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!

Back to School! Fall 2020

Sunday School Begins September 20! Sunday School classes will be provided online for children and youth beginning September 20. Classes for children in preschool through 5th grade will be virtually led by members of St. Paul’s faithful teaching team. Families will receive more detailed information and a Sunday School registration form in early September. Sunday School classes for youth in 6th through 12th grades will be led by Youth Pastor Micah Smartt.


Email List: 

If you aren't getting emails and would like to, please let us know! This Sunday School email comes directly from our Director of Christian Education, Dr. Meg Baker, and is the best way to stay on top of the Sunday School schedule and receive supplementary educational materials. Contact Meg at mbaker [at] stpaulsk.org or phone 301-933-7933 ext 104.


Kids’ Connection: 

These short videos feature friends of St. Paul's sharing a variety of talents and projects. They might be telling stories, teaching songs, demonstrating crafts, or even leading kid-friendly yoga! Scroll down to see the Kids’ Connection videos, then 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.

Be a Teacher in 2020

Please consider serving as a Sunday School teacher this fall. Teachers will lead short online zoom or prerecorded video Sunday School sessions on either a regular or occasional basis (and in the comfort of your own home!). All training and materials will be provided, including teacher-training videos for each week's lesson and helpful scripts to guide your sessions. Please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org for more information. 

Compassion Camp

Compassion Camp: Be Loved, Be Kind, Be You is primarily an at-home experience, although a number of optional online sessions will be available throughout the week. Through Bible stories, crafts, music, and movement, your family will explore ways we can practice compassion. The Family Camp Guide is extensive, allowing families to take this journey on their own schedule and at their own pace. A variety of pre-recorded camp session videos will be available for viewing at any time. Click below to be taken to our video page!


Campers will also have opportunities to gather by age group, giving kids time to go deeper in the camp experience and engage with each other in community!


For more information, please contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext. 104. 

Kids' Connection!

Check out our current Kids' Connection Videos!

LOADING PLAYER…

Flat St. Paul's

In summers past, congregants have taken Flat John Wesley and Flat Paul hand fans on their travels, taking pictures of themselves with their flat fans as a way to stay in touch with the faith community in Kensington. These flat celebrities made appearances in well over 200 locations throughout the world. This year, of course, most people are staying home and curtailing their adventures.


Introducing… Flat St. Paul’s! We hope Flat St. Paul's will help keep us connected even when we can't visit our church in person. Click HERE to download Flat St. Paul's as a *pdf. Printer broken? Don't worry! Meg can also provide Flat St. Paul's upon request!


You can color it in if you’d like, then take some pictures of yourself with your Flat St. Paul’s. Send them by text or email to Director of Christian Education Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 240-723-6642. 


This pandemic may keep us from attending church, but it sure can’t keep us from being church. We would love to hear your stories of "being church" during this season of crisis, whether by reaching out to others, sewing masks, spending extra time in prayer, volunteering with food banks, supporting front-line workers, or just observing safety guidelines. Even the simplest gestures can make a big difference in our hurting world.

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

Under normal circumstances, we offer a vibrant and welcoming in-person Sunday School program for our preschoolers, elementary children, and youth. Sunday School classes meet during the 10:30 a.m. worship service. For the remainder of 2020, ALL in-person Sunday School activities have been CANCELED due to the COVID-19 situation. A robust program including Sunday School and other outreach and educational opportunities will be provided in an online format. Current information is posted at the top of the page. For more information, contact Mrs. Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education. To learn more about how our Children's Ministry operates in a normal year, please read below.


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.

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.
  • 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 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 the Fellowship Hall to hear the Easter story, enjoy a light breakfast, and hunt for colorful eggs in the grass outside.
  • Flat Paul & Flat John Wesley: 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! Flat John Wesley traveled far and wide in 2019! Photos of these 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