Children and Family Ministry

Children and Families are an important part of St. Stephen’s congregation.  We welcome children with gladness!  Our mission is to help children develop a spiritual relationship with God in a caring, safe, and fun environment.  Gretchen Moore is our Children and Family Ministries Director.

Children of all ages are welcome at St. Stephen’s and we offer a variety of options for families to engage in worship, formation, and fellowship.

Every Sunday during the 10:30am service we offer Sunday School for all children. Utilizing the program Weaving God’s Promises, our children (target ages 10 & under) will process out of the Nave on Sunday Mornings following the opening prayer and engage in their own experience of the Liturgy of the Word, sharing in the stories of our faith and offering prayers for our world and community with one another. Children will then return to their families at the beginning of Holy Eucharist, to share in that community feast that draws us all together at the same table.

St. Stephen’s Youth Group meets every Sunday @ 6pm for Dinner, Games, Fellowship and Formation. St. Stephen’s Youth Group is an opportunity for middle and high school students to come together for food, fellowship, and fun, growing in our faith and serving our community. This ecumenical youth group, in partnership with Longview Presbyterian, Longview Methodist, Kelso United Methodist Presbyterian Church, and Bethany Lutheran, invites all middle and high school students to come and find a community that is radically welcoming and affirming, a place where you will always be welcome.

A Special Note for Families with Littles

Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers bring unique and invaluable gifts to our community of faith. At their baptism, we commit ourselves to receive, nurture, and treasure each child as a gift from God.

Everyone is welcomed at the communion rail. If you would prefer that your child not receive communion, we will offer a blessing instead. Children who prefer a blessing, or who want to skip the wine may cross their arms over their chests to signal that preference to the ministers.

We expect and delight in the sights and sounds of babies and toddlers (two of which are Fr. Nic’s own!). If it is helpful for your family, please bring soft toys and whatever snacks you need to keep your child engaged.

We also have the following options available for your use at any time:

Three Family Pews. The two front row pews and a gated pew towards the back are double deep with carpet, books, and soft toys available for play. Children are encouraged to crawl or walk around in these areas in particular.

Sunday School is offered during the 10:30am service. A children’s procession following the opening hymn invites all children to come forward and travel together to the Parish Hall for Sunday School.

A changing table is available in the bathroom on your right as you head out the south doors at the front of the pews.

Please feel welcome to nurse wherever you feel comfortable.