CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

The mission of Children and Family Ministries at St. Paul’s is to foster a rich inner life in the Episcopal tradition that will accompany our children through both the tempestuous storms and peaceful mountaintops of life. We attempt faith formation that is well-rounded, attending both to the needs of one’s own spirit as well as to the importance of compassionate self-giving in response to the needs of the world. We also strive to forge meaningful bonds among the various families within our community by offering a variety of opportunities for engagement. 


We are sometimes in need of additional teachers or classroom assistants for our Church School, as well as volunteers for the nursery. Teachers and assistants are usually scheduled once a month, while some serve only occasionally as subs.


All classroom helpers receive training in our style of classroom management as well as skills for protecting children from any kind of mistreatment. We work hard to maintain a safe, nurturing environment where children can flourish personally and spiritually.

If you are interested in being part of the Children's Ministry team, please contact our Children and Family Minister, Cassie Lewis, at cassie@stpauls.org.

Church Sch00l

Professional nursery care is available for ages 0-5 during the 9:30 am service (9 am during summer). 


Church school is held during the 9:30 am service (9 am during summer) with an elementary class for Kinder through 5th grade, and a middle school class for grades 6-8. Be sure to have kids arrive at least 5 minutes early to get settled in. 


Goals of Church School:

  • To provide our children with language for expressing and understanding spiritual experience
  • To foster a safe, delightful, loving community in which to explore spirituality
  • To expose them to the tools of the Christian Tradition that can lead to a grounded, satisfying, and consciously-lived life
  • To help them form an ethical way of living • To give them the assurance that they are loved fully by God and can be agents of God’s love in their own world
  • To nurture theological reflection from a progressive perspective, using stories from the Bible as well as other sources  Curriculum

Curriculum

We use a variety of curricula throughout the year for the elementary class, interspersing special lessons from the Montessori-based Godly Play, Illustrated Children’s Ministry, and Progressive Christianity. For Middle School, we use a beautiful, engaging curriculum from Seasons of the Spirit.  


Registration

Please fill out a registration form for each child participating so we can ensure everyone’s safety and well-being while you’re on site with us. The forms can be found in the classroom. 


Joining Parents in Church

Midway through the service, children will be escorted to the sanctuary during the Passing of the Peace. Please watch for your kids at that time and help them find you. They are most welcome to participate fully in Communion. If you have kids in the nursery, you are welcome to retrieve them to join you for Communion, in you like. We look forward to meeting you and your little ones!

CHILDREN'S MINISTRY NEWS

Upcoming Activities

 

SUNDAY 8/25

Backpack Blessing at 10am

It's time to bless our students and teachers as they begin a new school year. Be sure to bring your kids that day, as they will be invited forward (with their school bags!) to be honored, encouraged, blessed, and reminded that they are supported by this church community. Each child will receive a token of that love to take home. This is a great opportunity to invite your friends and their children. In a season that is clouded by the heaviness of scary events, your neighbors may appreciate a moment of sacred care for their little ones. 


SUNDAY 8/25

Connect: Immigration Discussion at 3pm

Child Care provided for up to 5th Grade!

Did you know there is child care for all of our Connect series? We've worked hard to provide it, but it hasn't been used much! If child care is your barrier to participating in these important adult discussions, please RSVP to the church office (or me) about ages of kids you plan to bring. 


Next Moms' Gathering

Saturday September 28, 9:30-11:30am

at home of Alma Obregon

Join other moms from St. Paul's for warm drinks and light treats as we open our hearts to each other about the challenges and joys of parenting.

 

News from the Pews


Church School in August

For August, we are continuing with our theme of "Ecojustice" for Church School lessons.  


Kids will continue to gather on the lawn by the brick planter and be walked over to the garden pavilion area at about 10:05am. If you arrive later, please walk your kids over to the garden area. We're having a great time out there - I hope you'll join us! Apply sunscreen before you come, to be safe!


Fall Church School Session Begins 9/15

Children will begin meeting in Adult Ed (behind the Parish Hall) while Parish Hall construction continues. They'll resume being split into two groups (Primary Group - age 4 through 2nd grade, and Intermediate group - grade 3-5)


Assistants Needed for Church School

Kids age 6th grade and up are encouraged to apply to become an assistant for their younger compatriots. See me! (Cassie)


Anchored Families: Parenting Resources


Back to School Ritual*

Heading off to school on the first day can be daunting for parent and child alike, as there are so many questions in one's mind. "What will the new year be like?" "Will I like my teacher?" "Will my child be happy?" This is a yearly tradition involving making a copy of your child's footprints on the first day of school and saying a simple prayer for the year to come. Even if you've already started school recently, it's not too late to do this!

Designed for Ages Preschool through Senior in High School


Materials

1. Construction paper

2. Washable tempera paint

3. Wide paintbrush

4. Shallow pan of soapy water

5. Washcloths and towels


Time Investment: 30 minutes


How To

1. On the night before or the morning of the first day of school, paint the bottom of your child's feet with a wide paintbrush and ask him or her to step on a piece of construction paper. As he or she does, say, "Your feet remind us of the journey you will take this year at school. I know that you will learn so many new things and go to so many new places. I hope that you will go with courage and strength and know that God goes with you too."


2. Before the child steps off the construction paper, say this short prayer: "God, please be with [child's name] as s/he heads off on his/her first day of school. May the year be full of new experiences and knowledge, and may s/he walk in light and truth every day. Amen."


3. Wash off the paint from the child's feet and head off to a new year!


Notes

Those who are coming to this tradition with older children might be tempted to skip it, thinking, "Well, we haven't done it in the past, we should just skip it." I think it's never too lated to start a new tradition, and this is an easy one to start at any time! Go ahead and start it, no matter how old your children are!


Variations


Do handprints instead of footprints.

Show the footprints from previous years and notice how the child has grown and changed.


*This practice excerpted from the book Faithful Families: Simple Practices for Daily Family Life by Traci Smith. Published by Chalice Press, 2017. Used by permission. 

 

Be Well, in every way!