Episcopal Diocese of Western New York

First 30 Ministries

bishop-youth-conventionThe 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 cdsims@episcopalwny.org, or Wendy Schumacher at wschumacher@episcopalwny.org.


November 30-December 1
Senior High Lock-in
Diocesan Ministry Center

Youth in 8th Grade and High School are invited to come for evening of fun, games, and spiritual growth on Friday November 30th.  The event will be from 7 pm on Friday to 12 pm on Saturday at the Diocesan Ministry Center.   There will be a series of events (games, discussion, and activities) that will help participants get to know each other and our faith a little better.
To register for the event, please email Wendy at wschumacher@episcopalwny.org.  The permission form and event fee can be brought the night of the event.


2018-2019 First 30 Ministries Events

Keep an eye out for more information about these upcoming events!

  • November 30-December 1 – Senior High Sleepover at Diocesan Ministry Center
  • January 5 – Young Adult Gathering at St. Patrick’s, Cheektowaga (High school grads to age 30)
  • January 6 – Feast of Lights @ St. Luke’s, Jamestown
  • January 20 – Family Winter Fun Day at Como Lake Park
  • May 10-11 – Senior High Overnight
  • May 17-18 – Journeys (Junior High)
  • June 8 – Star Wars Night at the Buffalo Bisons
  • June 29 – Young Adult Gathering (High school grads to age 30)
  • August 11-14 – Sleep Away Camp
  • September 7 – Episcopal Day at Darien Lake