Youth Ministries (Grades 9-12)

“Our children are our most important guests, who enter into our home, ask for careful attention, stay for a while and then leave and go their own way.”  Henri Nouwen

The Youth Forum is offered concurrently with worship. Youth in these grade levels begin the next developmental level of faith exploration. Led by a team of lay people, our youth enjoy more complex discussions about the challenges of living out our faith in the face of peer pressure, stress, college preparation and social challenges. Our goal is to continue to provide a safe, accepting environment as these young people wrestle with ethics, joys, challenges, successes and failures and integrate them into their self-understanding as people of faith.

Schedule

1st Sunday of the month – Worship!

Sanctuary

Everyone is in the sanctuary for worship and the sharing of the Lord’s Supper. On most communion Sundays, there will be an offering from children or youth from their previous month’s Sunday school or music experience. (While individual parents may make different decisions best for their households, United Church welcomes God’s children of every age at the Table.)

2nd – 5th Sundays of the month – Youth Forum

Upstairs Youth Room

Through Bible Study, discussion, and the use of appropriate contemporary media, the students reflect on topics of concern to high school students.

Mission

Our K-12 children and youth participate in mission projects throughout the year.  Children can join the youth on Rake ‘n Run Sundays in the fall, helping clean up lawns for our older members.  Other times, they will help pack lunches for the homeless, school supplies for area school children, volunteer in our NYS Adopt-a-Highway Program and help with collections for the FM Community Outreach Food Pantry.  To that end, they may help in the fields in the spring and summer, weeding and harvesting fresh vegetables to be delivered to the food pantry.

The Sunday School teachers and Christian Education committee may decide about participation in other projects as needs and opportunities arise.

 Music

Youth who are learning to play musical instruments will be nurtured and provided opportunities to share their gifts in worship.  They are also encouraged to make their joyful noise as an offering to God through participation as vocal soloists or in smaller choral groups and may participate in our UCF vocal or handbell choirs.  They also participate in a Youth and Children’s Sunday and sometimes serve as liturgists and ushers.

Fellowship

Throughout the year, Youth have a variety of fellowship activities that include a lock-in, Christmas party, and summer pool party. In addition to the service opportunities indicated above, the Youth regularly work in community gardens, have a day long, weekend or week-long (break week or summer) mission experience. They also strengthen their fellowship when working on fundraisers to support these activities.

Youth Sunday

Children and Youth take responsibility for leading one worship service per year, choosing the theme, Scripture, music, and message.