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 and Youth Ministry programs, please contact Rev. Talitha Arnold 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.

2020-2021 CYM Registration Form

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

By email:


Children’s Ministry:  Wisdom from the Wilderness

Each week United’s parents receive a child-based reflection on next Sunday’s Bible story, along with ways to make the story come alive for kids. We also include pictures of their interpretations in worship. In September, they’ll explore three stories about being in the wilderness—they’ll long for cucumbers, find their voices, and feel like grasshoppers! If you’d like your kids (or grandkids) to join in, let Talitha know! (

Cucumbers and Cookies – Fiesta Sunday, Sept. 13

Fiesta Sunday (Sept. 13) when the adults hear a story about people who longed for cucumbers, onions and garlic, United’s children and youth are invited to take cookies to our Fire Department neighbors up the street! We’ll gather at 10:00 (masked, of course) and keep social distance as we walk up Arroyo Chamiso to the Fire Station. You can help by bringing cookies to United the week before (Sept. 7-11).

Youth Ministry

Get Rid of the Gloomies!
Fiesta Friday – Sept. 11—5:30 to 7:00 pm

Online school getting you down? Tired of Zoom meetings? Want life to go back to normal? We can’t promise to make that happen, but on Fiesta Friday, we invite United Youth (6th though High School) to “Get Rid of the Gloomies!” We’ll gather at 5:30 (masked and distanced), have a box supper, and then turn back to ashes things that are getting us down and give thanks to God for all the good stuff that is still happening! Join in!

Youth Initiates Start 2nd Year of “Journey to Adulthood”

On-site when possible, on Zoom when not, our 12 ninth and tenth graders begin the next stage of their journey from childhood to adult life.

Young Adventurers Undertake New Adventures

When just getting through a day is an adventure, our 7th and 8th graders are also continuing the adventure of growing into adolescents. Keep them and their parents in your prayers!

11th/12th Graders Look to the Future

Two of them are Seniors, four are Juniors, all are thoroughly in the moment and also looking ahead to what comes after High School. May they know that they have our support and prayers!


  • 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 church staff, 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!
  • 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 church staff and Master Teacher Bruce Turnquist. Young Adventurers (6th-7th) go with Rebecca Crutchfield. Please check the monthly newsletter for more information about the story focus.




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