children's ministry

At St. Paul's, we love children. And there are so many of them here! We strive to find ways to make the church experience welcoming and meaningful for all of God's children.


Please scroll down to find more information on Sunday School, special activities, and seasonal events.

SUmmer Sunday School

What it is: In the summer, we offer two Summer Sunday School classes during the 10:30 a.m. worship hour: one class for children ages 2-5, and the other for students ages 6-10. Older children and youth will be in worship in the Sanctuary. (Nursery care for children age 2 and under is available during each worship service year-round.)


When we meet: Summer Sunday School for 2019 runs from May 26 through September 1


Can you spare an hour? We are looking for adults who can volunteer their time for one or more Sundays to lead Summer Sunday School. At least two adult volunteers are needed each week. All materials – curriculum, suggested activities, and snacks – will be provided. Youth helpers are also welcome and encouraged to participate. Please consider serving our church community in this way! Sign up in the church office or online at https://tinyurl.com/y68848pm. Thank you!

Flat John Wesley                                                       

With the summer months come visits with family, sight-seeing adventures, family vacations, and trips to places across town and across the planet. Whether your travels take you to the pool, the beach, the lake, or the mountains, bring Flat John Wesley along with you! 


John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, was a preacher on the go, traveling and preaching outdoors throughout Great Britain and abroad. He was convinced that it was important for him personally to spread the gospel through relationships and continue to grow closer to God in those relationships. In fact, John Wesley rode far enough on horseback to circle the earth 10 times! Methodism grew from four to 132,000 members in Wesley’s lifetime, and there are more than 30 million worldwide today. 


Now you can take John Wesley with you on your summer adventures. Pick up your own Flat John Wesley hand fan in the Narthex today.  There's even a Flat John Wesley in the "Church to Go" vacation box, along with color pages, devotionals, crayons, and more.


Send us a photo of you and Flat John Wesley, tell us where you are (e.g., at Rehoboth Beach, visiting grandma, atop the Space Needle, etc.), and we will post on the Flat John Wesley bulletin board in the Narthex. Email your pictures to Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org, or text them to 240-723-6642. 


Happy trails to you!

Sunday SChool: Fall 2019

From September through May, we offer Sunday School classes for children and youth from age 2 through grade 12. Classes are generally divided by age group. There is no advanced registration required for Sunday School, and visitors and friends are always welcome! 


New for 2019: Starting September 8, youth in grades 6-12 will be in worship in the Sanctuary during the 10:30 worship service. Youth Sunday School will be held after worship, at 11:45 a.m., allowing for a focused discussion about themes from the sermon, Scripture, and other topics. (Younger students will continue to have class during the 10:30 worship hour. Our nursery is available year-round for children under age 2.)


On most Sundays:

  • Pre-school children (2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds) should be dropped off at their classrooms with their teachers, then teachers will guide them to the DuVall Chapel for a brief worship experience with singing and prayer.
  • School-age children (Kindergarten to grade 5) will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the DuVall Chapel for their own worship time of song, scripture, and prayer during Opening Chapel, and then transition to their classrooms with their teachers.
  • About once a month, on Children’s Sunday, these younger age groups will first come to the Sanctuary to participate in the Young People’s Message in worship before transitioning to their Sunday School classrooms. Please see below for special dates to know!
  • Children's Choir, for students in Kindergarten through grade 5, will meet Sundays, 11:45-12:30, to prepare music for worship on Children's Sunday and to prepare the Christmas Pageant.  
  • All Youth (grades 6-12) will be in the Sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. to engage in the full worship service. Beginning in Fall 2019, we will offer a new Sunday School / Bible Study class at 11:45 a.m., after worship, where we will dive deeper into the themes of the day's sermon, the Bible passages read during worship, and other devotional material.
  • Information about Youth Choir and St. Paul's Youth fellowship and Youth Choir can be found on the Youth page: http://stpaulsk.org/community/youth


Special Dates to Know for Fall 2019:

  • September 15: All students and teachers begin in worship at 10:30. We will consecrate the work of our teachers and Third Graders will receive Bibles, then students and teachers will transition to their classrooms together.
  • October 13: Children's Sunday. All students grade 5 and younger will begin in the Sanctuary with their families at 10:30 a.m. The Children's Choir will sing during worship. Following the Young People's Message, students will transition to their classrooms with their teachers. 
  • November 24: Children's Sunday. All students grade 5 and younger will begin in the Sanctuary with their families at 10:30 a.m. The Children's Choir will sing during worship. Following the Young People's Message, students will transition to their classrooms with their teachers. 
  • December 22: Pageant Sunday. The Children's Christmas Pageant is the core of the 10:30 worship service. There will be no Sunday School so all may enjoy this time together.
  • December 24: Our Family Friendly Christmas Eve worship service begins at 5:00 pm in the Sanctuary and features seasonal music, the voices of the Youth Choir, and child-safe glo-sticks for use in the pews (instead of candles).

Our dedicated teachers will be using curriculum from SparkHouse, helping kids connect with traditional Bible messages in innovative and meaningful ways. This Sunday School material will largely follow the lectionary and will generally align with the scripture being shared during worship.


Contact Mrs. Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, for more information! 


Children's CHoir

Children in grades K-5 are encouraged to participate in this fun time of music-making this fall. 


Choir rehearsals will be held in the Multipurpose Room, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Sundays, starting September 22. A snack will be provided. 


This choir will prepare and present an anthem during the 10:30 worship service once a month on Children’s Sunday. We will also be gearing up and rehearsing for the Christmas Pageant before you know it! 


Please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 104 with any questions.

Sunday School & Nursery - 

More Details

We offer a vibrant and welcoming Sunday School program for our preschoolers, elementary children, and youth. Sunday School classes meet during the 10:30 a.m. worship service. Current information is posted at the top of the page. For more information, contact Mrs. Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education.


In the summer: June, July, and August feature a “One Room” (or two-room) Sunday School class for children age 2 through 3rd grade. Summer Sunday School programming updates are provided in the Spring. This is also a great time for parents and other adult caregivers to volunteer to lead Sunday School, even just for one Sunday.


Opening Chapel & Children's Sunday School:  Most Sundays from September to May, pre-school children (age 2-4 years old) begin in their classrooms at 10:30, then teachers escort them to the DuVall Chapel mid-morning for a brief Chapel worship experience. School-age students (grades K-5) begin with a moment of worship and singing in the DuVall Chapel, then transition to their Sunday School classrooms with their teachers. Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, oversees our rotating teams of caring, enthusiastic teachers. 


Children's Sundays:  About once a month, on Children's Sunday, all children begin in the Sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. with their families and participate in the Young People's Message before moving to their Sunday School classes with their teachers.


Youth Sunday School: New for Fall 2019: All youth will be in worship in the Sanctuary during the 10:30 worship hour, then will have Sunday School after worship, at 11:45 am, allowing a deeper dive into the themes of the sermon and Scripture.


Joining a class? Drop-in visitors are always welcome, and children can join a class at any point during the year. There is no need to register ahead of time. If you're new, simply stop at the Visitor's Desk by the main front door and they can point you to the right classroom. To help keep everyone safe and happy, our classroom teachers will ask new visitors to write down children's names, parent/guardian emergency contact numbers, and allergy info.


For the littlest ones: Nursery care is available for children age 2 and under during 9:00 and 10:30 worship year-round. Our professional nursery workers Sandi Wilson, DeeDee Murphy, Betsy Walker, and Jean Langbein love babies and love to care for them. The nursery is located in Room 202.


Finding your classroom: For Nursery through Grade 5, take the elevator or use the stairs near the Library to reach the second floor. Grades 6-12 are located in the lower level by the Youth Lounge and Multi-Purpose Rooms, accessed by taking the stairs near the rear parking lot entrance and then going down a level. Signs on each door (and helpful teachers and parents) can help you locate the specific room for your young student. You'll notice that we also share our classroom space with Brookewood School, an independent girls' school in residence here during the weekdays.

Week-Day Summer Fun

We offer a variety of short-term summer opportunities for faith-filled fun and fellowship!


VBS: We host a popular Vacation Bible School program for campers age 2 through grade 5. We also have Youth Staff and Helper opportunities for those who've completed grade 5 or above. We share stories and messages about the Bible and Christian fellowship through crafts, music, class projects, reading, games, playtime, and - yes - snacks! VBS is usually scheduled for the week following the last school day of Montgomery County Public Schools. Sorry, we cannot take new campers at the door.



Musical Theatre Camp: Our popular St. Paul's UMC Musical Theatre Camp features students rising-grade-4 and up. Campers audition, memorize roles, learn choreography, fix up props, enjoy snacks and fun activities, and perform for an audience in our Sanctuary. Dates for 2019 are July 8-12 (Monday-Friday) 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. with a special presentation in both 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. worship services on Sunday, July 14. Campers must be available for all dates (sorry, we cannot accept cast members who are unable to commit to the Sunday presentations). For more information about Musical Theatre Camp 2019, campers (and parents) should contact camp director Robin Mayhew (robin_mayhew@comcast.net) directly. Camp registration is limited to the first 24 campers and spots fill up fast! The cost is $130 per camper.


For a confidential discussion about "campership" financial aid for any St. Paul's activities, please contact senior pastor Rev. Adam B. Snell.


Safe Sanctuaries

All persons working with children and youth at St. Paul’s participate in Safe Sanctuaries Training each year. 


For 2019, the 90-minute training session will be offered twice this spring: Saturday, May 11, 10:30 AM - 12:00 noon, and Monday, May 13, 7:00-8:30 PM. You only need to attend one session. Training sessions will be held in Room 109 and childcare will be provided upon request. Training will also be offered in August before the school year starts. For more information, contact Meg Baker, mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 104.


Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes [a] child . . . welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5). Our church participates in the Safe Sanctuaries program to help ensure all young people in our care have a safe experience and build relationships free of abuse of any kind. Adults and teens who work with children must complete a questionnaire and provide information necessary to perform a criminal background check. Additionally, they attend an annual orientation designed to familiarize them with the possible indicators of child abuse and neglect, ways to report concerns, appropriate interactions with children, permissible methods of discipline, standards regarding safety of children and youth, and other applicable procedures.

Children's Sundays

About once a month, we designate a 10:30 a.m. Worship service "Children's Sunday." Our children share songs and music with the congregation. Older children help lead worship as lay readers. The children are invited to participate in the "Young People's Message," after which they are welcome to transition to their Sunday School classes for the rest of the worship hour.

Past Activities

We offer many special events designed for young ones (and their families). Some past activities include:


  • Christmas Pageant: Kids in grade 5 and younger spend weeks preparing a musical retelling of the Christmas story each year. Our 2018 program was "The Tale of the Drowsy Shepherd."
  • Advent Craft Fair: On the first Saturday of December, the Multi-Purpose Room transformed into a craft room with Christmas themed craft projects for the young and the young at heart.
  • Trunk or Treat: On Sunday, October 28, 2018, St. Paul’s held our first-ever Trunk-or-Treat, 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the church parking lot. Thanks to all the families who came to "trick or treat" in our parking lot, and to all the families and groups who set up their trunks, decorated, donated candy, and sold hot dogs to benefit the Hunger Ministry.
  • Easter Egg Hunt: On the day before Easter Sunday, families gathered in Heavener Hall to hear the Easter story, enjoy a light breakfast, and hunt for colorful eggs in the grass outside.
  • Flat Paul: Like the school-kid project Flat Stanely, our own Flat Paul traveled with families far and wide in 2018, from Seattle to Carlsbad Caverns, to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Flat Paul even went overseas to Johannesburg, South Africa and Prague, Czech Republic! Photos of Flat Paul's adventures helped us feel connected all summer long, no matter where our families roamed.

Sharing our building: Brookewood School

Brookewood School is an independent Catholic school for girls, kindergarten through 12th grade. They are our tenants in residence, using the classroom, library, and fellowship hall areas of St. Paul's building weekdays during the school year. For information about Brookewood, please visit their website: www.brookewood.org