Children’s Formation at St. Stephen’s happens through different modalities and is meant to guide, nurture and support the active spiritual lives of our youth and children. Our belief is that children’s spiritual formation and religious literacy is developed by actively participating in worship and through family-supported faith-based conversations/exploration/education/rituals. Offerings vary by Sunday and may include:
- Formation through Participation in Church Services – An open invitation to children, youth and families to greet, serve as lector or litanist, assist with Communion, and/or learn about and perform Chancel Guild duties.
- The Children’s Moment – An invitational moment at the start of service to gather with the clergy at the front of the sanctuary for a short lesson.
- Children’s Gospel Reading – Some Sundays, we read a children’s version of the Gospel reading alongside the version included in the Lectionary.
- Formation Time with Deacon Charmaine – A monthly opportunity to meet with Deacon Charmaine during the church service in the Canterbury Room for a scriptural/formational lesson and spiritual exploration.
- Family Sing Sunday – On designated Sundays before church starts, families are invited to participate in a short rehearsal with the choir of a child-friendly hymn that is sung during the service.
- StoryPath – StoryPath links lectionary readings (the prescribed readings we hear from the Bible every Sunday) with children’s story books. Seasonally, we offer a time to gather with clergy before the service, to read and discuss a book together. We also encourage parents to reinforce lectionary themes week by week with their children, using the StoryPath conversation prompts to guide discussion. Most of the books included on StoryPath are available at the Calgary Public Library.
- Art and Creative Table – Every Sunday the children are welcome to gather at this table in the back of church to draw and create. Sometimes the clergy give prompts. There are also formation packets available for each child to work through over the course of a liturgical season.
Our summer Spiritual Toolkit for Families offers several resources you may find helpful.