The Church School (Sunday School) is one of the oldest organizations of St. James Church.  The first Sunday School session was held on October 11th 1914, when the congregants held their first Episcopal Service in an unoccupied store on La Reine Avenue in Bradley Beach.  At that time, the Sunday School met at 2:30 pm each Sunday afternoon.  That first session of the Sunday School comprised a staff of four teachers (Anna Leonard, Fannie Jones, Ethel Leonard, and Nettie Payne) and fifteen scholars.  Church records indicate that each Sunday saw an increase in the number of scholars.  Establishment of the Sunday School actually predated the official establishment of St. James Mission which occurred a few months later on February 16th 1915.  It also should be noted that one of the stained glass windows on the west side of the Nave was donated by the Sunday School and is dedicated to the memory of Fannie Jones, one of the four original Sunday School teachers.In the First “Parochial Report” issued by the St. James Mission, dated May 3rd 1915, it was reported that the Sunday School had 6 teachers and officials and 40 scholars.  In the Report for the First Annual Meeting of St. James Parish (on December 6th 1946), it was noted that the Church School, operating under Herbert Lemmerman and Robert Hansen, had an enrollment of 85 students in 1945 and 95 students in 1946.  Based on the Sunday Bulletin for June 20th 1948, Annual Sunday School Picnics had become a parish tradition by that date. The Church School, operating under the leadership of Superintendent Laura Schembri, has 5 teachers and is organized as follows:

Pre-K and Kindergarten           Teacher:  Dawn Taylor
First, Second and Third   Teacher:  Laurie Schembri
Fourth, Fifth and Sixth   Teacher:  Chrissie Oppegaard
Seventh and Eighth   Teacher:  Nancy Smith
High School   Teacher:  Lisa Scott

  The Heart Shaper curriculum, having the objective to “Shape Hearts with God’s Word” (provided by Standard Publishing) currently is used by the Church School.  The program of instruction is designed for use by Toddlers to Pre-Teen students; it also includes a complimentary program for Teens and Young Adults. The curriculum helps the youngest children build positive attitudes and relationships in the church, and helps all children learn Bible stories, verses, values and skills appropriate and relevant for their age. Annual Church School activities and events generally include:

  • Halloween Parties
  • Special commemorations of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day             and Father’s Day
  • Presentation of a Christmas Pageant as part of an Advent Eucharist Service
  • Maintenance of the Parish Bulletin Board in the Undercroft
  • Observance of Boy Scout and Girl Scout Sundays
  • Creation of Valentine’s Day cards for Shut-ins
  • Educational preparation of First Holy Communion Classes
  • Easter Egg Hunts on the Vigil of Easter
  • Celebration of the End of School Year:
    •  Pin Day
    • Annual Parish Picnic

Christmas Pageants Presented by Church School

2015

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2016

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End of School Year

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Visit of Deacon Debbie Clarke (Diocesan Youth Director)

Deacon Debbie Clarke, Diocesan Youth Director, Meeting with Members of Church School Faculty

Deacon Debbie Clarke, Diocesan Youth Director, Meeting with Members of Church School Faculty

End of School Year  (Pin Day)

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Youth Group

The origin of the St. James Youth Group is believed to be the Young Peoples Group” which was organized on January 18th 1948.  The Young Peoples Group met on Thursday evenings and had an initial membership of approximately fifteen young adults, who were16 years of age or older.   The Youth Group had gone dormant in the early 1980s, but was reconstituted in 2003 as part of the Church School, under the leadership of Brooke and Mark Mindnich.  The current Youth Group Advisors are Lisa Scott and Nancy Smith.

Visit of Deacon Debbie Clark (Diocesan Youth Director)

Deacon Debbie Clarke, Diocesan Youth Director, Meeting with Leaders and Members of St James Youth Group

Deacon Debbie Clarke, Diocesan Youth Director, Meeting with Leaders and Members of St James Youth Group

Visiting Members of Diocesan Youth Director's Team

Visiting Members of Diocesan Youth Director’s Team