We believe that during children’s tween and teen years they truly begin to form their own ideas about faith and how it applies to their lives. For this reason, we have a youth program full of opportunities for growth and community. Our program is lead by our Director of Educational Ministries and a group of very committed and passionate youth advisors.
The basis for our youth program is found in our weekly Presbyterian Youth Fellowship (PYF) meetings. These occur on Sunday evenings from 5:30pm until 7:30pm throughout the school year. During this time, we meet together for dinner, divide into older and younger youth for lessons and activities and then close together as a group. The weekly activities cover a broad range of ideas and purposes, but all look to build relationships with God and one another while looking at what it means to be a Christian.
On Sunday mornings, we have three classes for youth, a middle school class, a high school class, and a confirmation class. The middle school class looks at the life of Jesus and the stories that shaped his life as well as those he told and lived. The high school class studies issues in today’s world that relate to the liturgical texts of the day. These are great classes that help youth grow in their lives of faith.
We offer a confirmation class each year for any interested youth who have begun or completed their 8th grade year. We do confirmation at this time since developmentally, youth are beginning to truly form their own beliefs. The confirmation class is led by our deacons and is a wonderful connecting point for youth to the larger church.
One of the calls we all have as Christians is to service, and this is an important part of growing into the faith as a youth. Our youth are active in a number of weekly outreach and inreach activities, and are encouraged to share their time and talent with the church in these ways. We also have special service events where we help those in the church, and those in need in our communities. All of this builds up to Mission trip opportunities both here and abroad.
Youth today are often very busy, but every so often we try to take some time out to do “God things.” Both in the summer and throughout the year we will have some special events and experiences:
Youth should be active in all parts of the church, and that includes worship. Our youth choir prepares and participates in worship through both vocal and hand bell music.
The choir meets prior to PYF at 4:45pm on Sundays. Youth are also invited to participate in leading worship by being liturgists, greeters, and ushers.
Once a year, the youth also plan and lead all of worship on “Youth Sunday.” Through this experience, youth learn what goes into preparing a worship service and find what it is that God is calling them to share with the larger body.
In addition to leadership roles in worship, youth are welcome to join in leadership roles both within the congregation and within the presbytery. We also have had a number of Youth active in the educational programming of the church, especially helping to lead Vacation Bible School.
Other leadership opportunities include taking on roles in committees, becoming an elder, and serving on the PYC at the presbytery level. We also encourage youth to take part in leadership with the conferences we attend through programs like Montreat Planning Team, The Jeremiah Project, and the Massanetta Enabler program.