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 10:00 am service. 


Church school is held during the 10:00 am service 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


St. Paul's Families - Virtual Church School and More

Time to learn how to be a virtual church community! Please see below for our attempts at seeing each other's faces and nurturing our spirituality. Bear with me as we roll this out - it's obviously all experimental and will likely change in the coming weeks as kinks get worked out. 


May you be blessed with peace in your hearts, lots of extra family time, and amazing health. 

 

News from the Pews


Lent in a Bag

Don't forget to keep doing your weekly Lent in a Bag ritual! No time like the present for creating ritual and structure (way harder said than done). If you didn't get one, I can email you the guide and you can come up with your own materials. Sadly the flower bulbs finally arrived, weeks late...not sure what I'm going to do with them all! Wish I could get them to you. 


Church School During Lent

Here are two links for Church School:


Godly Play Story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlFho5BRyEc


Zoom link for our experimental video gathering on Sunday!

https://zoom.us/j/458424821

Meeting ID: 458 424 821


The first is a video for you to watch independently with your kids (watch it around 9:15am or earlier so we can all have seen it first before our live reflection on it). For this week, stop the video after the teacher shares about the 5th picture. We'll continue to watch these for the next two weeks leading up to Easter, adding one each week (6th picture on 3/29, and 7th picture on 4/5). Watch the whole series each time - it's great review, and the kids love the familiarity of it. 


To access the meeting, copy the Zoom link above. You'll want to test it ahead of time and download the program. I set it up so that there's a "waiting room" - I'm hoping that means that as people sign on, you can chat together before we officially begin. If any of you is an expert on Zoom, give me a call and let me know if you have advice!


I really look forward to seeing your faces. It's getting lonely already, especially for the little ones!


Additional Resource for Family Worship Time

I encourage you to create your own unplugged family worship time on Sunday mornings until we're able to gather in person again. Some options to consider: 

  • Use the Lent in a Bag reflections as your Sunday morning family time
  • Use this link below to get a lovely resource emailed to you (with a kid-friendly bible story, reflection questions, and relevant coloring pages) https://www.illustratedministry.com/flattenthecurve
  • Build your own!  
  • Choose some poetry
  • Read a favorite scripture from a children's bible (like my beloved "Family Story Bible" by Ralph Milton) or Desmond Tutu's version called "Children of God Storybook Bible"
  • Ask some reflection questions
  • Offer prayers for each other and the world.
  • You can even offer your own eucharist (my favorite method is to pass around small bits of dark chocolate - nutritious and feel-good!). 
  • Sing a song together

Upcoming Activities


Moms' Gathering

Saturday April 4, 10:00-11:00am

via Zoom

Let's try this! RSVP to Cassie, so we know who to expect. Our topic will simply be "How in the world are you coping with the pandemic fall-out? What are the greatest challenges, and what surprising gifts are you discovering?" 

Here's the link to join the meeting: 

https://zoom.us/j/219755999

Meeting ID: 219 755 999

 


Anchored Families

My Go-To Resources for Suddenly Being Home with Kids (nature-based and creativity-focused)

https://www.tinkergarten.com/activities

https://nurturestore.co.uk


Send me your own favorites, and I can compile a list for us to share (maybe in a shared Google doc)

 

Blessings on each of you as you find your way in this strange season. I'm grateful you're part of our church family! 


Be Well, in every way,

Cassie