KAIROS (Church School)

Our Kairos church school program is offered on Sunday mornings during our 10am service - September through the end of May. We begin at 9:45am with Welcoming Time and classes begin at 10am. The foundation of our curriculum is Godly Play. ALL grades will join their families during the Peace. Kairos is the Greek word meaning "God's Time"; a very appropriate name for St. Matthew's church school program for ages 4 years through 8th grade. 

*** Click here to jump to REGISTRATION ***

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Cheryl Watterson

Director of
Children's and family Ministries


Cheryl Watterson is very excited to be the newly appointed Director of Children’s and Family Ministries at St. Matthew’s!  She has been an active member of the church since moving to the Pennington, NJ area with her family in 1999, serving on the Mission Committee, attending mission trips to Camden, NJ and Honduras, and assisting with many annual church fundraisers. She is the mother of four children, two girls and two boys, and all have grown up in this church. 

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KAIROS 2018-2019 highlights

Video Music
Sprit of the Living God by Vertical Worship
Joyful Joyful by Casting Crowns
Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets
Church (Take Me Back) by Cochren & Co.
Best News Ever by MercyMe
Remember Me by Mark Schultz

Kairos Annual Outreach - 2018
trenton area soup kitchen (TASK)

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November is the month for our annual group outreach project to benefit the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK)! Our oldest children will begin making announcements during the 10:00am service about requested donations, and our younger children will soon begin decorating bags to fill with meals. We will then convene as a school on Sunday, November 18th to fill the meal bags for TASK. We will have collection bins outside of the coat closet for donations of:

  • Single serving microwavable containers of ravioli, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, and lasagna

  • Single serving fruit cups

  • Single serving desserts (pudding, cookies, fruit roll ups)

  • 100 % juice boxes (6.75 oz. size, please not the tiny ones)


We can also accept monetary donations for those who would like to contribute, and we will do the shopping for you. Please make checks out to “St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church” with “Outreach” in the memo and give to Cheryl Watterson or place in the mailbox outside her office. We will be talking to the children about our project and about TASK and will be decorating bags with positive, uplifting decorations and messages this week in our classrooms. We are very excited to continue this important and fun group project!

Kairos Registration

If you would like to REGISTER your child for the program, please complete our online registration form HERE.  Please note: Children are invited to begin attending Kairos classes at age 4 yrs (must be 4 as of October 1st and able to take care of their bathroom needs, thank you!).

Should you have any questions, please contact our Director of Children’s Ministries, Cheryl Watterson, at Kairos@stmatthewspennington.org. Thank you!

The Foundation of our Curriculum is Godly Play

Jerome W. Berryman, the creator of Godly Play, is an Episcopal priest and the Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood. Godly Play is a Montessori-based approach to children's spiritual formation.

The curriculum and activities focus on the teachings of the Bible and how to live as kind, caring, good and thoughtful people of God in this big world. Lessons are tailored for each of the age groups and help to build and foster their knowledge and understanding of our faith. The lesson plans for the year are thoughtfully arranged so that each week builds upon the previous week’s teachings.

Our Sunday mornings begin by gathering around our Christ candle; the candle that we light to remind us that God is with us in our sacred space. We take turns passing our prayer heart from hand to hand as each person shares what is on their heart, or takes a moment of silence. This is our morning’s unique prayer. We then share the prayer that Jesus gave to us, the LORD’s prayer. Next, we share the lesson. Each grade has a lesson plan for the year.

Our curriculum incorporates Godly Play*, as well as original lessons written by our former Director of Children’s Ministries, Lori Cooper for grades P2 – 6th and lessons written by our 7th & 8th grade lead teacher, Tim Cooper for his class. In addition to lessons, each grade enjoys art response time or activities that relate to their lessons, special projects throughout the year and participation in our Family Worship Services. Family Worship Services offer our children the experience of worship participation beyond the pews. Our youth have ongoing participation in serving weekly as acolytes and certain Sundays as part of our children’s choir. On Family Worship Sundays, our youth participate as ushers and readers as well. These opportunities allow our children to build confidence and character surrounded by a loving and supportive church family.

Kairos is more than church school, more than Christian education. It is a time for children to build relationships with other children in their faith family. It is a time for children to build relationships with teens and adults beyond their core family who care about them and support them on their faith journey. It is a time to discover how to live their faith and make a positive difference in the world. It is God’s Time. 

sample lessons/activities from each grade

  • Primary - Second Grade (P2): Jesus and the Storm. The activity will be creating a stormy sea (of blue fabric) and then calling out “BE STILL!” to calm the storm.

  • Third - Fifth Grade: Music of the Heart: A Lesson on the Psalms. The activity will be creating a watercolor mural on diffusion paper using colors that express the feelings evoked while reading the psalms.

  • Sixth - Eighth Grade: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit: The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is demanding but with God all things are possible. The activity is “It’s All in the Straw”. The class is given a seemingly impossible task, but with brainstorming and creativity, they will successfully complete it.

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Mother's Day pics

We welcome children to St. Matthew’s Church and the Kairos program at any time throughout the year. If you are interested in finding out more about the program, would like to see our classrooms and materials, please contact Cheryl Watterson, the Director of Children’s Ministries, at Kairos@stmatthewspennington.org or 609-737-0985.

If you would like to REGISTER your child for the program, please complete our online registration form HERE.

Kairos Classrooms (all on main floor):

Pre-K - Second Grade: Classroom A
Third - Fifth: Classroom C
Sixth - Eighth Grade: Library

Click HERE to learn more about Godly Play!


Nursery and Kairos Sick Policy: In the hopes of reducing the spread of illness among our children, their caregivers and teachers, we ask that you be very thoughtful before bringing a child who is or has recently been sick into the nursery or a classroom.

Our sick policy follows that of our school district: 

  • Child should be completely fever free for 24 hours

  • Child should have no intestinal/stomach issues for 24 hours

  • No goopy noses or coughs

  • No red eyes with discharge

*Godly Play is a term coined by Jerome Berryman, Episcopal priest, Retired Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood (currently Senior Fellow of CTC) and creator of Godly Play, to describe an approach to children's spiritual formation that is based on creating a sacred space in which to present the stories of our faith, wonder about them together, and then allow the children open-ended opportunities, usually with art supplies, to engage the story on their own terms.