Children and Youth

Godly Play

Children’s Sunday School

St. Stephen’s offers the Godly Play® program to children ages 1 to 6, and is held every Sunday during the family service from 10AM to 11AM.

Godly play is the result of a lifetime of research and practice by theologian, author and educator The Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman, the Godly Play® method is a curriculum of spiritual practice exploring the mystery of God’s presence in our lives. The Godly Playcurriculum engages what is most exciting about religious education: God inviting us into—and pursuing us in the midst of—Scripture and spiritual experience. Godly Play practice teaches us to listen for God and to make authentic and creative responses to God’s call in our lives.

Godly Play is a creative, imaginative approach to Christian formation and spiritual guidance.
Godly Play has a Montessori foundation with 40+ years of research and practice.
Godly Play values process, openness, discovery, community and relationships.
Godly Play models the worship life, stories, symbols and rituals of Christian congregations.
Godly Play allows practitioners to make relevant and personal theological meaning.
Godly Play nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play.

Coordinators: Linda Soughan and Denise Price

 

Mission trip- Anacostia

Youth Group

Our youth are offered a variety of opportunities to serve throughout the year as well as regular fellowship meetings and activities. They assist in the nursery, serve as ushers, are active in helping with our Godly Play program and enjoy making crafts to take to shut ins. They regularly make dessert for our seniors’ luncheon and serve at St John’s Mission Kitchen in Elizabeth, as well as Christine’s Kitchen in West Orange.

The Drumming Camp, a summer camp hosted by St. Stephen’s for children whose parents are incarcerated, provides opportunities for our youth to become skilled as counselors and assistants. They help with the organization of crafts, sports, snacks and meals and also play a significant role in the drumming circle.

Summer mission trips are planned each year where children have participated in various acts of services within communities. Most recent trips have been in Virginia and DC. After evening activities youth groups join together for fellowship and worship with other church groups. Each night ends with reflection and prayer which allows the group to reconnect and share highlights of the day’s work as well as where they felt God’s presence in their lives during the day.

Coordinator: Denise Price