Preparing youth

for a Christ-filled life

St. Stephen’s offers youth from age 3 1/2 through high school the opportunity to learn about our Catholic faith.  Students gather in groups throughout the academic year to explore and understand our Catholic teachings and traditions, prepare to celebrate sacraments, and put their faith into action by serving others.

Faith Formation at St Stephen's Church

A good foundation

Faith Formation Programs

Since our programming year is underway, we ask that you stop in the parish office to speak to a member of the Formation Department to register your children/teens.

Jesus with children

Download the Sunday School Schedule (PDF) .

Early Childhood Faith Formation is offered for preschool children (who have turned 3 by March 1) through Kindergarten.

Class is offered Sunday mornings from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.  Each student will be placed in a class appropriate to their age or grade in school. Children will enjoy bible stories, crafts and activities.

Parents may begin dropping off their children at 10:20 a.m. so that parents may attend 10:30 a.m. Mass.

The primary curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten students is RCL Benziger’s Stories of God’s Love.

Email  Ann Ridder with any questions or call 763-712-7430.

Elementary classGrades 1-5 on Tuesday/Wednesday Evenings

Download the Tuesday Elementary Faith Formation Schedule (PDF)

Download the Wednesday Elementary Faith Formation Schedule (PDF)

Parents are encouraged to enroll their children in Faith Formation classes yearly to help their child/ren increase in their knowledge and love of Jesus, and to stay in step with their peers.  Sessions for Grades 1-5 are Tuesday or Wednesday evenings mid-September through mid-May.

Each evening session begins at 6:15 p.m.  Praying and learning together in word and song brings Jesus closer into our midst and helps lay the foundation for a more solid prayer life for all.  Classes conclude at 7:30 p.m.

Students use the text Be My Disciples by RCL Benziger, and typically meet in a classroom of 8-12 students with an adult catechist.  Parents are asked to engage their child/ren in conversation about weekly class topics, and to review the student text, handouts and/or worksheets with their child/ren during the week.  For more information about the RCL Benziger Curriculum and additional at-home activities Visit www.bemydisciples.com .

Email  Tammy Santander with any questions or call 763-712-7480.

 

First Reconciliation Click Here for First Reconciliation Information

First Eucharist Click Here for First Eucharist Information

Middle School ClassGrades 6-8 on Wednesday or Sunday Evenings

Download the Wednesday Middle School Formation Schedule (PDF)

Download the Sunday Middle School Formation Schedule (PDF)

Parents are encouraged to enroll their children in Faith Formation classes yearly to help their child/ren increase in their knowledge and love of Jesus, and to stay in step with their peers.  Sessions for Grades 6-8 are Wednesdays 6:15-7:30 p.m. or Sundays 7:15-8:45 p.m. mid-September through mid-May.

Praying and learning together in word and song brings Jesus closer into our midst and helps lay the foundation for a more solid prayer life for all.

Students use the text Call to Faith Thematic Series by Our Sunday Visitor, and typically meet in a classroom of 8-12 students with an adult catechist.  In addition, students in Grades 7 use the 8-part DVD series “Theology of the Body for Teens: Middle School Edition” from Ascension Press.

Download a Frequently Asked Questions Guide about the Theology of the Body for Teens Here: Middle School Edition

Email Tammy Santander with any questions or call 763-712-7480.

High School Faith FormationGrades 9-10 Faith Formation/Confirmation

Parents are encouraged to enroll their teen/s in Faith Formation classes yearly to help their child/ren increase in their knowledge and love of Jesus, and to stay in step with their peers.

Download the High School Formation/Confirmation Schedule (PDF)

Typically teens meet in a small group of 8-15 students with one or two adult catechists.

Sessions for Grades 9-10 are held at St. Stephen’s Church on Sunday afternoons and evenings mid-September through mid-May.  Sessions are offered 4:15 – 5:45 p.m. and
7:15 – 8:45 p.m.

Young people in Grades 9 and 10 are invited to formally commit to a deeper understanding and involvement in their Catholic Faith. Confirmation candidates must have participated in a Faith Formation program via St. Stephen’s Formation options or a Catholic high school in Grades 9 and 10.  Confirmation Preparation offers candidates large group events, ritual and prayer experiences, service projects and a retreat.  This journey is shared with a sponsor chosen by the candidate.

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated during a Mass on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.

The Sponsor/Parent Conversation Guide

Retreat Options

As part of the requirements for Confirmation, candidates in their first year of preparation attend an on-site retreat at St. Stephen.

For the final year of preparation (10th grade), youth will attend an overnight retreat.

Options for overnight retreats include:

Central MN TEC (Together Encountering Christ). Visit their website: http://www.cmtec.org/intro/index.html .

Dunrovin Retreat Center (run by the Christian Brothers). Visit their website: www.dunrovin.org .

NET Ministries Retreats. Visit their website: www.netusa.org .

 

Email  Chantell Haider with any questions or call 763-712-7440.

SSYM Youth Ministry

Building the Faith

St. Stephen’s Youth Ministry

Mission TripsMission Trips

Mission Trips are a vital component of our ministry with High School students.  Each summer we plan one or two mission trips to help our youth take their faith to the next level, put it into practice, and spread the Good News about Jesus Christ!

 

2017 Mission Trip – Oklahoma City – June 17-24

Our mission trip will be to Oklahoma City with the organization Catholic Mission Trips, June 17-24, traveling via coach bus shared with the Church of St. Katharine Drexel.  Youth in grades 9-12 are invited to participate.

While in Oklahoma City, youth will provide disaster relief, build homes, interact with elderly, children, and those affected by natural disasters and poverty. In the evening, youth will engage in prayer, partake in discussion, and go to Mass and other services provided by Catholic Mission Trips Inc.

Later in the summer, youth partaking in the Red Lake mission trip will work directly with St. Mary’s Mission, interacting with and educating children of the mission, preparing the mission for the upcoming school year, serving elders of the Red Lake nation, and building relationships with a Nation that eagerly returns the favor.

We have some great fundraisers planned to help support our youth in securing funds for the mission trip.  The second collection taken during Masses the weekend of January 7/8 will be used for the mission trip. The proceeds from the February 18 used book sale will also be used for the mission trip. A bake sale is planned in the spring. Thank you for your participation!

Questions? Contact Troy Bauer; 763-712-7456.

 

 Summer 2016 Mission Trip to Washington, D.C.

 Summer 2016 Mission Trip to St. Mary’s on the Red Lake Reservation

Questions? Contact Troy Bauer; 763-712-7456 or Chantell Haider; 763-712-7440.

 

Previous Mission Trips

  • June 25-July 2, 2016 – Washington, D.C.
  • July 31-August 5, 2016 – Red Lake Reservation in Northern Minnesota
  • June 28-July 3, 2015 – Red Lake Reservation in Northern Minnesota
  • June 21-29, 2014 – New Orleans, Louisiana
  • July 5-13, 2014 – Ashland, Montana

SSYM Youth MinistryWe have LOTS of great youth ministry events planned for 2016-17 for both middle and high school youth.

We invite you to join us for fun, fellowship, and faith!

Download the Middle School Youth Ministry Events calendar (PDF) . Updated 9/19/16

Download the High School Youth Ministry Events calendar (PDF) . Updated 10/12/16

Email Troy Bauer with any questions or call 763-712-7456.

M SquadM Squad

Where:  Camp Onomia & St. Stephen’s

When: July 13-15 Retreat, July 17-21, 2017 VBS Day Camp

M Squad is leadership and service opportunity for Middle School Students.  During this  eight-day experience, students will be taught the meaning of leadership and service within the church.  The 8-day experience begins with a 3-day retreat at Camp Onomia.  During the retreat, M Squad participants are prepared for the following week by the Youth Minister and the High School CORE Team.  After the retreat, M Squad becomes a 5-day Day Camp at St. Stephen’s.  During the Day Camp, students lead the Vacation Bible School participants in groups of 5-7 kids.  Afterwards, the M Squad participants have lunch together.  Then in the afternoon they do fun activities that promote leadership skills and team building, which are all lead and supervised by the High School CORE Team.  M Squad is an opportunity for 11-14 year old or outgoing 5th grade to 8th grade students to learn leadership skills that will help them expand their gifts, grow in confidence, and serve the church in a way that is suitable for the stage of development.

Email Troy Bauer with any questions or call 763-712-7456.

Friday Night Live NewSSYM – Friday Night Live

When:  Friday night events are typically held once a month during the academic year from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Refuge, Faith Community Center or School Gym.

What: This is a great opportunity for middle school students to combine faith and fun. Expect fun games and engaging activities, faith growth, yummy snacks, relatable talks and/or testimonies and inviting discussions.

ALL ARE WELCOME!  If you want to bring a friend from a different parish or a different faith, they are more than welcome to come and join in the fun.

2016 Dates:  October 14, November 11

2017 Dates:  January 13, February 10, April 21, May 12

Email  Troy Bauer with any questions or call 763-712-7456.


SSYM – Middle School Madness

When:  Friday night events are held occasionally during the academic year from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Refuge, Faith Community Center or School Gym.

What:  This event entails several stations of fun activities for middle school youth to partake in. Past stations during a MSM event have included: giant carnival inflatable, laser tag, dodgeball, DJ, movies, minute-to-win-it games, board and card games, bingo, various other sports, games, and activities.  If you want to bring a friend from a different parish or a different faith, they are more than welcome to come and join in the fun.

2016 Dates:  September 23

2017 Dates:  March 24, May 19

Email  Troy Bauer with any questions or call 763-712-7456.

SSYM – Middle School Open Youth Room

When:  6:00-8:00 p.m. in The Refuge

What:  Students in grades 6-8 can relax and have fun.  This is an open youth room and open gym event, a chance for friends to hang out, socialize and meet new people. Typically people play Wii, Xbox 360, board and card games, and play sports/games in the gym. Snacks and beverages provided.  No registration is necessary, just show up and bring your friends!

2016 Dates:  October 6, November 17, December 15

2017 Dates:  January 12, February 23, March 16, April 20, May 4

 

Email  Troy Bauer with any questions or call 763-712-7456.

High School Core TeamThe CORE Team is a peer ministry team that consists of approximately 25 youth in grades 9-12.  These youth are formed to lead many of our youth events.  The CORE Team is split into three different teams High School, Middle School, and Evan Out.  Each team is responsible for organizing and running different kinds of events.

Download the CORE Team application for 2016-17.

 

  • The High School CORE Team plans The Refuge.
  • The Middle School CORE Team plans Middle School Youth Ministry events: Friday Night Live.
  • The Evan Out CORE Team plans the Last Friday Night.

 

If you have any questions or would like to apply to be on the CORE Team, please email  Troy Bauer  or call 763-712-7456.

Grab some popcorn, get comfortable and enjoy a modern movie, usually something contemporary, and afterwards have a discussion of parallels and themes found in the film relating to scripture, the Church, Catholic teaching, and everyday life. Past movies have included: Star Wars, The Avengers, Captain America, Spider-Man, God’s Not Dead, Big Hero 6, and many more!

 

Time:  6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Location:  The Refuge

2016 Dates:  August 25, September 28, October 26, November 30 (Finding Dory)

2017 Dates:  January 25 (God’s Not Dead), February 22, March 29, April 26

Questions? Contact Troy Bauer.


Last Friday After PartyWhat
:  The Last Friday After Party is a safe alternative party for High School students on a Friday night after the football or basketball games.

The perfect event and hangout after a Friday night football or basketball game.   Evangelization, socializing, friendships and fun. Past events have included Dodgeball, seize the throne, zombie tag, snow tubing, ice skating, swing dancing, bingo, Halloween and Christmas parties, movies, and much more!

The event is run by the Evan Out CORE Team.

When: Last Friday Night is typically the last Friday of the month during the academic year with some exceptions.

Time: Typically 8:00-10:00 p.m.

2016 Dates: September 30, October 28, November 18, December 16 (Ugly sweater Christmas party, snowball fight, Christmas cookies and more!)

2017 Dates:  January 27 (Snow tubing at Elm Creek from 7-9:00 p.m.; registration and $15 due in the parish office by January 25), February 24, March 31, April 28, June 2

Location:  The Refuge/Faith Community Center/Gym and other various venues to be announced.

Questions? Contact Troy Bauer.

SSYM – High School Open Youth Room

When:  6:00-8:00 p.m. in The Refuge/Gym/Cafeteria

What:  Students in grades 9-12 can relax and have fun.  This is an open youth room and open gym event, a chance for friends to hang out, socialize and meet new people. Come  play Wii, Xbox 360, board and card games, and play sports/games in the gym. Snacks and beverages provided!

No registration is necessary, just show up and bring your friends!

2016 Dates:  August 10 and 24, September 19, October 10, November 21 and December 19

2017 Dates:  January 23, March 20, April 17, May 15

Email  Troy Bauer with any questions or call 763-712-7456.

The RefugeThe Refuge

What:  The Refuge is a peer-led event.  This is a great opportunity for high schoolers to combine faith and fun. The night will consist of fun games and engaging activities, praise and worship or other forms of prayer, yummy snacks, relatable talks and/or testimonies and inviting small and/or large group discussions.

Each event is planned and run by the High School CORE Team.

When:  Typically the third Wednesday of the month during the academic year with some exceptions

2016 Dates:  September 21, October 12, November 16, December 21

2017 Dates:  January 18, February 15, March 22, April 19, May 17

Location:  The Refuge

Time:  6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 

Questions? Contact Troy Bauer with any questions.


The Study

What:  An event consisting of engaging and enlightening topics and conversation. There will also be a study involving Christian contemporary music and praise and worship.

When:  6-8:00 p.m., typically the second Wednesday of the month during the academic year

2016 Dates: November 9, December 14

2017 Dates:  January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10

Location:  The Refuge

 

Questions? Contact Troy Bauer with any questions.


July 17-21, 2017 

Thank you for your interest! Registration forms will be posted in late April 2017.

Vacation Bible School is a week long morning day camp for students Pre-K (4 years old) to outgoing fourth graders.  Each student is placed in a crew of 5-7 students.  4-5 year olds are grouped together and 6-11 year olds are grouped together.  Each crew is lead around to each activity by a member of our M Squad or by a volunteer.  We begin everyday in the School Gym at 9:00 a.m. with music and an intro.  Throughout the day the kids do a series of activities.  There will be games, crafts, a bible story, and music.  The Bible story will be acted out for the students.  Each day focuses on a different Bible story, and the activities are based on that story.  There is also snack time in the middle of the day.  We conclude with more music in the Gym at noon and dismiss at 12:00 p.m.

Your registration fee includes a t-shirt for each registered child, crafts, games, and snacks.

For questions or more information, email Emilie Bauer or Ann Ridder or call 763-712-7430.

 

Vacation Bible School Volunteers Needed!

We are in need of adults and teens to help out at Vacation Bible School.  Volunteers are needed from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Descriptions of volunteer areas are listed below.

Adults who wish to volunteer must have undergone a background check, completed VIRTUS training, and signed a code of conduct.
Please click here to be taken to the parish volunteer page which explains the VIRTUS session and other essential elements.

 

Youth under the age of 18 must complete two character references and sign a code of conduct.

 

Group Supervisor

  • Travel with Crews from Activity to Activity
  • Assist CORE Team and M Squad participants as needed
  • Make sure the VBS kids are safe and having fun

 

Kitchen Helper

  • Assist Kitchen Supervisor prepare VBS Snack
  • Serve VBS Kids Snack
  • Clean up Cafeteria after VBS Kids are fed
  • Assist Kitchen Supervisor prepare M Squad lunch

 

VBS Daycare

  • Watch and play with the little ones of VBS Volunteers who are too young to participate in VBS

 

Outdoor Activity Supervisor

  • Supervise School Parking Lot Perimeter
  • Crossing Guards
  • Refilling Water Stations
Learning

Special Needs

Serving All Youth

Sacraments*

For area individuals who have difficulty learning in a regular classroom setting, classes are offered on Saturday mornings at St. Stephen’s in preparation for the First Reconciliation/First Eucharist and for Confirmation.  One-hour classes taught by a catechist with an aide are kept small in light of each individual’s needs.  Meanwhile parents and/or caregivers meet together in a nearby room to share, as well as occasionally visit with a priest, deacon or seminarian.

Faith Formation*

Faith Formation classes are offered at the students’ level on an ongoing basis for those who have received first sacraments of Reconciliation/Eucharist but who have difficulty learning in a regular classroom setting.


Social Events*

Varying social events – from popcorn and a movie night to picnic/outdoor game night – are offered periodically for youth and adults with special needs, their families and caregivers at various area parishes.  These events are free, and are provided to give families an opportunity to experience fun in a caring environment and to help foster a social network.

*These programs are provided by a multi-parish Special Needs Consortium of the Catholic churches of Epiphany-Coon Rapids, St. Katharine Drexel-Ramsey, St. Patrick-Oak Grove, St. Timothy-Blaine, St. William-Fridley, and St. Stephen’s.  Individuals from other area Catholic parishes are encouraged to contact us regarding their special needs.

Questions? Contact Katie Gebhard with any questions or call 763-712-7439.