Contact Paul Winter, Youth Minister, for more information on these youth programs!
To learn about this summer's Harlan County (Kentucky) Mission Trips, click here.
YOUTH MINISTRY AT ST. PAUL'S
Our Mission: Our program of Youth Ministries at St. Paul’s Church is based on the idea that through entering safe, peace-filled relationships with each other, we share our stories, lives, joys, fears, and faith. Through these relationships, we experience the grace of God, and we grow into knowing more fully a living Jesus Christ in our everyday lives.
How We Realize Our Mission:
We offer many points of contact for teenagers to engage and grow in their journey of faith with a living Christ. Regardless of where or how a teenager finds their point of contact, we strive to honor each young person wherever they are on their journey. We understand the work of this ministry to reveal the love and grace of God by the relationships that are formed during any of these programs.
By entering into safe, peace-filled relationships with each other, we are entering into such relationships with God. Many adults are involved, walking beside our teenagers during their journey, walking as friends, mentors, and fellow travelers. This style of relational ministry affords offers us the opportunity to share our stories and to learn how to grown in community with each other in Christ.
Modeled after our successful fellowship group for 5th and 6th graders, “Junior Chaos” gives all 3rd and 4th graders of the church an opportunity to have fun and build community as a group. Junior Chaos meets four times a year.
A high energy fellowship group for 5th and 6th grade students to build community and have fun.
Confirmation (7th grade - 8th grade - 9th grade)
Confirmation is a time when we as a community of faith recognize the spiritual maturation of our members, and they make a sacramental commitment to their faith life.
7th Grade: "re:form" Class
In the first year of the confirmation process, we use fun, thought-provoking and energetic lessons to help the class ask the big questions of our faith and help us flesh out our own answers. “Who wrote the bible?” “Why do we say ‘one holy and catholic and apostolic church’ if we are not Catholic?” and other questions. Throughout the process, we learn how to articulate what we believe about God, the Church, ourselves and the world, and we do so in an environment safe for asking questions and sharing different perspectives.
During this year, confirmands choose an adult to be their sponsor. Sponsors join the class for field trips and a few in-class sessions during the 8th grade confirmation program.
8th Grade: “Confirm Not Conform”
The second year of confirmation preparation builds upon the questions that were explored in the seventh grade class, but begins focusing more explicitly on a deeper level of personal faith-sharing and exploration of that faith as it is received and experienced in our tradition. Activities including outreach opportunities and a weekend retreat are designed to build community and facilitate a safe space to explore faith issues. This year also includes Confirmand/Sponsor Breakfasts, and more interpersonal discussion time between sponsors and confirmands.
9th Grade: “My Faith, My Life”
Ninth grade confirmation class meets until the Bishop’s Visitation, typically in November. After confirmation, students join Youth Forum. During the fall, 9th graders explore how best to articulate their faith and make the connection between their faith and their daily lives as teenagers. Using Jenifer Gamber’s book My Faith, My Life students discuss what we believe and why, what covenants and promises are most meaningful to us, and how we are called to be active members of the Church now.
All along the way, from 7th -9th grade, each confirmand will identify a companion for their journey who is a member of this parish (16 years or older) to serve as their Confirmation Sponsor. This person will walk alongside them as a mentor, friend and fellow seeker in the Confirmation journey. A sponsor is someone who can help explore the question of faith with the confirmand, not necessarily someone who has all the answers.
Sunday Evening Youth Group (Jr. High and Sr. High)
Every Sunday night, from 6 to 8 p.m., all 7th through 12th graders are invited to come for dinner. After dinner, the groups break up into Jr. High (7th and 8th) and Sr. High (9-12 grade) groups for fellowship, and support, as this group engages the joys and struggles of being a teenager. They support one another and share their ideas about the world, God, and their faith. It’s a group that mixes fellowship activities and outings with game nights, outreach projects, and discussions. The Evening Youth Group explores faith in the context of the world to which they live.
Drama Dreamers -- Drama Ministry
The goal of Drama Ministries at St. Paul’s is to provide opportunities for youth and adults to develop personally and spiritually through the preparation and presentation of religious dramatic material.
-- in the importance of building a Christian community where we work together to bring out the best in ourselves and others.
-- that lives are transformed primarily through relationships.
-- learning is best achieved by doing and reflecting.
-- the process of preparing dramatic presentations is more important than the product.
Our teenagers produce, direct, act, serve as tech and stage crew, and sometimes write for annual productions of Advent Dessert Theatre and a spring musical. Adults serve as coordinator, music director and tech advisor to support these efforts. The productions explore and engage religious and faith-related topics. Ticket proceeds go directly to the Youth Stewardship Outreach Fund. Contact Kate Gillooly for more information.