“Whoever embraces one of these children as I do, embraces me,and far more than me – God who sent me.” Mark 9:37
It is our intention to welcome all children and youth into our parish life as fully as possible. This primary means by which we do that is in offering children their rightful place in worship with significant roles in leadership and to provide a safe place where children experience the presence of God – through music, prayer, story, and relationship.
To find dates and times for any of the below opportunities, please consult the calendar on this page.
Children’s Worship is offered every week for children ages 4-8 during the 9am and 11am Sunday services. The program is designed for children old enough to leave their parents for 30-35 minutes of time, although parents and guardians are welcome to accompany their children. Children gather with a rotating team of trained volunteers at the Gospel and rejoin the congregation at the Passing of the Peace. This allows them to engage with the lessons of the day at a level appropriate to their development and interest, but still provide that the entire community can gather together around the Communion Table. To learn more about joining our team of Children’s Worship leaders, contact the Parish Office.
The St. Paul’s Chorister program provides education and appreciation of historic, sacred music while instilling responsibility, leadership, teamwork, and excellence in performance of ancient and contemporary sacred text and song. Those in grades 2-12 are invited to participate; there is no requirement of church membership, nor is a particular faith’s doctrine a prerequisite. A willingness to work hard and to commit to the rigorous schedule of rehearsals, concerts, and worship services is all that is required. More information can be found here.
Seasonal Special Children’s Events
Several times a year, special events are held around a season or theme.
- Halloween and All Saints’ Day: Children (and parents!) attending are encouraged to wear costumes of their choice, and will engage in cemetery tours, an organ demonstration, and some insights into the Feast Day of All Saints and Christian view of death.
- Christmas Eve service for young children, December 24th at 3 pm: A Christmas Eve afternoon celebration of Holy Eucharist geared especially for young children and their parents or guardians, followed by cookie-decorating.
- Holy Saturday, the Saturday before Easter: A service of Holy Eucharist for Easter on the St. Paul’s labyrinth, with child-friendly homily, and followed by an Easter Egg Hunt and refreshments.
- Worship and Ministry Workshop: St. Paul’s invites people of all ages to participate in the leadership of the liturgy, whether it’s as a crucifer, server, thurifer, lector, healer, or any of our other many worship ministries (which you can read more about here). The Worship and Ministry Workshop is a morning of exploration try out these roles, to see which might be a good fit for you! If you or a child you know is interested in a worship leadership opportunity, please contact the Parish Office.
Three to four times annually, young children and their families are invited to meet, greet and play together. Some of these are casual times of informal gathering; others are more formal presentations that include speakers and discussion relative to the complex job of parenting, with supervision provided for children.
Confirmation, while not a sacrament, provides an opportunity to say “Yes!” to the Christian faith as we understand it in the Anglican tradition. Students in the 8th grade and older are invited to explore their faith with the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to be Confirmed in the Episcopal Church. Six sessions are offered over the course of the academic year covering the Bible, some Church History, Worship & Prayer, World Religions, Ethics and Faith Stories. Retreats are also included, at St. Paul’s and offsite. Participants meet with an adult mentor assigned to them, visit and experience worship in another faith community, and engage in a service project.
Questions about or interest in any of these programs can be directed to the Reverend Peter Thompson, Assistant Rector.