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.

SUmmer Sunday School

Summer Sunday School 2018 runs through September 2

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.

Summer Sunday School classes are enjoying a brand new summer curriculum from Children’s Illustrated Ministries with lots of coloring and fun activities. Children engage with biblical stories in both the Old and New Testaments to discover ways we join God at work in the world. 

Adults - can you spare one hour this summer? We need two adult leaders each week to teach our Summer Sunday School classes. All materials – curriculum, suggested activities, and snacks – will be provided. Youth helpers are also welcome and encouraged to participate! 

Please click here to add your name to our sign-up sheet!

Questions? Contact Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, at or 301-933-7933 ext. 104.

Please note the following upcoming dates:

  • July 22-September 2: Summer Sunday School - All children ages 2-10 are invited to join the Summer Sunday School classes in Rooms 200 & 203 starting at 10:30 a.m.

Introducing... Flat Paul!

Do you remember Flat Stanley, the traveling paper figure school-children would carry, mail, and photograph on trips? Well, meet Flat Paul!

With the summer months come visits with family, sight-seeing adventures, vacations, and trips to other places across town and across the planet. Whether your travels take you to the pool, the beach, the lake, or the mountains, we encourage you to bring St. Paul with you.

Pick up your own Flat Paul in the Narthex on Sunday, then take him along wherever your summer takes you. Also available are Flat Paul Family Buckets, full of helpful summer items, such as a travel journal, family devotionals, coloring pages, crayons, and more (and, yes, a Flat Paul).

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

"People plan their path, but the Lord secures their steps." ~Proverbs 16:9.

Sunday SChool Starts Sept. 9

Sunday School returns on September 9, at 10:30 a.m. 

From September through May, our Sunday School classes will meet during the 10:30 a.m. worship time. Classes are generally divided by age group, with classes for children as young as age two and as old as senior high youth. (Our nursery is available year-round for children under age 2.)

The detailed plan for each age group varies somewhat. On most Sundays:

  • The youngest will start in their classrooms with their teachers, then teachers will take them to the DuVall Chapel for a brief time of singing and prayer.
  • School-age children, kindergarten to grade 5, will begin in Opening Chapel with song, scripture, and prayer, and then transition to their classrooms with their teachers.
  • Youth in grades 6-12 go straight to their classrooms on most Sundays, but on the first Sunday of each month youth will be in worship in the Sanctuary.

Our dedicated teachers will be using a new curriculum from SparkHouse for the 2018-2019 school year, helping kids connect with traditional Bible messages in innovative and meaningful ways.

Sunday School & Nursery - 

Sept. - May

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. For more information, please read below:

Opening Chapel & Children's Sunday School:  Most Sundays from September to May, children age 2 through grade 5 begin at 10:30 a.m. 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. Once a month, on Children's Sunday, the children begin in the Sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. with their families and the Children's Choir offers music during worship, then all children are dismissed to Sunday School following the pastor's Young People's Message. Children and visitors are welcome to attend Sunday School at any time - no registration necessary.

Youth Sunday School: Most Sundays from September to May, our Youth (grades 6-12) meet for Sunday School in the classrooms near the Youth Lounge for Sunday School study. About once a month, on Youth Sunday, all youth attend the 10:30 a.m. worship service. All youth and visitors are welcome to attend Sunday School at any time.

In the summer: June, July, and August feature a “One Room” (or two-room) Sunday School class for children age 3 through 3rd grade. Updates about the Summer Sunday School programming are provided in the Spring - please scroll back up to read more about this year's Summer Sunday School! Contact the church office if you have questions.

Joining a class? Drop-in visitors are always welcome, and children can join a class at any point during the year. 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.

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, Heather Zetscher, and DeeDee Murphy 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 Chapel 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. 

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. VBS 2018 "Once Upon a Mountain Top" was held June 19-22. We shared stories and messages about the Bible and Christian fellowship through crafts, music, class projects, reading, games, playtime, and - yes - snacks! We hope to see you next year for another VBS experience! (VBS is usually scheduled for the week following the last school day of Montgomery County Public Schools - please contact the church office in the Spring for the 2019 dates!)

Our popular St. Paul's UMC Musical Theatre Camp features students grade 4 and up. Campers audition, memorize roles, learn choreography, fix up costumes, enjoy snacks and fun activities, and perform for an audience in our Sanctuary. Camp dates for 2018 were July 9-13, 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 15 of the musical "It's Cool in the Furnace," a clever youth-oriented retelling of the story of Daniel, his three friends, and the king who condemned them to a fiery furnace for refusing to worship his idols. For information about Musical Theatre Camp 2019, campers (and parents) should contact camp director Robin Mayhew ( - camp registration typically begins in the early Spring and spaces usually fill up fast!

Children's Sundays

About once a month, we designate a 10:30am Worship service "Children's Sunday." The children's choir sings an anthem. Older children may help lead worship as liturgists. Our pastors prepare a special "Children's Message" and invite all children present to listen to inspired words meant just for them. Following the children's message, the children are welcome to leave the Sanctuary and move to their Sunday School classes for the rest of the worship hour.

Children's Choir

Young singers in Kindergarten through 5th Grade make up our Children's Choir. They rehearse in the Chapel as part of the Sunday School programming most Sundays during the school year (September-May).  On Children's Sundays, the children raise their voices by singing during the 10:30 a.m. worship service in the Sanctuary. 

This choir, joined by other children, also prepares and presents the annual Christmas Pageant. Christmas Pageant rehearsals take place at 11:45 a.m. in the Sanctuary each Sunday from early November through mid-December. A snack is provided at each rehearsal. The 2017 Christmas Pageant will be presented as the feature of the 10:30 a.m. worship hour on

Sunday, December 17, 2017.

The choir is led principally by Linda O'Reilly and Meg Baker, 

with assistance from Elvie Melegrito and pageant director Ashley Derr.

(Read more about our Youth Choir and other Music programs by clicking here.)

Safe Sanctuaries

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.

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: