Youth Ministry

Building Relationships, Building Faith

Your preteens and teens are invited to participate in our many opportunities to learn and grow as disciples of Christ. Beyond Sunday morning classes, the youth ministry also includes many youth group activities and events, with special opportunities for friendship and learning through retreats, outings, missions and participation in conferences.

CHURCH SCHOOL
Middle School Class (grades 6 – 8)
Middle School youth have longer attention spans, which allow them to be more self-directed in their learning. Friendships are important, and they are beginning to recognize a variety of viewpoints. Sessions provide opportunities for active exploration of Bible stories and encourage reading and writing skills. Varied activities meet the needs of different learning styles, and service projects help encourage a connection to the wider community.

High School Class (grades 9 – 12)
High School youth are eager to explore beliefs and engage issues of life and justice. They are supported and challenged as they live with questions, explore commitments and make key choices about their futures. Session resources put the Bible in context. Activities promote the development of leadership skills and serving in the local and global ministry of the church.

CONFIRMATION
Confirmation is a process that helps our youth grow in their understanding of God, the church and their faith. The minister of youth and young adults teaches the Confirmation class for eighth graders or youth who are 14 years or older, including any unconfirmed youth who may have joined the church after ninth grade. This special class begins in the fall and ends with the Rite of Confirmation on in May. Each confirmand is assigned a mentor for the year to work with them on special projects as part of the class.


YOUTH GROUPS

 We have two youth groups – Middle School and High School. Each group has their own schedule. The Middle School group meets approximately twice per month. The High School group (Sonreir) meets every week, either on Sunday evening or during the week. Search Sonreir on Facebook for a current schedule. The mission statement for Sonreir is “Challenging First Congregational UCC Sr. High students to explore spirituality, creativity, love, and truth through bold questions and exciting challenges in order to stimulate the brain, spark the soul, and figure out what it means to be human.”


Both groups’ activities and events are focused around spirituality, mission, education and fellowship. Both groups utilize the skills and guidelines taught at their fall orientations to:

    Create an atmosphere of trust
    Help each youth develop a sense of belonging
    Involve each other in decision making, as appropriate
    Show kindness and encouragement to peers and expect it in return
    Set clear expectations and goals for the groups
    Develop a feeling of cooperation rather than competition

Both groups are expected to honor the ground rules, which will be posted in a prominent place and reviewed periodically:

    Attentive listening – paying close attention to one another’s words and feelings; one person speaks at a time; giving another caring, respect and consideration.
    No put downs/Give appreciations – avoid negative remarks, name-calling, hurtful gestures and behaviors. Instead treat each other with kindness and state specific appreciation for their unique qualities, value and contribution to others and to the group.
    Right to pass – each youth can choose when, and to what extent, they will participate. This builds safety within the group process.
    No Names/No Gossip – honoring the group’s sharing; solving problems without using names of individual(s).

The Youth Groups also participate in stewardship activities, which are used to supplement the Youth Budget.

All youth and their parents are encouraged to take an active role in youth group activities.

 

MISSION PROJECTS

Each summer the high school youth group goes on a weeklong Mission Project to an impoverished area of the country or to help a family in need. We may paint houses, hang and mud drywall, do repair work, and participate in many other activities, as we act as the hands of Christ to our neighbors.
 
 
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