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.

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! Sign up in the church office or online at Thank you!

Safe Sanctuaries

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

For 2019, the 90-minute training session will be offered twice this spring: Saturday, May 11, 10:30 AM - 12:00 noon, and Monday, May 13, 7:00-8:30 PM. You only need to attend one session. Training sessions will be held in Room 109 and childcare will be provided upon request. Training will also be offered in August before the school year starts. Please sign up here: For more information, contact Meg Baker, 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 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.

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 and friends 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 Young People's Message, 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.

Week-Day Summer Fun

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

VBS: 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. The cost is $25 per camper and all campers must be registered by the deadline (extended to May 1). Sorry, we cannot take new campers at the door.

Musical Theatre Camp: Our popular St. Paul's UMC Musical Theatre Camp features students rising-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. Dates for 2019 are 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 2019, campers (and parents) should contact camp director Robin Mayhew ( directly. Camp registration is limited to the first 24 campers and spots fill up fast! The cost is $130 per camper.

For a confidential discussion about "campership" financial aid for any St. Paul's activities, please contact senior pastor Rev. Adam B. Snell.

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.

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.

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 and participate in the Young People's Message 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. 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, 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.

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 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, 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, 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: