Welcome from Mother Alice, Associate Rector for Youth and Children’s Formation
On behalf of the clergy and Children’s Ministry Committee, welcome to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church!
St. Paul’s recognizes the great capacity of children’s spiritual lives, and we offer programs that nurture children from infancy through high school. Through stories, song, and play, the community of lay leaders and clergy teach and guide our children through the fundamentals of Christian education. St. Paul’s has a fun social environment for children and parents, and we’re always delighted to welcome newcomers.
This page will help guide you through offerings for children. Because we adapt programming to accommodate changing health and safety conditions, the best way to stay up-to-date on programming is to subscribe to the children’s ministry newsletter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
All are welcome at St. Paul’s, and we especially welcome you.
The Rev. Alice Graham Grant
Associate Rector for Children’s and Youth Formation
St. Paul’s has many services to support the spiritual and educational needs of children.
Children’s Chapel is offered at the 9:00 and 11:15 AM services each week.
Sunday School is offered during the traditional school calendar.
Pre-EYC is a biweekly fun & fellowship program for 4th and 5th graders.
Special events are also offered throughout the year, and include the Christmas Pageant, a Halloween pumpkin carving, an Easter egg hunt, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday programs, teacher appreciation events.
Vacation Bible School is a week-long, half-day bible-based program offered each summer, usually during July, for children ages three through 5th grade.
Kids’ Club, a nursery for younger children, is located in a building behind the church. It is a fun, safe, and nurturing environment for children birth through school age. Parents may attend church, teach Sunday school, sing in the choir or attend committee meetings while their children attend Kids’ Club.
St. Paul’s Preschool offers a planned program for children, one-year old through transitional kindergarten, during the traditional school year. Preschool is open to the public, although St. Paul’s members are given priority in registering.
The Cry Room (a.k.a. Bride’s room), offers a place where parents may take younger children who become unhappy or restless during Sunday services. The room has a full-size picture window allowing full view of the service. The room is equipped with speakers so that parents may hear the service while letting the little ones relax and be themselves. The entrance to the Cry Room is located across the hallway from the restrooms.
An Open Letter to Parents with Children in the Church
I see you there. You come rushing in late, with a child (or four), and slide right into that empty pew in front of me during the opening collect of the day. In a flurry of bulletins, crayons, and ziplocks filled with gold fish, you arrange and rearrange your family on the pew. One kid is grumpy and lets you know it. The other keeps asking you questions. Another needs to go to the bathroom. And of course the smallest one starts to cry. There’s whispering, there’s giggling, and there’s kicking on the hymnals. The service continues.
Then, just at the most quiet and holy part, just after the choir sings like angels and the priest makes some grand and meaningful gesture, your child spills clanky, clacky colored pencils all over the wooden floor, and the sound of their rolling down the nave makes more noise than you ever imagined was possible. I have a message for you from the rest of us in the congregation:
THANK YOU. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!
You have chosen to bring into our community of worship one of God’s greatest gifts to all of us: children. Jesus makes it very clear what He thinks about your children: they are precious. They are to be loved and welcomed. They are models of how we must be in our faith if we are to have relationship with Him. Check out Psalm 127:3-5, Matthew 18:10, and Mark 10:13-16. Those are just a few of the verses on the topic that make it very clear. And especially in our service, your children are a gift to be seen and heard.
They remind us not to take things too seriously and to enjoy this world God has given us. They enter in to the routine of our worship and grant us insight which can only come through the unexpected. They are a real and present reminder of the joy and new LIFE that we experience in Christ. When we look at our liturgy and the objects used in worship through their eyes, we enter into a wonder and amazement that is the most appropriate response to all that God is and all that God does. And when we look at their faces across the way from us while kneeling at the Lord ’s Table, we are reminded exactly why Eucharist is so special and beautiful.
I’m sure you face frustrations and hindrances in coming to church services that those of us without children can never imagine. But please, for the good of our community, don’t let that stop you from bringing your inquisitive, sporadic, wiggly, and wonderful children to church.
The Person without Kids in the Pew Behind You