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. Our children's programming is generally geared for students age 2 to grade 5.


Like all our ministries, however, regular children's programming has had to adapt to the guidelines designed to keep everyone as safe as possible amidst the COVID-19 health crisis. 


For 2022, St. Paul's requires masks be worn in worship and in spaces with children, regardless of vaccination status. We encourage all our young people to participate in faith formation activities as they are able! 


Please scroll down to find more information on Sunday School, special activities, and seasonal events.

Children's Programming this Summer

All Sundays in August PLUS September 4 & 11: Children are invited to be in worship with their loved ones and experience the rhythm of the worship service. We encourage all those who worship to live into the vows we share at baptism when we promise to embrace young ones as part of the family of God and help them to learn to walk in the ways of faith. There will be no Sunday School or separate children’s programming during the 10:30 worship hour until September 18 when Sunday School for the 2022-2023 programming year begins. Nursery care is available at both the 9:00 and 10:30 worship services for those preschool age and younger. “Busy Bags” with quiet activities for kids are available at the Welcome Desk. 


Questions? Contact Dr. Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org. 



Hope to see you there!

Sunday School & Nursery Registration

Welcome to Sunday School! 

Most Sundays during the 10:30 AM worship hour

Classes begin Sept. 18

Registration preferred by Sept. 10


In-person Sunday School classes for children in 5th grade and younger will be held most weeks from September through May during the 10:30 a.m. worship service, beginning September 18. Nursery care will also be available for children and preschoolers. 


Please know that your child’s safety is our top priority, and we will take every precaution to protect those who have been entrusted to our care. We will continue to mask, and hand sanitizer will be readily accessible. Snacks will not be provided at this time. Programming, including activities and snack options, will remain flexible to respond to changes in guidance by the CDC and local officials.


While we will provide traditional Sunday School lessons grouped by age, opportunities for experiential learning – through drama, crafts, worship, and service projects – will also be made available. We are looking forward to learning and growing and playing together as disciples of Christ!


If you have not already done so, please take a moment to register your child(ren) for the 2022-2023 Sunday School year. The information we gather helps us keep everyone safe and connected. We would appreciate receiving your registration form by September 10 so that we are better able to prepare for the September 18 kick-off and to ensure safe student/teacher ratios. 


Please take a moment to register your child(ren) for Sunday School by clicking the button here:

SUNDAY SCHOOL REGISTRATION


Registrations will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis. Walk-in registrations and children who are not pre-registered should be accompanied by an adult on Sunday and will be warmly welcomed whenever possible.


If you have any questions or concerns, or for more information, please feel free to contact Meg Baker at mbaker@stpaulsk.org. 

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, due to the building renovation scheduled for this summer, we will not hold VBS in 2022. WE look forward to VBS 2023 in our renovated facilities!


In a normal year, VBS is a joyous (and sometimes messy!) celebration of faith, hope, and childhood. In a normal year, 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.) We also offer Youth Staff and Helper opportunities for those who've completed grade 5 or above. 


Musical Theatre Camp: After two years away due to covid, we are pleased to announce that Musical Theatre Camp will be back in operation in 2022! Please CLICK HERE to visit the Musical Theatre Camp webpage with the application and more information. 


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. 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. Camp registration is limited to the first 24 campers and spots fill up fast!


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@stpaulsk.org for a confidential consultation.

Staying Connected!

Sunday School!

Sunday School classes will be provided in-person for Spring 2022, with Zoom-based discussions available for special programming (such as the St. Paul's Goes to Disney series). Worksheets and educational materials will be shared in weekly emails from Dr. Meg Baker, Minister of Spiritual Care and Formation and our director of educational programming. Contact mbaker@stpaulsk.org or 301-933-7933 ext 104 if you have questions about Sunday School or would like to receive the materials.


Email List: 

If you aren't getting emails and would like to, please let us know! This is the best way to stay on top of the Sunday School schedule and receive supplementary educational materials. Contact Meg at mbaker@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!


Photo below: Bible Story Time from 2019.

Kids' Connection!

Check out our current Kids' Connection Videos!

LOADING PLAYER…

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.

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. 

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.  ALL in-person Sunday School activities have been CANCELED or significantly altered 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.

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. 

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