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.

Palm Sunday Children's Choir

St. Paul’s is organizing a series of rehearsals for students in grades K-5, to prepare a Palm Sunday presentation. It is not a pageant, per se, but the children will be singing two songs, one with the combined choirs and one on their own. 


Rehearsals will be held 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room on March 17, 24, 31, and April 7, leading up to Palm Sunday on April 14 when the group will sing during the 10:30 a.m. worship service. 


Those interested in participating in this singing adventure should contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org, 301-933-7933 x104.

Sunday SChool: Spring 2019

From September through May, Sunday School classes 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.) There is no advanced registration required and visitors are always welcome! 


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.
  • On the first Sunday of each month, youth (grades 6-12) will be in the Sanctuary to experience the full worship service and participate in Communion. On all other Sundays, youth go straight to their classrooms at 10:30 a.m.


Special Dates to Know for Spring 2019:

  • On "Children's Sunday," all students grade 5 and younger will begin in the Sanctuary with their families at 10:30 a.m. Following the Children's Moment, students will transition to their classrooms with their teachers. Children's Sunday dates for Winter and Spring 2019 are January 20, February 24, March 24, April 14, and May 12. 
  • There is no Sunday School on Easter Sunday, April 21, so all families may worship together on this holy day.
  • The last day for regular Sunday School is May 19. Summer Sunday School begins May 26.
  • June 9 is Pentecost and Confirmation Sunday when youth who have been taking confirmation classes may choose to become full professing members of the United Methodist Church. Youth will be in worship this day.


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. This Sunday School material will largely follow the lectionary and align with the scripture being shared during worship.


To download our full welcome packet, please click here. Paper copies are available in the church office.


Children's Sundays

About once a month, we designate a 10:30am Worship service "Children's Sunday." Our children share songs and music with the congregation. Older children 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 moment, the children are welcome to transition to their Sunday School classes for the rest of the worship hour.

Sunday School & Nursery - 

Overview

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.


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 participate in Children's Moment during worship before moving to their Sunday School classes with their teachers.


Youth Sunday School: Youth attend worship at 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary on the first Sunday of each month. On other weeks, from September to May, our Youth (grades 6-12) meet for Sunday School in the classrooms near the Youth Lounge for Sunday School study.


In the summer: June, July, and August feature a “One Room” (or two-room) Sunday School class for children age 2 through 3rd grade. Updates about the upcoming Summer Sunday School programming are provided in the Spring. 


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.


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.

 

The Journeys of Flat Paul

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


All summer, Flat Paul traveled with families and friends, young and old, near and far. Flat Paul went on sight-seeing adventures, vacations, and trips to places across town and across the planet. Flat Paul kept our members connected from Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico to Johannesburg, South Africa, from the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee to cathedrals in Prague. 


Some of the photos of Flat Paul's adventures have been posted on the bulletin board in the hallway near the offices.


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


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. Our most recent program was "The Tale of the Drowsy Shepherd."
  • Advent Craft Fair: On the first Saturday of December, the MultiPurpose 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, 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.

Week-Day Summer Fun

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


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 - 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 props, enjoy snacks and fun activities, and perform for an audience in our Sanctuary. Camp usually runs in mid-July. 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 more information about Musical Theatre Camp 2019, campers (and parents) should contact camp director Robin Mayhew (robin_mayhew@comcast.net) - camp registration begins in the early Spring and spaces usually fill up fast!


SUmmer Sunday School

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. 


Summer Sunday School usually runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dates for 2019 will be announced in the Spring. 


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. 


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: www.brookewood.org