“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.
1st Sunday of the month – Worship!
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 experience. (While individual parents may make different decisions best for their households, United Church welcomes children of every age at the Table.)
2nd and 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.
3rd Sunday of the month – Mission!
Downstairs Mission Room
Youth meet the K-8th Gr. Group, serving as mentors, leading and participating in a mission activity directed toward our neighbors in the world. Materials for Mission activities such as packing school supplies or lunches for the homeless are prepared in advance and our young Christians join together in these projects, based on their Bible learning from the week before. Throughout the year, there are also Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon experiences, such as raking yards for the elderly or disabled, serving breakfast to the homeless or caroling for the homebound.
4th Sunday of the month – Music!
Downstairs Choir Room
Youth continue to make their joyful noise an offering to God through the use of tone chimes, vocal groups, handbells, percussion accompaniment, and the interpretation of hymns with American Sign Language. Those who are learning to play musical instruments will also be nurtured and provided opportunities to share their gifts in worship. They may also be asked to serve as mentors and teachers for younger children.
Fellowship and Mission
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.
The Youth take responsibility for leading one worship service per year, choosing the theme, Scripture, music, and message.