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). The 1st Sunday of Advent (Dec. 1), they’ll decorate cookies to deliver to our Firefighter neighbors at the station across St. Michael’s. All welcome!
  • 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-3rd graders go with Katie Bickley and 4th-5th graders go with Edith Solis Gutierrez, with Master Teacher Bruce Turnquist assisting both groups. Young Adventurers (6th-7th) go with Rebecca Crutchfield and Eddie Napoli-Quisling. Please check the monthly newsletter for more information about the story focus.

Advent Candle-lighting Every Sunday (11:00 service)

Starting Dec. 1, United’s children and youth lead the congregation in lighting the Advent Wreath, with candles for the coming of God’s Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love. Then the younger children and Young Adventurers take their light to continue with Wild Wonder Worship.


Christmas Caroling for All Ages
Friday, December 13 – 5:00 pm

Youth, children and adults meet at United, practice, then go to El Castillo Retirement Ctr. to bring Christmas joy! Then Youth walk to Upper Crust Pizza! (Please bring $7.00 for pizza and drinks.)

Supper with St. Nick and Parents’ Night Out
Tuesday, December 17 – 5:00-8:00pm

All Children and Youth invited to a Pancake Supper with a visit from the real St. Nick and preparing gift bags and cards for the guests of St. Elizabeth Shelter. Parents! Bring your children for a Parents’ Night Out. Register and pick up a permission/health form at church. (Emily Syal,

¡Vamos Todos a Belén! Children and Youth take the train to Belén, NM
Thursday, December 19

All children and youth invited to take the train to Belén (last stop on the Rail Runner!) We’ll explore the town (which is a lot like 1st and 21st century Bethlehem), then train it back to Santa Fe! Sign up by Monday, Dec. 16.

Las Posadas for All Ages
Friday, Dec. 20 – 6:30 pm at United
Youth (grades 6-12) Overnight afterward through 10:00 Saturday morning

All ages invited to join in this Northern New Mexican tradition with Santa Maria de la Paz, with singing and great refreshments! Afterward, all youth (grades 6-12) also invited to stay overnight for a mini-Advent retreat and lock-in. Please bring $7, a friend or two. Evening snacks and breakfast provided. Sign up with Emily, united


El Niño Jesús Needs Your Help!
Epiphany Pageant –Sunday, Jan. 5 in 11:00 service
Rehearsal — Saturday, Jan. 4 at 10:00 am

All youth and children are invited to help tell the story of María y José, a young couple from Chihuahua looking for shelter on a cold night in Santa Fe. It’s this year’s Epiphany Pageant El Niño Jesús Needs Your Help! Please let us know if your child or youth can join in! (Emily Syal, unitedchurch.emily; Talitha Arnold,

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