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


Saturday, Feb 9, at 9:30-11:30am

Family Campout Fri 5/3 - Sat 5/5

(or just join on Saturday 5/4)

Caspers Wilderness Park

$50/family

Register by 4/15


Join other adventurous souls from St. Paul's and head outside for a weekend of old school tent-camping! As part of our initiative to offer antidotes to our over-screened lives, we are offering a first-ever camping excursion this Spring. The location is lush and wild, but close enough to minimize interruption to work schedules on Friday. Don't have gear? You can rent from REI, or check out this local lending website: https://www.letmeborrowthat.com/


What to expect: 

  • Great facilities: real bathrooms (yay!), beautiful nature center, excellent playground, rustic camp sites, hiking trails, plentiful oaks and sycamores, and beautiful views.
  • Friday afternoon (check in at 2pm) to Sunday morning (check out 12pm), with option for people to just come during the day on Saturday
  • Shared dinners and campfire time with group games and songs
  • Nature activities for kids on 5/4, plus lots of free time to explore
  • Simple, interactive outdoor worship service Sunday morning
  • Far enough to "get away" but easy distance to minimize
  • Please RSVP to me (Cassie) by 4/15, and consider helping to organize kids' activities, camp fire activities, or meals. Let me know if you'd like to be part of the planning to make this a memorable experience!

 

News from the Pews


Play time after Church

Did you know that the wonderful preschool playground is available after church on Sundays? Parents are welcome to gather in the backyard of the Rainbow Room (nursery) after the 9:30am service and let their children play in a safe, contained environment while parents get to visit with each other. Some parents have expressed concern over the wide-open church campus out front, losing track of their kids. So make use of this great resource, and enjoy the other parents while you're at it! The only request is that the playground area be cleaned up and left perfectly tidy for the preschool classes that will meet there the next morning. If you prefer to stay out front with your kids, just please ask them to stay out of the Parish Hall where there is no supervision after church. 


Church School in April

We continue having our combined story time during Lent, using Godly Play to tell the story of Jesus' life as it led up to the events of Holy Week and Easter. After the story, kids split up into two groups for age-appropriate activities in response to the story. I can't stress enough how highly I think of our teachers; we are so fortunate! 


Palm Sunday 4/14: Important Instructions!

On Palm Sunday, things are a bit topsy-turvy. Everyone will gather on the patio for a celebratory procession into the sanctuary. We ask that families process together in a group and be seated in the front pews, because you will be invited to have communion first (even before musicians) so that children can exit and head to class for the conclusion to the Godly Play lent series. The adults will stay put for the somber, dramatic reading of the Passion narratives, then collect their children on the patio at the conclusion of the service. 


Easter Festival 4/21 10am

Bring your own Easter basket! After church that day we'll have our annual Easter Egg Roll and various playful activities for our rambunctious littles to help them revel in the big celebration. There is no church school this day, so kids will receive a goody bag to help occupy them.


Volunteers are needed for a few jobs that day:

  1. Someone to oversee the egg hunt for the younger group (this simply involves holding back the line until you say go, but it's an essential job!)
  2. Someone to man/woman a few different stations (parachute games, bubbles, egg on a spoon game - we have materials for all of these)

If you have older kids who like to help, send them my way. They can join me after communion on Easter to quickly roll out/hide the eggs (this is usually a great relief to them after a long service!) or they can help with the other activities.