First 30 Ministries


The First Thirty Years of life is how the Diocese of WNY frames our support of children’s, youth and young adult ministry. Most churches will tell you that they struggle with holding onto “their kids” after confirmation. In the Diocese we consider the First Thirty focus to counter-act what seems like an inevitable slide. Although still in it’s early stages of development, the First Thirty office offers a variety of support to parishes, regions and the diocese as a whole.

Our First Thirty office has links to a wide range of Sunday School curricula and other programming supports for children from toddlers through elementary school. Whether a big church or a small rural congregation with only one child the First Thirty office can help your parish provide programming that fits your needs and your capabilities. As you gain more young families we can link you with other parishes in your region with whom you can connect for family friendly activities such as Vacation Bible School for the whole family, camping options and partial day and day long outings. We are especially proud of our annual Family Camp.

For the youth of the diocese, the First Thirty office strives to connect the youth in churches with very few youth, with other parishes in their region, to create a critical mass. We are blessed to have parishes in our southern, northern and eastern regions with active and vibrant youth groups with whom we can link the youth in your church. We actively encourage mission trip opportunities for youth and are happy to offer a local mission trip option every year through the Jim Eaton Summer Reading Day Camp, held in Western New York. Additionally, we offer annual overnights, a “How to Get Ready for College” workshop, an evening with the Bishop at the Food Truck Rodeo and Western New York Day at Darien Lake.

Our young adult programming is much more organic, with the Bishop socializing, worshiping with and studying with young adults in a variety of venues, including Shakespeare in the Park, Canalside, the Elmwood Village and the Buffalo Zoo.

The First Thirty Office is ready to serve you. For more information please contact Canon Dempesy-Sims at 881-0660 ext 14 or, or Wendy Schumacher at

2018-2019 First 30 Ministries Events

August 11-14
Sleepaway Camp
Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Camp, Bemus Point

August 11-14 we will be holding our diocesan camp for youth that will enter 3rd through 10th grades in the fall.  The campers will be placed in two different tracks, one for those that will be entering 3rd to 6th grades and the other for those that will be entering 7th to 10th grades.  A day at camp will include Chaplain Time, various activities (boating, swimming, arts and crafts, archery, challenge course, gaga ball…), whole group evening activities, lots of singing, and the much needed siesta.  Camp will conclude on Wednesday Morning with an Eucharist that the kids have prepared, all are invited to attend at 11 am. Registration forms can be downloaded here: Sleep Away Camp

Sue Stanislawski, a parishioner at St. Patrick’s in Cheektowaga, is looking to award two individuals full scholarships to camp this year.  Sue is a former diocesan camper and a big supporter of all youth programs. She is asking that the camper write a short essay as to why they want to go to camp, along with the family having a financial need.  The form to apply is here: Sue Stanislawski Scholarship

Other scholarships are available for Sleep Away Camp through the generosity of members of the diocese.  Please email Wendy Schumacher, First Thirty Event Manager, at to inquire or with any other questions.

Keep an eye out for more information about this upcoming event!

  • September 7 – Episcopal Day at Darien Lake