Welcome from the Rector
Welcome! We are delighted that you have chosen to have your child participate in the Children’s Ministry of St. Paul’s. I have always believed that as parents and caregivers you are your child’s first teacher of faith. We, the clergy, Children’s Ministry leaders and teachers thank you for inviting us to share this experience with you.
What we do is help you as your child walks this wondrous journey of faith. Besides learning of God’s love through scripture, story, liturgy, and sacrament, we also value the community we develop as we walk together with you and your child.
On this page, you will find valuable information about St. Paul’s Children’s Ministry. Please be sure to let us know how we can help you, as well, grow in your faith.
All are welcome at St. Paul’s, and we especially welcome you.
Rev. George Adamik
Welcome from Children’s Ministries
Welcome to Children’s Ministries at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. On behalf of the 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 volunteering in one of the many available positions.
Vision and Mission
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.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have suspended in-person events. However, you can still read more about our normal activities below.
Thank you in advance for helping develop the spiritual lives of our youngest parishioners.
Children’s Chapel provides children a nurturing and accepting place for children to experience the rich traditions of the Episcopal Church. Children are invited to wiggle, sing openly and ask questions during the lessons.
Children’s Chapel is available to all children from age three through 2nd grade. Children’s Chapel is held during the 9:00 AM and 11:15 AM services. Children begin the service with their families, then follow the cross out of the church and proceed to the Chapel. They return to the church after the Peace and share the Eucharist with their families. In order to encourage a respectful, fun and warm environment, children are asked to follow the Behavior Expectations Policy.
Children’s Chapel follows a similar format each week: singing, stories/lesson and activity/craft. Many times we take song requests from the children as they have many favorites! 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).
Children’s Chapel is taught on most occasions by the Director of Children’s Ministries, with assistance from parent volunteers.
Clergy Led Children’s Chapel sessions are taught by the clergy on various dates as priests are available. Clergy Led Children’s Chapel lessons are for children age 3rd-5th grade. These lessons are based on either the lectionary or on traditions of the Episcopal Church. Children in 3rd-5th are expected to attend regular worship services on 2nd and 3rd Sundays of each month so they can see their lessons in action. Volunteering for Children’s Chapel is a great way to test the waters in the teaching ministry. Lesson Preparation time is usually less than 15 minutes and actual teaching time is around 10-15 minutes. Children’s Chapel volunteer sign up lists are available on the St. Paul’s website or you may contact the Director of Children’s Ministries at ChurchSchool@StPaulsCary.org.
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 Children’s Ministry Director and St. Paul’s 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 of those events, please refer to the Children’s Ministry Events Calendar. Children’s Ministry Volunteers are essential to allow our children the opportunity to be involved in such exciting activities. Please refer to the Volunteer Opportunities document for a full list of volunteer options.
The Children’s Ministry Committee has historically been a group of church members who are also parents of children in the 3 year old to 5th grade age range. The volunteers who participate on the committee were asked to participate on the committee based on expressed interest in volunteering in Children’s Ministry programs. New members are informed of the committee’s purpose and are asked to make a 3-year commitment to participate on the committee.
CMC is lead by a Committee Chairperson who works closely with the Children’s Ministries Director. Committee members have made a 3-year commitment to participating on the committee. Each year, a group of committee members leave after completing their 3-year participation. Additionally, that group is replaced by new committee members who are beginning their 3-year participation.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact ChurchSchool@StPaulsCary.org.
Communion and Confirmation
Communion Classes are provided for all children aged 1st Grade and up. Communion Classes are 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. However, all class participants should be baptized. Communion Classes conclude with a festive celebration where all Communion Class participants are recognized during a worship service and during coffee hour.
Confirmation is a sacramental rite of the Episcopal Church in which teenagers and adults affirm the covenant made on their behalf in Baptism. Our class, led by the clergy, is offered every 18 months (to coincide with visits from the Bishop. This class is offered to all teenagers who are at least in the ninth grade and who have not yet been confirmed.
Children’s Ministry Event Descriptions
Specific Dates for Events will be announced in the Newsletter, on the Church Website, on the Bulletin Board and in the Weekly Bulletin.
Pumpkin Carving and Chili Cookoff (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!
Advent Craft Event (Late November): Join us for a festive Coffee Hour where all attendees will be invited to create an Advent craft. A great way to start the Advent season.
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 PM Christmas Eve): A special Christmas Eve Service with a Homily for Children.
Pancake Supper (Lent): Come find us at the Pancake Supper to make a craft and maybe even get a strand of beads! Bring your coins for the youth carnival!
Communion Celebration (Spring): A 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.
Good Friday Service (Lent): A special service is held for children at Noon on Good Friday.
Easter Sunday Family Service (9:00 AM Easter Morning): 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. Pre-EYC meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month from 11:15-1:00 PM.
Vacation Bible School (Late June or July): Each summer, St. Paul’s hosts a Vacation Bible School for the children or our Parish and our community. This program is full of adventure and learning for all our participants-students and teachers alike.
Kids’ Club 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. Our program is open for parents to visit at any time.
Pre-EYC is a biweekly fun & fellowship program for 4th and 5th graders. Pre-EYC is held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 4:00-5:45 PM in the Parish Hall. Pre-EYC is held mainly during the Sunday School year (September-May).
What happens in Pre-EYC? We work on building a church community, with a touch of “church” added in where it makes sense. We play and build friendships with a light touch of church to help grow the spiritual lives of the children. However, this will not be Sunday School; Pre-EYC is a community building opportunity. It is so important for this age group to build a community together as this will be foundation for their church lives for the next 8 years. While their classmates and schools may change, their church friends will be one constant in their lives.
Pre-EYC meetings 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 occur about once every two months and help a wide range of groups including: the elderly, St. Paul’s, animals, other children, local service providers and environmental improvement. What a wonderful opportunity for our children to start their lives of service to others!
Pre-EYC participants also have the opportunity to go on an annual camping trip, held in the early Spring.
Pre-EYC depends on parent volunteer assistance for meal preparation and service as additional chaperons. Please visit the St. Paul’s website for additional information about signing up to volunteer and provide meals.
Read: Children’s News and Events, Sunday bulletins, and newsletters for schedule.
Sunday School is the beginning of a child’s formal spiritual education. Sunday School classes are available to all 3 year olds through 5th graders and are taught by volunteers. Each classroom has 3 teachers, only two of which will be in the classroom on any Sunday. The teachers rotate between teaching, assisting or being off each week.
All lesson plans come from 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 play time. Teachers are invited to include their own ideas and personal experiences to enhance lesson and activity times.
In addition to Weaving God’s Promises, older children experience additional enrichment lessons. First graders and above are invited to participate in Communion Classes held each spring for children who wish to have formal instruction on the Eucharist and its place in the Episcopal tradition. Older children may participate in a “Getting to Know Your Bible” series where each child receives their own Bible and then spends a few weeks learning it’s structure, organization and history.
Sunday School is held from 10:10-11:00 AM in the Education Building during the traditional public school calendar. 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 AM to announce the beginning of classes. Children are asked to finish all snacks and drinks before heading to the classrooms.
Vacation Bible School
St. Paul’s presents a Vacation Bible School (VBS) every summer. VBS is bible-based and is lots of fun for kids. We usually have close to 100 participants and sometimes have a waiting list. The day session is a week long and usually runs from 9:00 to 12:00. In 2015, a three-day evening program was added from 6:00 to 7:30. Children from age 3 to 5th grade may attend VBS. Members of EYC, our youth group, traditionally help out at VBS. In the past few years, our VBS programs are written and the materials developed by our own Children’s Ministries staff and volunteers. VBS is a wonderful program and is the highlight of our summer at St. Paul’s.
Volunteer Opportunities with Children’s Ministries
Church School Volunteer Form (fillable PDF)
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!
Following is a list of volunteer opportunities. Please contact the Director of Children’s Ministries (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)
- Advent Craft Event (late November)-assisting with set up and clean up of craft event during Coffee Hour. (1 hour)
- Easter Egg Hunt (Spring)-help hide eggs and supervise egg collection. (1 hour)
Two Hour Commitment
- Pumpkin Carving and Chili Cookoff (late October)-setting up tables, chairs, cooking hot dogs, 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 min. prep/50 minutes 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 per 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. Sounds like a lot of work, but it is a wonderful group of people and we have lots of fun!