Children and Youth Programs at Saint Paul’s
Christian Education at Saint Paul’s takes many forms and is experienced through teaching and weekly interaction as a faith community, we provide a variety of ministries for families and their children:
Get Involved and Learn More
- Read about our Annual Wissahickon Hike
- Join us for Welcome Sunday
- Register for Church School
- Download Family Ministries, Children and Youth brochure
St. Paul’s is committed to keeping all children safe. All volunteers and staff who having direct contact with children are certified through Safe Church Training. Parents are asked to share with teachers and nursery staff any allergies or situations that may require extra care for their children.
St. Paul’s is the place to be for Sunday morning breakfast! A group of volunteers prepares sumptuous breakfast to parishioners from September – May. Breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. and for a small donation, your family can enjoy a delicious breakfast with other parishioners.
St Paul’s offers an informal service at 9:00 a.m. every Sunday. This service combines contemporary and traditional liturgy and music. Whereas all are welcome, this service is primarily geared towards making worship accessible to families with children. Children are also welcome to our principal service at 10:30 a.m.
Child Care is provided from 8:30 a.m. to noon during worship and Church School for infants through preschool.
Parents gather during Church School hour in the Swift Bird Room for fellowship and to share ideas on the joys and challenges of parenthood. In addition to the numerous materials shared among the group, occasionally, a resource person is invited to offer parental counseling.
Beyond the close affinity we enjoy at St. Paul’s, families meet once every quarter off campus to continue our ministry of getting to know each other. Family Pot-Lucks are hosted by parishioners. Everyone is welcomed to bring one or two of the following: appetizer, entrée, desert, cookies, salad or any kind of beverage. Family Pot-Lucks are usually held on Saturday afternoons and it is always a great time for fun, fellowship and food.
Parents Night-Out is a fun way for parents to get together at a local restaurant for fellowship and adult conversation while the children enjoy their own social gathering with their church friends at St. Paul’s. Pizza and sancks provided. Drop off the kids to our Child Care staff and be on your way!
Early this past summer we had our fourth Family Camping Weekend at Mauch Chunk Lake Park, Jim Thorpe. Families can spend the entire weekend at the Camp or simply spend a night or two depending on your schedule. Campers arrive at Camp Site around 6 p.m. on Friday and depart on Sunday after Holy Eucharist held under one of the sheds. Campers may sleep in their own tents or in cabins. More information is usually provided in the Spring.
Church School Program
Godly Play is a method of Christian formation and spiritual direction for children. The goal is to teach children the art of using religious language to express their own understanding and knowledge of God. Stories are told with objects which encourage children to enter into those stories and to relate them to their personal experience. A Godly Play class typically ends with an art response, prayer, feast and gathering time.
Godly Play I
Godly Play I is for ages 3, 4 and 5. Children in this class begin with basic stories, learn how to be together as a community of children and learn beginning skills for work (art) response.
Godly Play II
Godly Play II is for Children in grades 1, 2 and 3. Children in this class continue to gain fluency with the core Bible Stories and work toward expanding their knowledge with enrichment lessons and extensions of the basic stories. In this class, work response materials are expanded as skills increase.
Godly Play III
Godly Play III is for Children in grades 4 and 5. Children in this class study Bible skills and work with advanced lessons while expanding their ability for theological reflection and conversation. Godly Play Stories shared in this class serve to anchor each exploration of the experience of the people of God. Response time includes the use of more sophisticated work materials.
Vacation Bible School
Each summer, St. Paul’s partners with City Camp to offer Vacation Bible School for children ages 31/5 to 12 years old. City Camp is a diocesan program that connects parishes of the Diocese of Pennsylvania to families in their local communities. Through creative and innovative activities, children and youth build community and encounter the Gospel through games, songs, storytelling, and more. Children get a free T-Shirt in addition to being fed lunch and snacks.
Rite 13 for 6th and 7th graders, is a two-year component of a six-year Journey-to-Adulthood program. In addition to affirming the journey toward manhood and womanhood of our young ones, it celebrates the creativity and individuality of young teenagers by exploring four key areas of discovery-society, self, sexuality and spirituality. Rite 13 also assists young people as they begin to take steps of passage away from their own families and into their own lives. Within the two-year duration, when they turn thirteen, this event will be celebrated in church with a service loosely modeled on the Jewish bar mitzvah.
Confirmation & High School
Confirmation is the renewal of our baptismal promises. The baptismal relationship with God and others is life long, and through this process we are empowered to live more fully into our baptismal promises of turning from evil to Jesus and following him as Lord. Confirmation preparation reflects the ministry of building a community of young people desirous of serving God and others. This class will be a combination of both High School and Confirmation Candidates and will meet every Sunday at 9:40 a.m. In addition to the Book of Common Prayer, we use Letters to a Young Doubter-by William Sloane Coffin, My Life, My Faith by Jenifer Gamber and I will with God’s Help by Mary Lee Wile.
St. Paul’s has a growing Youth Group program which meets once a month on the third Fridays for fun activities at different locations and also at the Church. St. Paul’s Youth is actively involved in Mission and Outreach. The Youth visit the Standing Rock Reservation every summer to help set-up a three-day camp for Native American Youth. We also serve at Face-to-Face and St. James’ School. For more information about any of our programs, contact the office @ 215-242-2055.