St. Stephen’s Child Development Center

Happy New Year!

December was busy with Christmas fellowship and fun. We were proud to be a part of the Christmas Pageant for the second year. The sanctuary was filled with children and their families which was very heartwarming. Our Friendly Beasts accompanied by Pastor Jim was a source of joy for all who attended. We appreciate Dusty, Candace, and all of the parent volunteers including the preschool in the Sunday school group for this activity. The Sunday school children did a magnificent job. We also appreciate all that purchased poinsettias for the Christmas service which is a fundraiser for our preschool.

In this New Year of 2015 we are in the process of implementing projects that will allow us to expand our preschool. It is our goal to redesign the two year old program and hire a new teacher as this is the age group we receive the most inquiries. Once the classroom is prepared we will begin our search for the teacher. Hopefully this program will be in place by summer, or no later than September 2015 as we have siblings of current students who will be enrolling in this program at that time. As our ministry has evolved, we focus on God’s will for our growth and follow the path in his time. Therefore we pray as we create and see what unfolds as we proceed. September 2014 is a great example of the Lords will in our program as we are very proud of the community we serve and their precious children.
We will continue to embed the literacy curriculum learned at SEEDS and will be implementing “Raising a Reader”. “Raising a Reader” provides books to be taken home and shared between parents and children. I will be attending a training for this program in this month. Another literacy activity is “Paw Pal”. The children take home a bag with a class mascot and a journal. The parents write down what their child dictates about the visit at their home and then return to school to share at circle time. We will also continue our Yoga program along with the curriculum we have set in place for the school year. I look forward to working with our wonderful teachers and witnessing the continued blossoming of our Preschool ministry. Thank you St. Stephen’s congregation for your support, acknowledgment and encouragement.

Kathy Berens (Director) 464-4453


An Interactive Two Day Seminar

Friday Feb. 6, 7 to 9:00 pm  &  Saturday Feb.7, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Peace United Church of Christ – 900 High Street

Sponsored by: Progressive Christian Forum of Santa Cruz

Presenters :

  • The Rev. Karen Oliveto, Glide Memorial United Methodist, SF
  • The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, 7th Avenue Presbyterian Church, SF


Explore ways that PROGRESSIVE RENEWAL is transforming and revitalizing churches like ours—today! This year’s seminar promises lively interaction with two practiced and spirited pastors who are making renewal happen in their San Francisco congregations. How are they doing it? What can we learn together? What kinds of CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY are catching fire among young adults, spiritual seekers and long-time church members?


As participants, you will:

  • Experience worship in a vital setting with new voices, inspiring leaders and opportunities for reflection.
  • Learn from the experience and spiritual commitments of presenters with deep roots in Northern CA and passion for ministry in progressive congregations.
  • Interact with leaders from other congregations: sharing ideas resources reflection and support.
  • Gain a fresh and exciting perspective on the Gospel: the good news of liberation, compassion and freedom from fear.


Register with Connie Creel or church office for $50 group rate


Blue Christmas


Blue  Christmas  Service 

Sunday, December 21st, 7:00 p.m.

For individuals and families suffering the recent or impending death of loved ones, those in crisis due to illness, unemployment, separation, family estrangement or other experiences of loss, depression, seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.), or other mental illness, the holidays can be a very isolated and lonely time, and not the “most wonderful time of the year.”

 The Blue Christmas Service offers a sanctuary of hope, solace, and comfort, as together we share God’s compassionate love for hurting people.

For further info, contact Vi Olly at 454-6395.

This week’s Adult Forum – “How Lutherans Interpret the Bible” with Prof. Mark Allen Powell

Adult Forums — Every Sunday @ 9:30

 This week:  “How Lutherans Interpret the Bible”  with Prof. Mark Allen Powell

  This is probably the main distinction that exists among various forms of the Christian church, especially in America. We will spend time becoming more familiar with why we view the  Bible the way we do. This will help us to better apply it’s message to our daily lives. It’s always a lively discussion!