Sundays for Youth & Children
Our children are our most precious resource, and at St. Stephen’s we are blessed with lots of them!
For a copy of our 2018–19 Christian Formation Brochure, click here.
Journey to Adulthood
Xena Markine-Morrison, Director of Christian Formation
St. Stephen’s uses the Journey to Adulthood curriculum for youth formation. The Journey to Adulthood curriculum provides comprehensive material for study, exploration, service, and play through the three successive levels — Rite 13, Journey to Adulthood (J2A), and Young Adults in Church (YAC). The transitions are structured so that youth remain with the same group with which they began, forming and building personal and communal relationships that continue throughout their senior year. Currently, youth in grades 6th – 8th are invited to participate in our Rite 13 class. The Rite 13 class will focus on recognizing the gifts God gives, celebrating creative potential, and learning to be active members of a faith community. We will continue to expand the program each year.
Our goal at St. Stephen’s is to help children deepen their relationship with God, learn about the love of Jesus Christ, and become active members in the church and greater Christian community. Godly Play was developed by Episcopal priest, author, and teacher Jerome Berryman. Based on the Montessori method of experiential learning, Godly Play uses a careful telling of scripture stories and engaging story figures to encourage children to seek and find their own answers to their faith questions. This unique approach to religious education invites children to wonder about themselves, God and the world in a way that is playful and meaningful to them. Open to all children three years old through 5th grade.
St. Stephen’s offers childcare Sunday mornings from 9:15 a.m. until after the second service. Our nursery is designed to provide a safe and friendly environment for children (infants–PreK) and is located downstairs. Children are also welcome in our worship service for as much time as the parents want — some children are in church for the whole service, some are brought in at the offertory to receive the Eucharist or a blessing, some stay in the nursery.
Blessing of the Animals – To celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals, St. Stephen’s will conduct a blessing of animals and pets on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 7, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. Takes place outdoors in the garth. Whatever the animal — all creatures great and small — are welcome!
Christmas Holiday Activities
Advent Wreaths and Chains, Sunday, December 2, 2018 – Prepare for the coming of the Christ Child by making an Advent wreath with fresh evergreens. The wreath reminds us that God, like the circle, has no beginning and no end while the evergreens symbolize our everlasting relationship with God, the source of continuous new life. Children can also make an Advent paper chain with devotionals and service ideas to countdown to Christmas Day.
Christmas Pageant Rehearsal – December 2 & 9. All Christmas Pageant participants will practice in the church from 9:30–10:15 a.m.
Christmas Pageant – December 16, 2018. Join us for a fun retelling of the Nativity story in scripture and carols. Children, teens and adults are all invited to participate in this intergenerational production that is sure to be a favorite for participants and audience alike. The Christmas Pageant serves as the Gospel Reading and Sermon at the 10:30 a.m. service.
Lent & Easter Activities
Palm Crosses – Everyone is invited to make Palm Crosses on Saturday, April 13 at 10 a.m. for our Palm Sunday services on April 14.
Easter Egg Hunt – Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019. Bring your basket! The annual Easter Egg Hunt for kids ages birth through 5th grade will be held on the church grounds beginning at 9:45 a.m. All parishioners are invited to watch the fun.