Children and Youth

Families of all sizes, shapes and hues are welcome and cherished at the United Church of Santa Fe. We are a people of diverse backgrounds, living in families of various configurations, who hold in common a desire to see our children flourish as they discover a friend in God.

Whether your child is shy or squirmy, teddy-bear-clutching or bold, a boy who loves to sing or a girl who slays dragons, she or he will fit in fine! It is our joy to enfold all children and youth within the circle of community in Christ’s church.

We strive to honor the intelligence and imagination of children and youth in our care. Through biblical storytelling and open-ended questioning which invites children to wonder and make meaning for themselves, we seek to nurture a faith in children and youth that can stretch and grow with them as they mature. In providing age-appropriate outreach and service-learning opportunities, we endeavor to instill values of kindness and compassion, which will serve them for life and equip them to serve others.

For information about our Children’s Ministry programs, please contact Bruce Turnquist at

To learn about our Youth Ministries, please contact Emily Syal at

All of our ministries are free and open to first-time visitors.

To register your child(ren) in our Children’s and Youth Ministry, please click on the following link, download the form, fill it out, and then return it to United.

2019-2020 CYM Registration Form

By mail:
United Church of Santa Fe
1804 Arroyo Chamiso Rd.
Santa Fe, NM  87505-5733

By email:


  • 8:30 AM – Communion Service: Children through 2nd grade have Children’s Ministry with Carrie McCabe and join the adults for Communion. Older children are invited to share in the full service.
  • 9:45 AM – Youth Initiates: The “Journey to Adulthood,” a two-year rite of passage for young teens, is the center of United’s Youth Ministry. Led by Emily Syal, volunteers, and adult mentors, the Initiates meet Sundays at 9:45, help lead 11:00 Worship and have monthly Saturdays of Service, retreats, overnights, and a service-learning immersion trip.
  • 9:45 AM – Dynamite Disciples: Dynamite Disciples join with Joyful Noise Children’s Choir for fun activities projects, and music during United’s Faith Formation Hour (9:45-10:45). Check it out! (Katie Bickley & Eddie Napoli-Quisling).
  • 11:00 AM – Wild Wonder: 1st-7th graders start with the adults and older youth in the Sanctuary for worship, singing and sharing God’s gifts. Then they go to Wild Wonder for stories, songs, and special projects that help them engage the stories. After Wild Wonder, they split into smaller groups. 1st-5th graders go with Katie Bickley and Master Teacher Bruce Turnquist. Young Adventurers (6th-7th) go with Rebecca Crutchfield and Eddie Napoli-Quisling. Please check the monthly newsletter for more information about the story focus.


Family Prayer Jar Activity

This summer at United Church we’re focusing on prayer. Bringing a daily prayer practice into your home can reinforce the power of prayer and your family’s faith. Getting children comfortable with prayer helps them to understand that God is always close and accessible.

Children can start learning to pray at an early age simply by watching you pray. Invite them to pray with you as best they can. Using a Prayer Jar is one way to come together as a family. In early July, each United family with elementary or younger children will receive a “Prayer Jar Kit.” The kits have the basics to make a jar for your home. We’ll also include some “pointers” for teaching children to pray, as well as prayers and songs that families can learn together.

The long days of summer are a great time to learn a new skill – like prayer! We hope you’ll join in! Questions? Please contact Gail Ansheles, member of United’s Children’s and Youth Ministry Team.

(A possibility)

United has lots of beautiful (and shady) places to gather outdoors. The Bible has lots of great stories! The combination presents some possibilities this summer to gather safely for an outdoor story time, perhaps once a week or maybe online. Details are in the works. Stay tuned!

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