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

Lent Activities

Be sure to pick up a booklet for family lenten prayer time and activities from the ushers on Sunday! It's not too late to start your family lenten reflection time. 


3/17: Women's Retreat

Please join the women of St. Paul's for a lovely half-day retreat on the church campus from 8:30am-1:30pm to learn and experience the best of Celtic Spirituality. Child care is available upon request (so register now if you plan to come!) Cost is $25. Contact Laura Siriani for web link to register (laura@stpauls.org). 


3/17: Activity Day for Girls Throughout the Episcopal Diocese

(Yes...this is on the SAME day as our Women's Retreat. Both events are special...you choose! )

Go green with GFS! Girls’ Friendly Society of Los Angeles/Orange County is excited to host our annual “Not So Quiet Day” Lenten event on Saturday, March 17, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Fullerton. Girls aged 5-28 and adult guardians are invited to attend. The fun begins at 10AM and runs until 2PM; admission is FREE! Our theme is “Christ Hath a Garden,” and participants will have the opportunity to attend worship, participate in a scavenger hunt, try new foods, make their own mini gardens, and more! For more information, please visit www.gfscalifornia.org or sign up at https://tinyurl.com/NSQD2018 by March 10


April 1: Easter Sunday Festival

Bring your Easter baskets! 

Easter is a big day for families at St. Paul's! Children will play a special role during the service, and they are invited to participate in our annual festival afterwards that includes a giant hunt for Easter eggs and lots of games on the lawn. There is no Church School this day, so kids will receive a goody bag to keep them busy during church (nursery care will still be provided for ages 0-5). 

Volunteers are needed for the celebration, both during the service (briefly, to help line kids up for their processional), as well as afterwards to man/woman the various game stations and egg hunt. Please reply to this email to sign up. Thank you!


Camp Stevens

It's time to start dreaming about summer camp for your kids! If you haven't experienced Camp Stevens yet, our Episcopal campground in San Diego county, you are seriously missing out. Check out their website below for camp options. If enough kids sign up for the same week, we can organize a carpool to get them down there and back. This place is so special for all that it offers kids in character-formation as well as a instilling a deep honoring of the natural environment. Plus it's just plain FABULOUS and fun, truly a highlight that they'll hang onto. Scholarships available.


If interested, please let me know so I can connect you with other interested parents, so you can try to coordinate going on the same week. How great if our church kids got to take a big trip TOGETHER!


http://campstevens.org/programs/#programs_summercamp


News from the Pews

Church School Lessons During Lent

Throughout Lent we'll be using lessons from the elegant Montessori-based curriculum "Godly Play." These lessons walk through the whole story of Jesus' life and ministry, and reflect on his death and resurrection in gentle, meaningful ways that foster children's own reflections and wonderings about how they themselves can connect with the story of Jesus. The Godly Play approach uses language that promotes spirituality from a progressive standpoint, avoiding some of the pitfalls that have given our religion a bad name.  


School Pictures

If you have a recent school picture of your children who attend the elementary Church School class (grades Kinder through 5th), please bring one for us to post on our wall so we can celebrate our growing community of kids.


Anchored Families: Parenting Resources

The Spirituality of Parenting

I can't recommend this interview enough, from the On Being podcast. I'm so excited to discover this author and Rabbi whose expertise is in the spiritual formation of children. Her childrens' books on spirituality are stunning, and I highly recommend them as well. This interview with her is empowering for parents who want to foster deep character and virtue in their kids but aren't sure how. 


https://onbeing.org/programs/sandy-eisenberg-sasso-spirituality-parenting-3/


Please contact me if you'd like my list of marvelous children's books I recommend that foster spiritual formation, giving language to parents that can help facilitate meaningful faith conversations with kids . Please let me know if you have recommendations, too, so I can add them to my list.