Children’s Ministry ~ Creating space for children to experience and grow with God through sacred stories, spiritual practices, exploration of Christian values, and intergenerational relationships
Stories to Wonder About
Fall 2020 Virtual Sunday School
A multiage group (age 3-Grade 5) gathers on Zoom each Sunday from 9:30-10:00 am. We cultivate sacred space and connectedness through children's literature, conversation, and prayer. Five lay leaders rotate in facilitating Virtual Sunday School.
Building Friends by Ronald Kidd (September 20) – Thinking of how Rosa and Matthew and also the adults in the story became better friends by working on a project together… I wonder: When you think about being with one of your favorite people, what is it that you most enjoy doing together?
Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth (September 27) – Thinking of how the people in the girl’s neighborhood recognized beauty in many different people and things… I wonder: What is something beautiful to you in your home or neighborhood?
I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse (October 4) – Thinking of how Mama loved her sons, Julian and Max, not one more than the other but each because of their unique qualities… I wonder: What is one particular quality about you that you appreciate (and that other people probably like about you as well)?
Grandpa’s Garden by Shea Darian (October 11) – Thinking of the beauty, joy, and peace that the girl and her grandpa found and made together in the garden… I wonder: What is one place in the outdoors that is special to you… and who goes with you to that place, or do you appreciate it alone?
By the Dawn’s Early Light by Karen Ackerman (October 18) – Thinking of how Rachel and her brother Josh, Mom, and Nana each work hard and appreciate how each other cooperate in their family… I wonder: What is one responsibility that you take care of in your family?
One Green Apple by Eve Bunting (October 25) – Thinking of how Farrah spoke a different language than all of her classmates and had never been to an apple orchard… I wonder: When was a time that you needed to be brave because you were in a new situation or trying to do something you had never done before?
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting (November 1) – Thinking of how Andrew felt angry and sad that so many other people had homes to live in… I wonder: When have you felt jealous, really wishing you had something that someone else had?
What Does It Mean To Be Present? by Rana DiOrio (November 8) – Thinking of how many ways we can be present in and to our lives… I wonder: When do we feel mindful? When do we feel happier?
What Do You Do with an Idea? By Kobi Yamada (November 15) – Thinking of how the person in the story learned that an idea they had could really make a difference and have an impact on others… I wonder: What idea have you bravely shared in the past or would like to share with others?
What Do You Do with a Problem? By Kobi Yamada (November 22) – Thinking of how the person in the story learned that their problem held an opportunity to learn, to grow, to be brave, to do something… I wonder: What problem in your life held an opportunity for you to be brave – to learn, to grow, or to do something?
- Explorers (infants and toddlers) | Our Explorers Team Leaders and their assistants provide nurturing care for our youngest ones.
- Adventurers (Age 3–Kindergarten) and Trailblazers (Grades 1-4) | Children explore Sacred Stories in the tradition of Godly Play. Using beautiful hand-crafted materials, we hear and wonder together about Bible stories. Children also have time and space to respond individually.
- Journeyers (Grades 5-8) | Our 'tweens develop relationships with God and each other through conversation and spiritual practices.
On the first Sunday of each month, children age 3–Grade 5 join together for Chapel Time (story, song, prayer and service projects in a beloved sacred space) before returning to the Sanctuary to participate in Holy Communion with people of all ages.
Our Sunday Morning Schedule
- 10:20 | The Explorers Room opens for infants and toddlers. Families may also bring infants and toddlers into worship for part or all of the 10:30 service.
- 10:30 | Children attend the first part of our worship service with their families. Children’s activity bags and a reading area are available during the service. As needed, a parent and baby can step away to our Comfort Room and continue to hear the service.
- 11:00 | Midway through worship, children age 3–Grade 5 depart for Chapel Time or Sunday School. Children of any age may also remain in the Sanctuary for the whole service. (During the academic year, youth in Grades 6-12 have Youth Group on Wednesday evenings. During the stay-at-home period of the pandemic, Sunday School and Wednesday Youth Group are meeting virtually via Zoom.)
- 11:30 | Fair Trade Coffee Hour. People of all ages enjoy good food and company (via Zoom during the pandemic).
Our Mission and Vision
- To nurture the spiritual growth of children through sacred stories of the Old and New Testaments, service to others, and spiritual practices of our Christian faith and heritage.
- We embrace children in a Christian community where they feel unconditionally loved.
- Children experience the wonder and mystery of God.
- The stories of the Bible come to life through wondering, play, and the arts.
- Children participate in mission projects for the church, community, and world.
- Children and parents move along unique spiritual paths, supported by staff and volunteer partners in ministry.
Each year, children share the Christmas story with us in a beautiful way!
Family Ministry ~ Connecting faith companions across generations and empowering parents as faith formers
Parents Share is a monthly gathering for supportive conversation among parents of children and youth. Our conversations are guided by our participants. We invite all parents to join our supportive, open circle. Childcare is provided.
Our Milestones Program partners children and adults as Faith Companions. Starting at age 3 and continuing through Confirmation in Grade 8 or 9, each young person develops a relationship with an adult Faith Companion. All children of a particular age gather for one Milestone Event each year with parents and Faith Companions, exploring a core practice of our Christian faith (prayer, Holy Communion, Baptism, worship, etc.). Faith Companions have long-term positive impacts on each other’s lives. An adult Faith Companion commits to greet the child in passing at church, acknowledge birthdays or graduations, and attend one 1-1/2-hour Milestone Event together each year.
SPUCC Children, Youth, and Families Facebook Group
Our Facebook group is a space for connection among parents and partners in ministry with children, youth, and families at St. Paul's UCC. In this forum, we share joyful and difficult news, prayer requests, and invitations to events in the wider community.
If you're interested in learning more about our Children and Family Ministries at St. Paul’s UCC, please contact the church office (651-224-5809).