At St. Stephen’s, children are welcomed into a safe, healthy environment filled with enriching activities prepared to help them learn and grow in faith, with a sense of belonging. We want each child to recognize God in the faces and voices of all those who work with them.
Included are many hands-on experiences crafted to enhance the learning of biblical stories and faith concepts, including art, science, music, math, reading, movement, cooking, to name a few! St. Stephen’s has established a developmentally appropriate setting for the children in our care from Nursery through fifth grade.
Childcare is available from 8:25 a.m. until noon on Sunday mornings, while parents attend worship and Sunday School classes. It is also available for some intergenerational church events where our youngest members would find it hard to attend.
Children from preschool through fifth grade have Sunday School classes from 9:40 to 10:40 a.m. Our curriculum is Deep Blue Learn and Serve for grades K-3 and Submerge for grades 4 and 5. Preschool/Pre-K children will learn, play and explore the theme of the week such as, “Opening Our Hearts to God” or “We Take Care of Each Other.”
Deep Blue Learn and Serve combines concepts illustrated through stories of the Bible with actions of service throughout the world. The children learn about various communities around the world, interesting facts about each area, and service organizations that strive to meet the needs of the people there. Submerge is a preteen curriculum that delves into Developing Faith Foundations, Relating to God and Church, Engaging in Faith Traditions and Relating Faith to Life. Both involve the “hands on” experiences listed above.
Paid staff and volunteers care for our children and teach Sunday School. All paid and volunteer caregivers undergo Safe Sanctuary training and background checks.
Children’s Time is offered during both worship services. A developmentally appropriate story about the Bible teachings is presented in an interactive way. After Children’s Time, children in preschool through second grade may return to their parents or go to Celebration. During Celebration, preschoolers engage in play, music, art, interactive play and stories. Kindergarteners through second-graders are involved in Godly Play – a Biblical storytelling from Jerome Berryman; this includes independent choices utilizing art and story figures for reflection. Children in third through fifth grades attend worship with their families. Third through fifth graders may be trained as acolytes for worship.
Children’s Choir meets on Sunday afternoons. Our Choir Director is Joel Garber who leads our children in fun learning games and music, both choral and instrumental. The Children’s Choir prepares special music for worship throughout the year, as does our Children’s Handbell Choir. They also prepare musical and dramatic programs during Advent and in the spring.
Annual events for children and families of St. Stephen’s include the Epiphany Star Journey (including King’s Cake), the all-church Valentine’s Party, the Holy Week Drama, an Easter Egg Hunt, Care for Creation, Blessing of the Animals, Methodist Mission Days, Children’s Sabbath (where the children lead in worship), the CROP Hunger Walk, the all-church Fall Party, the Advent Musical Reflection, the Advent Workshop and Vacation Bible School (VBS).
View Our VBS Video