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. 


Like all our ministries, however, regular children's programming has had to adapt to the social distancing orders amidst the COVID-19 health crisis. While in-person Sunday School classes are not currently being held, the Christian Education department offers a number of opportunities for children age 2 through 5th grade to connect with their faith community at St. Paul's.  Below are some of the efforts underway. We encourage your child(ren) to participate as they are able! 


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

Staying Connected!

Sunday School, Virtual Edition: 

We are emailing a variety of curriculum materials to our Sunday School families each Sunday, including the week’s Family Page and activity sheets/coloring pages for different ages, to our Sunday School families/community. If you aren't getting emails and would like to, please let us know! Contact our Director of Christian Education, Dr. Meg Baker, at mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org.


Children’s Messages:

Preschoolers and elementary age children are invited to view each week’s Children’s Message, which will either be a part of the morning worship experience at stpaulsk.org/worship/worship-at-home or will be posted below - please SCROLL DOWN! These messages can be accessed at any time – no need to carve out a specific time for viewing. Hope to “see” you there! 


Kids’ Connection: 

Our Children’s Ministry now offers a weekly virtual connection opportunity for the youngest among us. Kids’ Connection will take a variety of forms, from storytelling to craft-making to family check-ins and more. Each week’s session is made available for viewing on Friday afternoons on this page. Scroll below to see the Kids’ Connection videos -- just click and enjoy! If your family is interested in submitting a video, or in participating in some other way, please contact Meg Baker at mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org.




Kids' Connection!

Check out our current Kids' Connection Videos!

LOADING PLAYER…

Easter Eggstravaganza

Easter Sunday may be behind us, but Eastertide – the church season that begins on Easter Sunday – continues through May 31st! If you missed the "eggsperience" over Easter weekend, we encourage you to continue to enjoy this series of video clips, craft projects, storytelling, idea alerts, and even a recorded virtual Easter egg hunt!  


Click HERE to be redirected to our Easter Eggstravaganza page!


Questions? Email the Director of Christian Education, Dr. Meg Baker: mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org.

Children's Choir will return!

Children's choir is on break, like all the other activities at St. Paul's. When normal operations resume, all children in grades K-5 are invited to participate in the Children's Choir!


Under normal conditions, rehearsals are held most weeks on Sunday, 11:45 AM – 12:15 PM, usually in the Multipurpose Room. The Children’s Choir prepares and presents an anthem for Children’s Sundays, about once a month September through May.


For more information, please contact Director of Music Tom Pedersen or Director of Christian Education Meg Baker. 

Safe Sanctuaries

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


Regular training sessions are held each year in the late Spring and early Fall. For more information, contact Meg Baker, mbaker [at] 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 an annual 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.

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.


Children's Sunday School:  Most Sundays from September to May, all children age 2 through Grade 5 will begin in their classrooms at 10:30 a.m.. Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, oversees our rotating teams of caring, enthusiastic teachers.


Children's Chapel: About once a month, our teachers will escort children, grouped by age and grade, from their classrooms to the DuVall Chapel mid-morning for a brief Chapel worship experience with prayer, music, and short message.


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. The Children's Choir typically presents an anthem at this service.


Youth Sunday School: 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, and Jean Langbein love babies and love to care for them. The nursery is located in Room 202.


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 late Spring. This is also a great time for parents and other adult caregivers to volunteer to lead Sunday School, even just for one Sunday.


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 Room 115, the largest classroom on 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

Under normal circumstances, St. Paul's offers a variety of short-term summer opportunities for faith-filled fun and fellowship!


VBS: Traditionally, St. Paul's hosts a popular Vacation Bible School program each summer for campers age 2 through rising-grade-5. Unfortunately, VBS for 2020 has been CANCELED due to the COVID-19 (novel corona virus) outbreak and our inability to predict how (or even if) we could keep everyone involved safe and healthy. Our main goal is to minimize the risk of causing harm to anyone. Those who already registered will be contacted directly by one of the VBS Team Leaders. This also means that we will not have Youth Staff and Helper opportunities for those who've completed grade 5 or above. We are incredibly sad not to be able to offer youth in our community this opportunity for leadership, growth, and memories. In a normal year, VBS is a joyous (and sometimes messy!) celebration of faith, hope, and childhood. We share stories and messages about the Bible and revel in 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 in June. Campers attend Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration forms with all the details are released each year on St. Patrick's Day and we encourage campers and prospective helpers to register early! (Sorry, we cannot take new campers at the door.)



Musical Theatre Camp: In a normal year, our popular St. Paul's UMC Musical Theatre Camp features students rising-grade-4 and up. For 2020, however, Musical Theatre Camp has been CANCELED due to the COVID-19 (novel corona virus) outbreak and our inability to predict how (or even if) we could keep everyone involved safe and healthy. Those who already registered will be contacted directly by camp director Robin Mayhew or another member of the staff. When camp is running, campers audition, memorize roles, learn choreography, fix up props, enjoy snacks and fun activities, and perform for an audience in our Sanctuary. Camp usually takes place the second or third week of July. (Dates for 2019 were 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, campers (and parents) should contact camp director Robin Mayhew directly, or the church office. Camp registration is limited to the first 24 campers and spots fill up fast! The cost is $130 per camper.


For information about our "campership/scholarship" financial aid to help cover all or part of St. Paul's activities, please contact Youth Pastor Mr. Micah Smartt at msmartt [at] stpaulsk.org for a confidential consultation.

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! Thank you!

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.

Flat John Wesley                                                       

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. 


John Wesley traveled with many families during the summer of 2019! Photos of Flat John Wesley at the beach, enjoying lunch, traveling overseas, and visiting family can be found on the Education bulletin board in the hallway near the office. Email questions, comments, or photos to Meg Baker at mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org. 


Happy trails to you!

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