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.

Easter Eggstravaganza

Saturday, March 31, 9:30-11:30 a.m. in Heavener Hall

Families are invited for a light breakfast, crafts, story time, and an Easter Egg Hunt for children 10 and under.

There is no cost to participate! Help us plan by registering in advance. Click here to fill out the rsvp form.

Adult and teen helpers needed! Contact Meg Baker, Director of Christian Education, at 301-933-7933 ext. 104 or to volunteer.

Sunday School & Nursery

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 down 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, easily accessed by taking the stairs near the rear parking lot entrance 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.


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.)

SUmmer Sunday School

Summer Sunday School 2018 will begin May 27 and run until September 2. We will have two classes during the 10:30 a.m. worship hour: one class for students ages 2-5, and the other for students ages 6-10. 

Each Sunday will have a theme, coloring pages, and a snack provided. Teachers are asked to plan a small craft or other activity. 

We need plenty of parents and adult volunteer teachers, plus youth helpers, to lead one or two classes throughout the summer. Contact the church office if you wish to join in helping make our Summer Sunday School a success!

Week-Day Summer Fun

We offer a variety of short-term summer opportunities. 

Our popular St. Paul's UMC Musical Theatre Camp for students Grade 4 and up is already on the schedule! Applications will be available through the church website in Spring 2018. Camp dates are July 9-13, 2018, 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. The cost for 2018 has not been finalized. (The cost for 2017 was $120 per camper.) Enrollment is limited to 24 participants. (If the demand is greater than the number of spaces available, a wait-list may be started based on the order applications are received.) Contact the church office or camp director Robin Mayhew for details.

We host a popular Vacation Bible School program, with classes for children, youth helper opportunities, and adult leaders working together to welcome children age 2 through grade 5. We share stories and messages about the Bible and Christian fellowship through crafts, music, class projects, reading, games, playtime, and - yes - snacks! Camp hours are traditionally 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 pm., Tuesday through Friday, usually in late June. 

The 2018 schedule has not been finalized yet. A full schedule, Camper applications, and Youth Helper applications will be available through our website in Spring 2018. 

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.

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: