Families with Young Children
We are called to live in relationship with God and God’s people.
St. Paul’s provides wonderful opportunities for families with young children. We offer a 9:15 Sunday morning service specifically designed to welcome families with children of all ages. It is a Family Eucharist, with all ages welcome to receive Communion. At the Gospel Hymn all interested children are invited to follow an acolyte along with the Director of Family Ministry or a priest to our Children's Time in the Chapel. During this time children participate in children's hymns, a homily geared especially for them and Prayers of the People. They return to the larger congregation at the passing of the Peace and recieve the Eucharist with their families.
Education Hour (during the School Season, September to early June)
Directly after worship, children, youth and adults are invited to an Education Hour to encourage growth in their faith. For children, there are graded classrooms through 6th grade with teachers who commit to teaching their classes year-round. Consistency and relationships are of utmost importance in our Education Hour. While our grade school children are involved in learning, a Confirmation class for 7th graders, a Youth Forum class for teenagers, and a wide variety of Adult Education classes also meet.
Our Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders are in Godly Play classrooms. Our teachers have been trained especially to bring this very special curriculum to our congregation. Parents leave their children in the very capable hands of the doorkeeper at the threshold, so the classroom space is clearly a child’s sacred space. The children now know the routine to sit down in their circle to hear the story and be an active part of the community of children that is fostered. They hear the story, wonder carefully with the storyteller about the story, respond to story, and share a feast with their classmates. The structure of the class represents the structure of our worship.
Godly Play was developed and classroom tested for more than 20 years by Episcopal priest, author and teacher Jerry Berryman. It is a discovery method of teaching and learning which engages the whole child – hands, heart, mind, senses and intuition. It has been found that this is the best way for children (perhaps all of us) to internalize what we learn. The children are exposed to the Sacred Stories, Parables, and Liturgical action of our faith tradition. They are invited into the stories by “wondering” where their place is in the story. They are then asked to creatively respond to the story by the use of art materials provided in the classroom.
The classroom itself is considered a sacred space. The shelves in the room hold the stories of the People of God, surrounding the room with the history of God’s people. The materials used to tell the stories are beautiful, natural materials. The structure of the Godly Play experience is truly designed to give children the space to explore their own relationship with God.
Lectionary Based Curriculum
Our pre-school is using a lectionary-based curriculum to ground children in our special heritage. This curriculum is called Seasons of the Spirit. This curriculum give the children, teachers, and parents the opportunity to look further into the meaning of the Sunday Bible passages read during worship. They are lovingly invited to use art, drama, and service to see their place in God’s world.
Our 4th, 5th and 6th graders are grouped together this year with a fresh new curriculum. We gather for 4-6 weeks to look at a certain topic in depth through different experiences and learning styles. The topics include The Miracles of Jesus, Before Judge Judy, Advent, What Makes My Church Special and many more. They may cook, have an art project or watch a movie with LOTS of discussion with their enthusiastic teachers.
Child Care Center
We have a Child Care Center for infants and children up to 4 years of age. It is open Sunday morning 9:15-12:15. Our Center is staffed by caring professionals who plan weekly activities.
Included in the opportunities for children and families at St. Paul’s is a Children’s Christmas Eve Service, an Easter Egg Hunt and an exceptional week-long Summer Education program.
Children’s ministry meets the child on many levels. We see the child in a very holistic sense. They are physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual individuals. We at St. Paul’s are very blessed to have the opportunity to share God’s love with all who enter our doors.
St. Paul's provides support and enrichment for families through a variety of activities. Family, at St. Paul’s, is any specific group of people committed to healthy relationships within the group and the well-being of each of its members. Whether families are nuclear, extended, blended, a church congregation, or a family of choice, they share the same common goal: to share a quality of life that encourages the spiritual growth and development of the individuals as well as the whole family.
Several times a year, intergenerational education, usually around our baptisms, brings the young and old together to gain a new awareness of human and spiritual development.
One-on-one dialogue with a member of the church staff is often helpful for those seeking guidance toward membership, baptism, marriage, or ways to start a spiritual journey.