Opportunities for Children
We offer a wide range of programs for children and welcome your family to participate in any way that is of interest!
Click Here for 2016-2017 Children’s Ministry Event Calendar
- Children’s Choirs
- Mission Possible Kids (Monthly Tween Ministry)
- Phoenix Rising Service Opportunity (Quarterly)
Annual Special Events
- Summer Camps and VBS
- Sunday School Kick Off & Church BBQ (September)
- 3rd Grade Bible Dedication (October)
- Family Camp Out at Burke Lake (October)
- FX (Family Experience) Advent Night (November)
- Christmas Eve Worship: 5:00 pm service for children and families (December 24)
- Devotional Kits for 3 year olds (January)
- FX (Family Experience) Lent Event & Pancake Supper (February)
- Courage Quest Milestone Event
- Easter EggStravaganza (March or April)
In our nursery, which is offered on Sunday mornings during all three services and throughout the week at various times, we recognize how precious infants and toddlers truly are. It is our priority to provide a safe, secure, and loving environment for your child to grow in. With great joy we hope to introduce each child to God’s love simply by how we lovingly care for them. Rest assured, our nursery is staffed by experienced and professional child care workers who have cleared a thorough background check. At 9:45 AM, toddlers that are walking move to an adjacent room for a play-based short bible story and lesson.
Sunday School classes are offered weekly from 9:45 – 10:45 am for children from preschool through high school and are a great way for your child to make friends and be challenged to grow in their faith.
At St. Stephen’s UMC, we use curriculum developed by Cokesbury Publishers called Deep Blue. Each week incorporates Bible stories, hands-on activities, crafts, media, and games into a full faith experience for children. Our goal is to help children grow their faith by leaps and bounds and is based on our theme verse from 2 Thessalonians 1:3, “Your faithfulness is growing by leaps and bounds, and the love that all of you have for each other is increasing.” (CEB) Nursery ages children through Kindergarten follow a traditional Sunday School format. First through 6th Graders engage in a large group / small group model, which includes elements of worship such as singing, monthly communion, an offering and prayer. In every setting, a minimum of two screened volunteer adults provide leadership at all times.
Early “Jump In” activities, including the Cherub Choir for preschool and Kindergartners, begin at 9:30 AM.
Children are invited to come to the altar steps for a special message “just for them” that is related to the day’s sermon. Afterwards, older children return to their seats, while children up to 2nd grade may head to Godly Play. On the 1st Sunday of each month, children with birthdays that next month are recognized in worship.
Following the children’s moment during the 11:00 am worship service, children are escorted by a volunteer to Room C43 for a Bible story, Scripture verse and directed play. Parents may pick up their children from C43 immediately following service.
Music & Theatre Arts
Cherub Choir, Sundays, 9:30 – 10:00 AM, Sept 10 – June 17, Room C42
3 years – Kindergarten
The Cherub Choir is a fun, inter-active way to introduce young children to music. This group is led by Teryl Pomeroy who has a passion for this age group and has been involved in leading children for 20 plus years. The Cherub Choir sings at the 11 AM service on the 2nd Sunday of each month beginning in October.
St. Stephen’s Children’s Choir, Sundays 11:15 – 12:00 pm, Sept 10 – June 17, Fireside Room
1st – 3rd Grades
This group, led by our piano accompanist Esther Lee, helps children build their confidence as they explore the basics of choral singing — good vocal production, learning the mechanics of breathing, and harmonizing, as well as learning to read music. The Children’s Choir sings at the 11 AM service on the 3rd Sunday of each month beginning in October.
Mustard Seed Ministry, Sundays, 4:30 – 5:30 pm, Sept 10 – June 17, Sanctuary
For young performers, 3rd – 8th Grades
This ministry is designed to inspire each students’ faith and creativity in a safe and nurturing environment, while helping students to hone their singing, dancing, and acting skills. This group, led by our Music Director, Tammy Lydon, and several other volunteer coaches will perform a short faith-based sketch or scene in worship on the 4th Sunday of each month beginning in October. A full-scale production is offered each Spring.
Orchestra, Mondays, 6:45 – 7:45 pm for students in 7th Grade and Older
This group is an opportunity for young musicians to be mentored by the members of the SSUMC adult orchestra who give personal instruction and encouragement. Led by Jan Siegfried who serves as the middle school music teacher at St. Paul IV Catholic School.
Each Summer we hold a children’s theatre and arts camp
We provide a week of musical theatre camp for children and youth (rising 3rd – 8th grades) where they learn, practice, and perform scenes from a musical as well as the biblical story related to that musical. Over the past few summers, we have performed scenes from the Wizard of Oz, and Into the Woods. During August 2017, we’ll be exploring The Sound of Music. Participants perform Sunday morning during worship after participating in camp Monday-Friday. Theatre and Arts Camp usually takes place the first week of August.
Visit our Music Ministries page in order to find further information about music at St. Stephen’s.
Family Map Day Workshops
At St. Stephen’s UMC we feel called to partner closely with families in raising the next generation of Christ followers. One way we do this is by offering periodic Family Map Day Workshops for Parents throughout the year. These events are designed for adult family members (parents, grand parents, etc.) and leaders working with children and youth from our church, preschool, and neighborhood to come together for learning and connection with one another!
Sometimes it can be difficult to talk to children in the wake of tragedy. Here is a link with several resources to help talk to children about violence.