our lives as Christians. These include Advent wreath making, Communion classes, our annual Christmas Pageant, and special Holy Week offerings for parents.