Welcome from Children’s Ministries

Welcome to Children’s Ministries at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. On behalf of the staff and Children’s Ministry Committee, we would like to welcome each of you as we partner together and guide our children on their spiritual journey. We look forward to meeting you and your children. Our program would not function without the help of parents and volunteers so please consider how you might want to be involved.

The Rev. Alice Graham Grant
Associate Rector for Children’s and Youth Formation
alice@stpaulscary.org
919-467-1477 x39

 

 Regan Dunlap
Children’s Ministry Coordinator
regan.dunlap@stpaulscary.org 
919-467-1477 x19

 

 


Important Links

Children’s Ministry Offerings

St. Paul’s Children’s Ministry offers a nurturing and inclusive environment where all children experience God’s love and begin their spiritual journey. Drawing upon the rich traditions of the Episcopal Church and by partnering with our parents, we strive to nurture the faith of every child and build a church community. We will accomplish this through Sunday School and Godly Play teachings, Children’s Chapel worship, Vacation Bible School, Stewardship, Eucharist and Liturgical education and fellowship.

We continue to observe all local and diocesan pandemic guidelines for in-person children’s activities. For the most up-to-date information about children’s events, please check out the children’s ministry updates on the main page of the website.

Children's Chapel

Children’s Chapel

At the 9:00 a.m. service, Children’s Chapel provides children (age three to 5th grade) a nurturing and accepting place to experience the rich traditions of the Episcopal Church. Children are invited to wiggle and ask questions during the lessons. They begin the service with their families, and then they follow the children’s processional cross out of the church and proceed to the Chapel. They return to the church after the Peace and share communion with their families.

Children’s Chapel follows a similar format each week: singing, stories/lessons, and an activity/craft. The story and activity are modeled on lesson plans from the Episcopal Church website, Sparks Bible Curriculum, and Godly Play (a Montessori-type lesson plan). In order to encourage a respectful, fun and warm environment, children are asked to follow St. Paul’s Behavior Policy

Volunteering for Children’s Chapel is a great way to get connected in the ministry. Lesson preparation time is usually less than 15 minutes and actual teaching time is around 10-15 minutes. To sign up, contact churchschool@stpaulscary.org.

Children's Ministries Committee

Children’s Ministries Committee

The St. Paul’s Children’s Ministry Committee (CMC) is a group of dedicated volunteers who work in conjunction with the staff and clergy to lead, develop, organize and implement the Children’s Ministry Program. CMC is responsible for organizing volunteers to implement all the programs and events included in the Children’s Ministry Program. For a full list, please refer to the “Children’s Events” section on this page.

The Children’s Ministry Committee has historically been a group of church members who are also parents of children in the program. New members are asked to make a 3-year commitment. Each year, a class of committee members leaves after completing their 3-year rotation, and they are replaced by a new members. CMC is led by a Committee Chairperson who works closely with the Children’s Ministries staff and clergy. 

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, please contact churchschool@stpaulscary.org.

Communion Classes

Communion Classes

Communion Classes are provided for all children aged 1st Grade and up. While these classes are not a pre-requisite for communion participation, they provide an excellent way for children to learn about the meaning of the rite. They are usually held on three Sundays in late winter/early spring during the Sunday School hour.

All children aged 1st Grade and up are welcome to attend. You do not have to be enrolled in Sunday School to participate. All participants should, however, be baptized. Communion Classes conclude with a festive Sunday celebration where participants are recognized during the worship service and Coffee Hour.

For more information about confirmation, please check out the Youth Ministries section of the website.

Events

Children’s Events

Specific dates for events will be announced in weekly updates and on the website.

Halloween Carnival (late October): Bring your own pumpkin and carving tools. Prepare a pot of chili or your favorite side dish to share, and come enjoy some tasty chili and hot dogs! Be sure to stick around for the grand pumpkin lighting and youth fundraising carnival!

Christmas Pageant (mid-December): All children are invited to participate in our annual Christmas Pageant. Permission forms and the drawing for speaking roles will take place in early November. Parts are assigned by seniority (oldest first), but many speaking roles are available. If you don’t want a speaking role, you can still participate as a soldier, angel, shepherd or animal.

Christmas Eve Service (4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve): A special Christmas Eve Service with a Homily for Children.

Pancake Supper (Shrove Tuesday): Come find us at the Pancake Supper to make a craft and get a strand of beads! 

Communion Celebration (Spring): A Sunday Service and Coffee Hour celebration for our Communion Class graduates.

Ash Wednesday Service (Lent): A special Ash Wednesday Children’s Chapel is provided for children during the evening service.

Stations of the Cross Service (Good Friday): A special service for children and families that usually takes place at noon on Good Friday.

Easter Sunday Family Service (9:00 a.m. Easter Service): A special Easter Service with a Homily for Children.

Egg Hunt (Easter Sunday): Come find eggs around the church campus! Egg Hunt is held between the 9:00 and 11:15 services.

Pre-EYC: A bi-monthly gathering for 4th and 5th Graders. See “Pre-EYC” section for more information.

Vacation Bible School (late June or July): Each summer, St. Paul’s hosts a Vacation Bible School for the children or our parish and the wider community. See “VBS” section for more information.

Kids' Club

Kids’ Club

Kids’ Club is a fun, safe and nurturing environment for our youngest children (infants through 36-months old). Parents may attend church, teach Sunday school, sing in the choir, or attend Coffee Hour while their children attend Kids’ Club. Click here for the Kids’ Club page.

Pre-EYC

Pre-EYC

Pre-EYC is a fun & fellowship program for 4th and 5th graders. It is held a couple of times a month during the Sunday School academic year (September-May).

What happens in Pre-EYC? We work on building a church community through fellowship and spiritual formation. Pre-EYC is not Sunday School, though; it is a community-building opportunity. We believe it is important for this age group to build a community together, as this will be foundation for their church lives during the rest of their school years. While their classmates and schools may change, the hope is that their church friends will be one of the constants in their lives.

Pre-EYC follow a loosely structured format for each meeting: gathering, eating, learning, playing, and closing. The format will change based on the children participating and what we are learning and doing on a particular Sunday. Pre-EYC is also active in outreach, both at church and in the community. Outreach projects vary, but in the past they’ve included work with the elderly, animals, and local service providers. Participants typically also have the opportunity to go on an annual camping trip in the early spring.

Pre-EYC depends on parental assistance for meal preparation and chaperoning. Please subscribe to the Children’s Ministry list for updates and/or contact churchschool@stpaulscary.org for more information about how to get involved.

Safe Church Training

Safe Church Training

Safe Church policies establish and maintain standards intended to ensure that faith communities are safe places where all of God’s people are loved and encouraged to grow into the people God calls us to be. St. Paul’s and the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina require clergy, staff, and volunteers working with children and youth on a regular basis to comply with Safe Church training. For more information about it, check out Best Practices for Safe Church: Policy, Procedures & Resources.

For more information on Safe Church training at St. Paul’s, please contact churchschool@stpaulscary.org.

Sunday School

Sunday School

Sunday School is the beginning of a child’s formal spiritual formation. It is held from 10:10-11:00 a.m. in the Education Building during the traditional academic year calendar.

Classes are available to children 3 years-old through 5th grade and are taught by volunteers. Each classroom has three teachers, only two of which will be in the classroom on any Sunday. The teachers rotate between teaching, assisting or being off each week. Signs in the hallway of the Education Building will lead children to their classrooms, all grouped by age. A bell is rung in the Parish Hall around 10:05 a.m. to announce the beginning of classes. Children are asked to finish all snacks and drinks before heading to the classrooms.

All lesson plans come from the Weaving God’s Promises curriculum, which provides engaging and thorough lessons and activities, including stories from both the Old and New Testament. Sunday School classes follow a similar format: gathering time, story and lesson, and craft and activity. Younger children also have a short playtime. Teachers are invited to include their own ideas and personal experiences to enhance lesson and activity times.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is Bible-based, exploratory day camp for children 3 years-old through 5th grade. Parents, caregivers and St. Paul’s youth help out at VBS.  VBS is a wonderful program and is the highlight of our summer at St. Paul’s!

Click here for more information. Also, announcements can be found in the Children’s Ministries weekly update.

Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities with Children’s Ministries

To volunteer, please fill out the Church School Volunteer Form (NOTE: For fillable PDF forms, you may fill in the blanks or checkboxes online, save, and email to churchschool@stpaulscary.org or you may print the form and fill it out manually.)

Children’s Ministries encompasses so much more than just Sunday School. Each year, the Children’s Ministries Committee hosts several events, both large and small, where we rely on parental assistance. We are able to do so many things because of our parent volunteers and we need your help! Below you will find a list of some volunteer opportunities. Please contact churchschool@stpaulscary.org to sign up or obtain more information.

One-Hour (or Less) Commitment

  • Children’s Chapel Teacher (year round availability): teaching a provided 10-15 minute lesson to children. One Sunday per month (15-30 min. prep time/10-15 min. teaching).
  • Christmas Pageant (mid December): positions include assisting children in memorization, helping with costumes, organizing children, organizing food, shepherding children, working with props, cleanup (1 hour and up).
  • Communion Class (early Spring): parent chaperons/assistance needed (1 hour).
  • Children with Special Needs Buddies (year-round availability): partnering with a child with special needs during Children’s Chapel and/or Sunday School one time a month (1 hour).
  • Easter Egg Hunt (Spring): help hide eggs and supervise egg collection (1 hour).

Two-Hour Commitment

  • Halloween Carnival (late October): setting up tables, chairs, cooking/organizing potluck dishes, clean up (approx. 2 hours).

Three-Hour (and Up) Commitment

  • Sunday School Teacher: teaching a provided lesson and organizing a craft approx. once a month. In addition, assisting in the classroom approximately once a month (30 minute prep/50 minute classroom time).
  • Vacation Bible School (July): assist with our big outreach to the community. Many, many opportunities to help are available including Center Leaders, shepherding children, serving snacks, preparing crafts, decorating, clean up, etc.
  • Children’s Ministry Committee (CMC) Member (2+ hours/month, 3-year commitment): Be a part of the action and assist in planning our events. CMC meets once a month, and members are asked to volunteer to assist with Children’s Chapel and Sunday School. In addition, CMC members organize and plan two events per year. It is a wonderful group of people, and we have lots of fun! See “Children’s Ministry Committee” section for more information.

Children’s Ministry News:

St. Nicholas Ministry: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

St. Nicholas made his list and 200 names are on the tree. Take a tag and bring the gifts to St. Nicholas on December 4th, 2022 at the 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. services.

Make our Halloween Carnival Extra Special

Who doesn’t love watching the children process out for Children’s Chapel on Sundays? How fun would it be to participate in their Halloween celebration for Trunk or Treat!

Vacation Bible School (VBS) 2022

This year, St. Paul’s VBS will take place on July 11-14, 2022, from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon. There is a more detailed announcement about registration (click here for more information). ….

Look who was featured in Duke Divinity Magazine!

Look who was featured in Duke Divinity Magazine in the fall 2021 issue! The Rev. Alice Graham Grant, our Associate Rector for Children’s and Youth Formation, shared her story about completing the last year of her training during a pandemic, and how she found grace in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. https://stories.divinity.duke.edu/alumni-pandemic/

Christmas Services Update

Yesterday we received word from Bishops Rodman and Hodges-Copple with information regarding the Omicron variant and the seriousness of its transmissibility. At this time the diocese has not issued any new mandates but clearly advises parishes to exercise caution regarding in-person worship. We DO plan to offer both in-person and online Christmas services.