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 had to adapt to keep everyone as safe as possible amidst the COVID-19 health crisis. 

For 2023, masks are optional in most of St. Paul's spaces but we still require masks be worn in nursery spaces with young 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.

Sunday School & Nursery News

June 4, 2023

Note: “regular” Sunday School programming has ended for the year. The community-service oriented summertime series "Kids With Compassion" will begin June 11! 

Sunday, June 4: Children should join their families in the Sanctuary for worship at 10:30 AM, when a children's moment will be offered. Childcare for infants and preschoolers is available in the Nursery. “Busy Bags” with quiet activities are available at the Welcome Desk. Families with young children who need a break are welcome to make use of the Octagon room opposite the Sanctuary doors or the Library down the hall by the restrooms. For information, please contact Meg Baker ( For information, please contact Meg Baker (

More June News: Kids with Compassion! Children in 5th grade and younger are invited to participate in our summer community service series, Kids with Compassion, on Sundays, June 11, 18, 25, and July 9. Children will begin in the Sanctuary for worship when a children’s message will be offered, after which they will transition upstairs to the Parlor for the service activity. Projects this summer include assembling Smart Sacks for families in need, preparing sandwiches and trail mix for Martha’s Table, and making hygiene kits for UMCOR. For more information, please contact Meg Baker at or 301-933-7933 ext. 104.

Vacation BIble School

In partnership with Bethesda UMC

St. Paul’s is partnering with Bethesda UMC in offering the VBS experience "Hero Hotline." 

June 19, 2023 — June 23, 2023

9:00am — 12:00pm

For children age 4 (and potty-trained) to rising-5th-grade.

Bethesda United Methodist Church

8300 Old Georgetown Road

Bethesda, MD 21704

Children will enjoy an interactive, energizing, Bible-based good time. Guided by this new Vacation Bible School program published by Cokesbury, young people become Heroes, learn about Bible Heroes, and discover that answering God’s call means striving together for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up! 

To register as a camper or a volunteer,

go to

The cost is $25.00 for one child, and $40.00 for more than one child. St. Paul's has camperships/scholarships available to allow families to participate in activities without financial worries. 

Please contact Dr. Meg Baker ( for questions about this VBS partnership, or a confidential conversation about camperships.

Sunday School & Nursery Info

Welcome to Sunday School! 

Most Sundays Sept.-May, during the 10:30 AM worship hour

Walk-in registration available at any time.

During a typical month, we will have children's programming on most Sundays during the 10:30 worship hour. About one Sunday a month, everyone begins in worship together in the Sanctuary, then, following a Children's Message moment, students and teachers will transition to Sunday School classes. 

Exceptions include holidays, part of summer break, special event Sundays, and "Fifth Sunday, One Community" days when families worship together in the Sanctuary for the entire service. Encouraging children to experience the full rhythm of worship helps them to grow as members of the body of Christ, and develop into youth and young adults who feel comfortable with being part of worship life of their church. Those little ones and caregivers who need a break during worship may make use of the nursery or visit the Library as a family (near the restrooms in the office hallway). We also provide "busy bags" with quiet children's projects for use in the Sanctuary like coloring pages, lacing cards, and other activities.

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. 

Nursery care will also be available for preschoolers and younger children at both 9:00 and 10:30 worship services. 

Please know that your child’s safety is our top priority. Programming, including activities and snack options, will remain flexible to respond to changes in guidance by the CDC and local officials. We are operating for 2022-2023 on a "one room schoolhouse" model, with breakout sessions. Most Sundays, we begin in the Chapel and end in the Fellowship Hall, where we have space to spread out and enjoy age-appropriate activity stations. In addition to Bible-based lessons, we include experiential learning – through drama, crafts, and service projects. 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.

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


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 

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 for a confidential consultation.

Staying Connected!

Sunday School!

Sunday School classes will be provided in-person this school year, with Zoom-based discussions available for special programming (like our Spring 2022 series St. Paul's Goes to Disney). 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 Meg at 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 or phone 301-933-7933 ext 104.

Kids’ Connection: 

These short videos were filmed during the early covid lock-down period, and 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!


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] 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.

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 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: